Let’s try and walk in Six Apart’s shoes for a moment



I have been thinking over the past 24 hours what it must be like to be in Six Apart’s office today. As I pondered that I thought back over the past 2 years.

As Movable Type users we have had a pretty great deal, many of us have had essentially free software for the past 2 plus years. I personally donated money to help support their transition from their bedroom office. To see them launch a company realizing in which they now have to pay payroll, electricity, rent, server cost etc.

My initial reaction to the whole licensing issue was wrong and I am going to be a big boy and reverse my initial assessment on the whole deal. The reason I am going to reverse myself is I have tried to put myself in their shoes and have come to the conclusion that they are a young company that is striving hard to do the right thing and possibly underestimated the passion that a lot of us have for this software package.

That being said as I read thru the trackbacks to Mena

About geeknews

Todd Cochrane is the Founder of Geek News Central and host of the Geek News Central Podcast. He is a Podcast Hall of Fame Inductee and was one of the very first podcasters in 2004. He wrote the first book on podcasting, and did many of the early Podcast Advertising deals in the podcasting space. He does two other podcasts in addition to Geek News Central. The New Media Show and Podcast Legends.


7 thoughts on “Let’s try and walk in Six Apart’s shoes for a moment

  1. i’m quit using MT
    they’re suck, there’re still many GNU blog and has many more features than MT3.0D

    suck especially to force us to register with the typekey
    and guess what after registered:
    An error occurred:
    DBD::mysql::st execute failed

    MT3 LMAO and suck! ;)

  2. I think Six Apart handled this whole thing really really badly.

    Does it make them look good that they’ve removed the whole “one CPU” thing saying it was just a mistake?

    Does it make them look good that they didn’t even bother to define what a blog was before coming up with these weird licence counts?

    Does it make them look good that the licence I just clicked agreement with has the word “sever” instead of “server”? What have I signed up to do, run it on a meat cleaver?

    People have found it really confusing. Even with the clarifications, I’m still confused.

    The first thing I did? Went looking for a download of the Full-Install 2.661, just in case. I found a TAR copy online, but couldn’t find a ZIP copy.

    I gave up looking, and went to download a free version of MT 3.0D. After signing up for TypeKey, whatever the hell that is, I found that if I clicked on “My Account”, MT was still offering downloads of 2.661 as I was a registered user of it. There’s no mention of that on their website but I bet it’s a frequently-asked question.

    I’m still baffled as hell but at least I’ve got copies of it I can use in case of emergencies.

  3. I don’t think people’s reactions were in anyway stupid or unreasonable. When you restrict the number of authors you can invite to your blog that is an issue if you are asking 100$ for that software. No software I pay for limit me in such way, especially not the ones that around 100$. Furthermore, what’s MT have in it that makes it worth 100$? Some say, people were using it for 2 years without paying so they should pay. That’s fine for them, but what about those who just started blogging? What about the stupid CPU restriction (later removed)? That doesn’t sound like goodwill. Imagine Microsoft selling its Word based on the number of documents you create using it. I am a software developer, I totally support companies like SixApart, but please be reasonable, don’t put arbitrary limitations and then ask a lot of money with it.

  4. I realize they are in the game to make money, but us poor guys who are doing this just for the fun of it can’t justify upgrading at that cost. The most I could see myself spending is maybe $50. I would hate to switch because most other blogging software out there don’t seem to handle multiple blogs like MT does. I am still up in the air. If they removed that CPU restriction on the free version. I would consider it since the other blogs I host aren’t really being used anyway.

  5. The idea of a personal and professional license seems to make sense, but just ask Joel Spolsky about the disproportionate amount of support those personal licenses take.

    Six Apart may be better off simply forgoing the personal license alltogether and focusing on the professional one. Or charge a small annual fee for personal use and offer support ONLY through a special online forum, thus leveraging the goodwill of some developers and the community itself.

    I am not an MT user, but as a software author myself, I’ve been following this fairly closely and feel their agony over which how much to charge.

    Hey, that elastic demand curve stuff from Economics 101 is real!

  6. Thanks a lot for your level-headed comments and for some well-thought-out suggestions. Thanks to you and other people who’ve actually taken the time to try to think through what they would do in the same situation, the mood at Six Apart’s offices today is pretty good. :)

    We’ll be updating with some more info really soon. Hopefully people who’ve been kind enough to accept free software for the past two and a half years will be patient enough to give us two and a half days to respond.

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