Six Apart, my kinda company
Say what you will about the whole MT 3.0D licensing debacle, Six Apart is an awesome company.
They've really worked hard to resolve the public relations nightmare they found themselves in last month. And they've made changes which should appeal to most everyone. Sure, they made some mistakes. What company doesn't?
What they continue to get right is that they listen and respond. And it perfectly demonstrates the power of the software they produce. Especially when it comes to corporate-to-user communications.
I've read that Six Apart made a mistake by enabling Trackbacks on their company weblog. I totally disagree. Let's look:
- May 13th: Mena posted news of the MT 3.0D release on "Mena's Corner" (a weblog that was set up specifically for communicating to their customers -- a personal, human face to this "Six Apart" corporate entity).
- May 13th: Reaction to that post was swift and unforgiving. The vast majority of people were not too pleased about this development and were quite vocal about it. The trackback mechanism provided direct evidence of this and you can rest assured it played a huge role in Six Apart's response that followed, less than 2 days later.
- May 15th: Licenses were adjusted and reposted.
- May 18th: Mena posts a call for feedback regarding how users are using Movable Type.1 Trackbacks are again employed to allow end-users to provide their feedback through their own weblogs.
- June 16th: Six Apart revises license plans again, based on user feedback. And there was much rejoicing.
I tell you, this is lightning fast response. And unheard-of behavior for a corporation. Typically, a corporation sets pricing for their products and customers just have to deal. The level of outrage from Movable Type users is proof positive that Movable Type is a product that is dear to many. The swift and gracious response on the part of Six Apart shows their commitment to their users and to the MT community.
The new licenses provide an affordable non-commercial license for unlimited weblogs and either 5 authors ($69.95) or unlimited authors ($99.95). The free edition is still limited to 1 author and 3 weblogs (with the understanding that a weblog may consist of one or more blogs, hosted at a common URL). They've also revised the commercial, educational and non-profit licenses.
So for those of you that have stuck around through all of this, perhaps watching with amusement or even bemusement, aren't you glad you did?
1 Some have said such a survey should have been done before they announced the new license plans, but in actuality, they already had-- the MT 3.0 beta application included a survey survey with questions regarding usage and that factored into those decisions. Unfortunately, most people responded with "I just have 1 blog", forgetting to count the little "sub-blogs" that are commonly used to supplement a weblog site.