SixApart Going Downhill?

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sixapart.pngAbout an year or two ago if you had asked me which is the best blogging company, which is, a company dedicated to making blog software and the current “hot thing” — I would’ve single-handedly said SixApart. They have so many offices, they’re growing and growing and not stopping, gosh, infact they’re the next Google. Now, however, I wouldn’t say that.

Moveable Type

First off, who uses Moveable Type these days? Yeah, I know, Kottke is one, who else? Robert Scoble? Dave Winer? Om Malik? Michael Arrington? Who? You may have noticed all the bloggers that I mentioned are actually WordPressers (and also WordProcessors ;-)). The folks that use MT now, are either those:

  • Who’ve been using it since it started, and loved it (at that time), but quite frankly now they’re better things out there and they’re stuck with it.
  • Who initially made their design template for Moveable Type, if asked again would’ve definitely chosen to make it for another software, but what can they do, they’re stuck now.
  • Who are still one or two years behind and think Moveable Type is the hot thing these days. Yeah, really hot, infact burning.
  • Who are Perl/CGI lovers and terribly dread PHP or another language.
  • Who are using it to mange multiple blogs and MT is currently their own option (I don’t think WordPress does multiple).

I’m not saying Moveable Type sucks these days, but just that there are better things out there. If you showed any MT user what WordPress these days can do, they’ll say “MT is better,” “they’ve got a much better interface,” etc. but I know for a fact that inside their brain, some part of it would be saying “wow.”

So, Moveable Type? Nah, WordPress, Blogger and others are much better options.

TypePad

Can you say all TypePad users are now MySpace ones? I can. Ever since MySpace came along, it’s been the “shit” these days for teenagers and TypePad-aimed users. Who uses TypePad? Well, I can give you mostly the same reasons that I did for who uses Moveable Type:

  • Who’ve been using it since it started, and loved it (at that time), but quite frankly now they’re better things out there and they’re stuck with it.
  • Who initially made their design template for TypePad, if asked again would’ve definitely chosen to make it for another software, but what can they do, they’re stuck now.
  • Who are still one or two years behind and think TypePad is the hot thing these days. Yeah, really hot, infact burning.

So, TypePad? Nah, MySpace, WordPress.com, Blogger and others are much better alternatives.

LiveJournal

Does anyone else think they’re the stats on the homepage are hoax? I don’t know about you, but in my RSS aggregator with 100+ blogs, I don’t see a single LiveJournal blog. Maybe I’m not reading the LiveJournal-aimed users and I’m not one either, or it’s something different.

Also, aren’t “Live Journals” called blogs or weblogs these days? Did they miss the boat?

The Problem

The problem, I think lies in their business model. This is what I think happens when you ask for too much. Yes, paying a few bucks for something extra (e.g. Moveable Type – 1-5 users – $69 or TypePad – one author, three blogs – $8.95/pm) would’ve been wise a couple of years of ago, when there weren’t really any good free blogging alternatives. But now, it just seems pointless and laughable.

Let’s have a look. WordPress (and WordPress.com) is better than SixApart’s solutions. Much better. Much much better. Blogger is much better. MySpace is much better. And yet, out of all these completely free and better tools, I’m expected to pay for SixApart’s ones?

Conclusion

Just for the record, I don’t have anything against the company, or have been treated badly by a customer service rep, or anything of that kind. I adore how they started and their part in making blogging successful, but these are just a few things I’ve been noticing about them lately and it’s funny to see a company that “owned the blogosphere” a couple of years ago now can be known as just ‘one of them’. Also, I do know, before someone mentions it in the comments, that SixApart have their own share of famous blogs, although the list isn’t big at all — at least not as big as the WordPress one.

So, if I were a SixApart executive or investor, I’d be worried.


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