It's not the time to miss the show
I was sure that by not crying with the wolves and expressing a dissenting opinion against the vast majority of the MT-based blogosphere would attract some nasty comment, so here I am painted in a corner of my corporate ivory tower, draped in my corporate bias.
In trying to list what I think are the important mistakes done by Six Apart, I forgot one: never under estimate the resistance to change. I'm being told that I forgot the history of MT and its community approach. Give me a break, please! I don't feel part of a community just because I put a "Powered by MT" link on my weblog or said nice things about how great MT is or how cool the Trotts are. I feel part of a community because I've done a certain amount of analysis about personal and business uses of such a weblog software, because I actively participated to alpha and beta tests, because I gave feedback to Six Apart, because I hacked MT and documented my hacks, because MT allowed me to build something that still amazes me today and, last but not least, because I paid for this software! It's been crystal clear to me from the start that Six Apart was an ambitious commercial endeavor, I've never assumed that I could make a free lunch from the entire Six Apart portfolio just because it's nice and cool.
I do understand why most people are angry though and their reactions have forced Six Apart to clarify and modify its approach. What I find surprising (and this is the reason of my own reaction) is how extreme their reactions are and how demanding, impatient -- and, to some degree, unfair -- they can be. Let me give you one good example of that. In all those posts about how "Six Apart sucks and I'm going to switch to X/Y/Z tomorrow morning", how many are reminding that Six Apart has always committed to providing means to export all your data in order to help you switch to another weblog software should you feel the need to?
I'm confident that all of this will actually lead to even more momentum to the blogosphere. It raises the profile of many very good free and open source software, competition is well alive and kicking -- pMachine is giving away 1000 free licenses of its commercial product ExpressionEngine (but hurry up, offers ends tonight, and be aware that it's a one-time deal only, upgrades aren't likely to be free) -- but most importantly, as Brad Choate notes, Movable Type is moving again:
Ive been sad for a while about the lack of movement and development of Movable Type. True, the 3.0 release is less about features and more about empowerment there are far more hooks into Movable Type for us developers to make use of. TypePad has been getting a lot of nice features for some time now. Is it coincidental that TypePad brings money into the company where Movable Type (by and large) has not?>
With Movable Type 3 providing a revenue stream for the company, it will bring resources to Six Apart to continue development of the product. Thats what users want, more than anything.
I for one am looking forward to the innovations that will come with Movable Type 3.
Me too, it's definitely not the time to miss the show.