MovableType 4 Released

I am pretty excited to see the new edition of MovableType being released today but the sad thing is I have not had time to even look at it. I suppose I should just hire someone to do the upgrade because I cannot see my schedule opening up much in the coming weeks.

So if you have been playing around with MT4 and know your way around the new version drop me a line and I will put you to work. geeknews@gmail.com

Just how many people are leaving for WordPress from MovableType?

I have already given my notice that this blog is going to be running under WordPress at some point in the future but finding the right developer and programmer to make some of the custom code we have running underneath needs to be done first.

But I wonder if there is a way to compare the number of MT Blogs and WP blogs and track the numbers over the past 6 months to see what the abandonment rate is for MT. I have yet to talk to Anil Dash on the phone as I just have not had time but maybe Six Apart needs to take the advise that was given in a open letter today that it may be time for Six Apart to give MT to the open source community so that rapid fire development can begin again.

TypePad is their crown jewel that is making them money. It is obvious by there actions that MT has become the sucking pig that is taking away financial resources. So how about Six Apart make MT open source so we can at least know what the heck is being planned, and have some interactive input.

Because for a blogging company you all sure don’t blog very much. [Open Letter to SixApart]

Where the Heck is Six Apart on MovableType Continued:

I want to bring part of the comments from a previous post out on the front page because I think the discussion is important. Jay Allen the Movable type Product Manager has several comments in the original post that I want to address. I do want to thank Jay for taking time to posting his comments here it is a discussion that is long overdue. I want to say up front I like Jay and what he has accomplished at SixApart and that he should not take some of my comments personal.

Todd wrote:

“Well I hate to say that the WordPress community is much more active than the MovableType community, heck it’s almost impossible to find the MT forum section link anymore via SixApart.”

Jay Replied:

It doesn’t seem a surprise to me that a community centered around an open-source tool will always be more visible and seem more vibrant, but the Movable Type “community” is doing very well — and by that, I mean the Professional Network.

Todd’s Rebuttal:

I and thousands of others are not on the Professional Network and you do a lot of valuable talk behind a login and password that most of us do not get to see. I am sure the conversation in those forums alone would be valuable. Why they can’t be in the existing forum is beyond me. But I very rarely have been able to get a question answered in the Forums area. Submitting a ticket is not always productive. Granted I have submitted very few tickets. I may be wrong but I don’t think very many from the pro network hang out in the public forums.

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Todd Wrote:

If you are building then tell us you are building, and if you cant talk about product details then you need to tell us what we need to do to prepare for version 3.3

Jay Responded:

Well, there are only two things we do as a software company: build and release. That’s it. Since Movable Type 3.2 was released, we’ve been building and we’ve been doing it at an amazing pace considering our resource constraints.

Todd’s Rebuttal:

This will result in Six Apart becoming more isolated from the community of users. A blogging company has to stay connected with their core, failure to do so will see more people migrate to other blogging platforms.

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Todd Wrote:

The main thing is talk and i am sure there are lots of cool things going on with plugins but you rarely highlight any.

Jay Responded:

You’re absolutely right and everyone on our team is to blame for that. I myself have had a three-quarters written blog post highlighting 30 new plugins for a month until I lost my hard drive (R.I.P). Why didn’t I post it? Because I wanted to clean it up and turn it from a list of links to a narrative. In retrospect, obviously, that is a mistake.

I will tell you: a LOT of posts die on the vine at Six Apart because it’s more difficult to post under your company’s name than it is on your own site. (Ask Niall Kennedy about that one.) So we post a lot of things to our personal sites, just to rattle them off, and before we ever clean them up for the 6A site, we get sucked back down in the actual work we’re doing. If there’s any barrier at all in a startup to blogging, you just won’t do it because you’re hopelessly buried with real deliverables.

So I guess the big question is, would you rather that we release slower so that we have time to blog more often? We operate under the assumption that that’s not the case. Yes, we do need to get better about blogging, but I know that if you worked for us under the same conditions, you’d find yourself in our shoes. I say that because I have said exactly what you are saying when I was an outside developer living in Hungary. I thought I would come to Six Apart and get us blogging more. I was, at least to this day, wrong.

Todd’s Rebuttal:

You are doing those that take the time to create plugins a dis-service, I need a place I can go and read about all the plugins in a central place. Attempts before to put together a directories of Plugins is barely navigable. There are plenty of CMS platforms out there that would allow you to develop the type of plugin resource that is full of user and developer conversation. That conversation does not exist. Look at the Joomla website and see how they treat their plugin developers, its the soul of the platform.

