In my inaugural post, I hinted that I wasn't incredibly crazy about the name, "Mena's Corner" for this weblog. When I first began working on this weblog, I had given it the title "Six Apart: Inward and Onward". While that may be a bit more company-centric, I was unhappy by how this title seemed too driven by a marketing message. In our weekly staff meeting, I mentioned this weblog and various names were suggested. When "Mena's Corner" was brought up (I think by Ben), I said it was one step above "The Mena Times," the name I gave the desktop newsletter I published when I was nine.
But, the fact is that "Mena's Corner" is a good name for this weblog because it's not a great name. It's a name that wasn't agonized over or overly-analyzed. Instead of waiting weeks to find that perfect name, we decided to launch the weblog and just get it out there. It's sort of the mindset we want for this weblog. Instead of self-censoring and driving ourselves crazy over-analyzing what we think we can and can't say, we want to simply get our thoughts out and onto this space.
Just to clarify the China/TypePad situation that was covered in the Guardian Unlimited Weblog today.
We have heard reports from some Chinese TypePad users that they can not access their public weblogs but can access the TypePad application. We've heard from some weblog readers in China that they are able to access TypePad weblogs.
We are pretty confident that there is not a technical reason on our end for the problems some Chinese users are having accessing their sites.
Frankly, because we are not in China, we can't be 100% sure of the exact cause and effects of the situation and to what degree our customers are being affected. For the record, I did not state that the Chinese government was blocking TypePad sites. I did convey that it's not likely a technical problem on our end, but that we haven't ruled out technical problems in the routing of the sites in China.
I can say that we are trying to get to the bottom of this situation and trouble-shoot why some users aren't able to access their sites.
Now, if you're a TypePad user in China and are experiencing a problem accessing your site (or are in China are not having problems), please open a help ticket. Right now we don't have a definitive answer on what's going on, but it would help to know where exactly in China you're located. It may, in fact, be a regional issue.
We're going to try something quite daring for a company -- letting our users and the community see what it's like for us at Six Apart. Since writing the self-promotional copy has always been the hardest thing for me, I figure that this new weblog is right up my alley.
We want to use the power of corporate weblogging to show that a company can grow and still hold true to its values. And, hopefully, we'll be able to illuminate what it's like to run and work at a start-up in 2004.
Nine days ago was the one year anniversary of our incorporation of Six Apart (prior to that we were a LLC). In this last year, we went from two people working out of our apartment to a company of twenty-four including a Japanese subsidiary (announcement) and a team in Europe working as our exclusive agent.
It's been, and continues to be, a good year.
Ten days ago, when we announced TypeKey, much of the initial criticisms we read could have been answered with more information. After reading most everything that people had to say about the service, Ben and I worked on an FAQ that addressed almost all of the objections we saw.
And oddly enough, providing more information about TypeKey helped answer questions and clear up the misconceptions.
Last week it finally sunk in that we've done an extremely poor job communicating about the growth of Six Apart to our users and to the weblogging community. This silence can be partly attributed to the sort of confidentiality that's required when working with partners or brokering deals.
But, fundamentally, our silence was due to the fact that we were, for a lack of a better word, scared.
And you got the FAQs. Here's a pretty extensive FAQ addressing the questions we saw about TypeKey and Movable Type 3.0. Now, I'm certain we've left out some questions and we hope to address them on additional revisions. Once we're out of alpha, we're certain to have more information. More to follow as the FAQ evolves and we spend more time with our testers.
We're compiling a list of answers to frequently asked questions we're reading about TypeKey and comment registration. We hope to have an additional FAQ that addresses these questions up some time tomorrow (Monday).
We'll also be adding more people to the alpha (from those who replied to our initial call for testers) this week. So, if you didn't receive a mail from us the last round, you will most probably be in this next batch.
Thanks as always for your interest in Six Apart. We're working hard to provide a solution that will make both commenters and weblog owners happy and to do that, we take your feedback and constructive criticisms seriously.
We've started our third round of testing of Movable Type 3.0. With this round, we've posted more information about the feature set of the release as well as a brief introduction to TypeKey, a new, free service that we'll be launching to complement our comment registration solution.
Today, we've released more information about TypeKey, which should serve to answer some of the initial questions potential users may have.
While designed first with comment registration in mind, TypeKey will not be limited to usage in Six Apart products. For developers, we plan to offer documentation on integrating TypeKey authentication into your own applications shortly after the service launches.
Look for more information about TypeKey in the coming weeks at typekey.com.