Six Apart was a company formed in 2002 to handle the commercial aspects of Movable Type, and later its hosted platform, TypePad. Along the way, it acquired, and then later sold LiveJournal, and also launched a social blogging platform called Vox, which is to close at the end of this month.
I saw ‘was’, as in the past tense, because Six Apart has now ceased to exist in an independent form; it has joined with another firm called VideoEgg to create Say Media. The web site doesn’t really give much of an idea about what the new company does, apart from lots of marketing buzzwords encouraging ‘engagement’, but I gather it’s something to do with internet advertising with a social aspect.
So where does that leave Six Apart’s two major remaining products, TypePad and Movable Type? They’re still mentioned on Say Media’s home page, but in small grey text at the bottom of the page. And the press release on movabletype.org does not even mention the two services. It’s natural, therefore, for current TypePad and MT users to feel a little uneasy as it looks like the new company will leave the two services to, at best, stagnate somewhat.
As much as I like MT, it’s undeniable that it’s now nowhere near as popular as WordPress; similarly, TypePad is losing out to WordPress.com and Tumblr, both free services which offer a level of service that is close to or matches TypePad.
I have high hopes for Melody, a fork of Movable Type which involves a number of former Six Apart employees (Jay Allen, Byrne Reese, Anil Dash). I’m hoping to migrate this site over to it once it becomes more stable. But I’m not confident that the future of the main MT project and TypePad is so secure. We shall see.
(As an aside, Saturday will be 8th anniversary of the switch from Blogger to Movable Type on this site)