May 14, 2004

Movable Type to Users: Bend Over and Cough It Up

So long, suckers.
Thanks for the fish.

SMILING MENA TROTT'S little note about their new "engulf and devour" pricing scheme -- and "scheme" is the right word for it -- has caused no little consternation in the blogsphere. Well, 'consternation' is a little soft -- 'rage' and 'betrayal' and 'greed' are also mentioned in some of the 450+ trackbacks.

Indeed, Mena's little note has probably set a new trackback record for a single post in all of the blogs that use Movable Type. Written in the sweet, dulcet tones that we have come to know as "pure Mena" this little note is not the first time SixApart has proved to be hamhanded in dealing with its large userbase.

Mena's Corner: It's About Time
Ben and I are incredibly proud to see that Movable Type, the product that we first developed in our spare bedroom, has now enabled us to become a company that not only allows good people to have jobs that they (hopefully) enjoy but also a company that remembers those who got us here.
Translation: "We'd like to thank all the little people." Yes, indeed, they remember by walking straight up to a lot of them and picking their pocket. They seem to forget that it really isn't MovableType and SixApart that made the app dominant in their little world, but the endless work of people creating plugins that give the app the functionality that it should have had in the first place. Plugins that really patched up the shaky software that MovableType was at its inception and continued to be right up through the last release. Oh yes, and all that free advice freely given over the years from one blogger to the other on their forums.

While nobody doubts the right of SixApart to profit from their work, many rightfully doubt the business sense of this fledgling company in the current fantasy pricing structure. Indeed, with price tags for various configurations going to the north of $700, their "strategy" seems to be to give as many members of their sophisticated user base away to their competitors as fast as possible.

It would be hard to find an example of a dumber idea passed off in such a breezy and Scarlet O'Hara manner than we see here. I guess that the SixApart couple just jumped back into that "back bedroom" for some warm pillow talk and came out with a business plan they think will buy them the Gulfstream soonest.

Sigh. If this decision was any dumber I'd have to say that Joi Ito had a hand in it. Oh, wait, he does, doesn't he?

Posted by Vanderleun at May 14, 2004 9:20 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Just curious, you wrote a very well written description of events. What free software is out there that could / would / should replace MT?


Posted by: Drew at May 14, 2004 10:33 AM

I will be migrating to Textpattern as soon as is feasible.

An elegant solution written by an elegant man with a great sensitivity to design and font issues.

Dean's personal log is at

Posted by: Gerard Van der Leun at May 14, 2004 12:12 PM

All the right thinking centrists are moving to Textpattern.

The prudent ones are waiting for gamma 1.19 (which will be the "feature lockdown" release before v1.0), and an improved import mechanism from MT export files ... said the unprudent one.

Posted by: Reid at May 14, 2004 12:50 PM