Again my premise is you better start blogging and getting the community engaged, because going weeks on end with not a peep coming out of you is bad. It has to become a priority and if Ben and Mena have lost site that their is a core that feels like we have been left out in the cold.

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Todd Wrote:

You need a evangelist that shows all of us how to use all of these great plugins and talk about why they are important and what gap do they fill that is currently not being filled by the baseline application.

Jay Said:

We completely agree… :-)

Todd’s Rebuttal: You have a core group in your Pro Network that understand the product and where you are headed you need to designate a couple of them to become your evangelist. Give them a spot on a company blog and don’t be scared to let them talk openly. I am involved in building a company as well and I understand the value of being a evangelist of my own cause, I have to do it, I have to lay down the framework of where we are headed. I have to be the leader. Thus those within your company have to be the leader of your product.

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Todd Wrote:

Podcasting is fast approaching two years and although you say you are focused on the next revision your promise of faster releases after the last engine revamp have not materialized.

Jay Responded:

I’d say that Yahoo Small Business (which wasn’t just slapping on a logo) and the upcoming MT Enterprise count as two pretty big rocks. Would you?

Todd’s Rebuttal:

First: SixApart Promised a faster release schedule after the long development on the last release where the core was rebuilt from scratch. This promise still remains a pipe dream.

Second: I obviously have no idea what your sales numbers are, but it seems to me that unless you are a Enterprise size company or a Small Business that uses Yahoo products (I don’t) then I am shit out of luck. Jay I really like the work you have done, so don’t get me wrong when I write this, you missed the point I was trying to make. “SixApart is not keeping up with technology advances, and a simple 1-2 hour podcast integration would have made your product compatible out of the box to the hottest medium next to blogging”. To not implement that proves without a shadow of a doubt in my mind that SixApart does not care about bloggers like me. How many thousands of Customers have you lost because it was easier for me to say setup WordPress it is compatible out of the box for podcasting.

How many hours of frustration would you have saved users that have your current product to create rss templates that were compatible and up to spec with the iTunes integration. It’s the little things that Six Apart had failed to show leadership on that makes me wonder if I should think about switching to a platform that cares enough about it’s core base of users to get a release out that keeps the product current.

Finally, you have a pro network yet no one know who they are or what services they offer, you need to put a list together of who they are and what this core group offers so when I need a MT developer I don’t have to go overseas and find a developer to learn MT from the ground up.

MovableType Template Frustration

Why can I not find a MovableType template that is similar to Geek News Central. I really want a simple to manage template that is similar in layout of this website. Completely frustrates me to no end I had a developer that was supposed to come up with a design for techpodcasts.com and after two weeks I get a message that what I want to accomplish is to hard. What happened to the days of I pay someone for what I want and it gets delivered.

I suppose I could just copy the design I have here to accomplish what I need to do, but geez give me a break that is not what I wanted to do. I see plain jane two column designs, I see three column designs that have the posting area in the middle.

Can someone come up with a template that will work with MT version 3.2 that has the posting area on the left and two columns on the right that I can easily adjust the widths on within CSS and have the left hand column auto size. If your looking for a project over the holidays and want to make some money and you have worked with MT templates before send me a e-mail geek@geeknewscentral.com

Specific Templates hard to find for MovableType

It seems I go thru this pain about every year. I spent a considerable amount of money to convert this site from a two column weblog to a three column. It is a pretty unique template and will not port well. I am getting ready to move several sites from Mambo to MovableType and I have yet to find a template that anyone has made that is similar to the layout on this site.

If anyone can point me at a generic three column MT weblog that matches the structure of this website please show me the way as I have not found it yet. I can handle the mods needed to make the template work once I find a design.

Shopping for Blogging Software that Scales

I have been doing some shopping for a blogging application that will scale the way I need it to, and I have figured out one thing. I am not leaving Movable Type. No other blogging tool on the market will scale they way Movable Type does. Hands down it wins!

During this search I had a dozen or so people try to convince me to switch to WordPress and the more I played with WordPress the more I realized that although it is a great personal blogging tool it just does not measure up to MT.

Sure I will be paying for a commercial version but I know the RSS feeds will not be funky and that it will scale to multiple users, multiple blogs from a single installation.

Expect to see TechPodcasts.com and PodcastConnect.com running on a MovableType blog in the near future and say goodbye to Mambo. I really liked the application in the beginning, but it is just to hard to manage and it does not do RSS well. The RSS implementation was like it was hacked together, and anytime I have to deal with hacked up RSS or resort to having to use a third party source like FeedBurner then it is going to get replaced.