We're going to be holding a gathering sometime during the week of the 9th in the San Francisco Bay Area. While date, time and venue are still being determined, we wanted to give the community a heads-up about the event.
We demoed Movable Type 3.1 with the BlogOn crowd and held a dinner with some key developers in our community. However, we wanted to open the curtain with a completely open, free event for those who want to attend and who are first to RSVP.
When we announce the event specifics, we'll put up an RSVP for people to respond to. Unfortunately, we'll only be able to open the event to between 75-100 so if you want to attend, you'll have to be the first to respond.
It should be a fun event with a demo, some very cool tchotchkes. We're looking forward to the event since it will also give the community an opportunity to meet other members of the company.
More information to come soon.
We've just posted Movable Type 3.1: What's New, a quick review of some of the new features in our upcoming general release of Movable Type. Including features like per-template dynamic PHP publishing, post scheduling, subcategories, application-level callbacks and a plugin pack featuring the winning entries from the plugin contest, Movable Type 3.1 will be a free update for licensed users of Movable Type 3.0 Developer Edition.
Check out the overview to read all about the new version. We'll be posting additional details, including screenshots, soon.
At tonight's BlogOn mixer, we had the chance to announce the winners of our Plug In To Movable Type 3.0 Developer's contest. You can read more about the winners and the entries here.
This was actually the first event that people who work at Six Apart attended intermixed with our community. It has always been "Ben and Mena" or Anil at these events despite the fact that we've grown into a relatively larger company.
Seeing many of the folks from Six Apart (sadly, not everyone could be there -- particularly Shelley and Kristine) in Berkeley tonight was amazing and surreal. We see these people everyday but never in this context. We're incredibly lucky to have these people working at Six Apart and, as cliched as it may seem, I'm very protective and proud of them.
Tonight, at BlogOn, we announced the winners of our Plug In To Movable Type 3.0 Developer's contest. While we received many excellent plugins, we could only award six prizes. These were awarded to those plugins that first met a technical review for soundness and security and then received high marks for broad applicability, robustness, integration, clean architecture and design. Additionally, these plugins were plugins that took advantage of changes made in 3.0.
The winners and some additional plugins will be distributed in a plugin pack nearer to the release of Movable Type 3.1 (we'll be announcing more about 3.1 tomorrow). Additionally, we'll be assisting in testing of these plugins with Movable Type users with various hosting set-ups.
These plugins will be distributed for free by Six Apart.
And now to the winners:
We get the opportunity to attend a lot of different events about weblogs and social media, but one we're particularly excited to participate in is this week's BlogOn 2004 event. Six Apart is a sponsor of the event because of BlogOn's pedigree, being hosted by Chris Shipley of Demo fame, and because it's squarely focused on real business uses of weblogs.
There have been a lot of events that debate some of the more esoteric or philosophical parts of blogging, and we're glad to be part of a conference that's practical and useful for everyday businesspeople.
Another big positive of the BlogOn event is that they've made accommodations for being as inclusive as possible at the event itself. If you choose to register, you'll find options for a blogger rate as well as opportunities for scholarships.
We hope you'll join us at BlogOn, as many different members of the Six Apart staff will be present. We'll also be announcing the winners of our Plug In to Movable Type 3.0 Developer's Contest during the Welcome Reception.
Thank you to the entire BlogOn team for organizing an event we're looking forward to participating in, and we hope to see many of you at the conference.
Project Blog 2004 is about to begin. This Saturday, bloggers from all around the world will blog every 30 minutes for 24 hours for the charity cause of their choice. Six Apart is happy to support this event. We will offer anyone who doesn't have a blog a free 3 month trial for the service.
You can moblog with TypePad too which will be great for those who need to be on the move. I know that when I participated in the Blogathon in 2001, sitting near a desk for 24 hours was pretty hard -- but fun.
And for the top three winners of the event, we will give a one year free TypePad account. Mie, one of our employees here at Six Apart is taking part in Project Blog 2004, and we're all eager to see others participate alongside her.
For your 30 day free TypePad discount code, please contact brent (at) project-blog.org.
After writing the post about the acquisition of Ublog, I waited anxiously to see the reaction. After all, you never know what you can expect to appear as a TrackBack. After four positive responses, I saw this excerpt:
» Sorry Mena, you are not welcome ! from SAM @ websympa.org
Loic has sold his French company Ublog to the American one, SixApart. Of course, Mena, the coder's wife applause. But sorry Mena, you are not welcome for two reasons. The first one is the fact you acquire a solid French...
His original post has been replaced but the gist was about how an American like me who voted for a stupid president and corrupts the French culture doesn't have any right acquiring a French company.
And then there was the "coder's wife" thing.
Um, no he di'int.
Read about how the company has grown in these posts from Mena's Corner:
- Vive Six Apart! (the Ublog announcement)
- Andrew at Six Apart (Andrew Anker's role at Six Apart)
- Barak at Six Apart (Barak Berkowitz's role at Six Apart)
For those more interested in just the facts, there's also:
On April 20th of this year, The Mercury News ran an article about the how Jonathan Abrams (Friendster) and Sean Parker (Plaxo) were each handling changes of management and their departures as CEOs at their perspective companies. Apparently, they were handling it in different ways and Parker had seemingly been "dismissed, almost without a trace."
Ross Mayfield wrote a thoughtful post on this article and I considered writing my own post on how I, as a CEO, handle transitions in Six Apart and in our team.
I decided against it because I wasn't ready to create a stir of speculation. Tonight, on the eve of a change of position, I write about Barak Berkowitz who will be taking over my role of CEO.
It's a long post, but is incredibly thorough and frank and I hope visitors to this page will read through it in its entirety.
The first time we met Barak was at the first Supernova conference in Santa Clara. We had agreed to meet with Joi for lunch since he and his Neoteny team had been involved in the localization of Movable Type. We went to lunch with absolutely no intention to accept funding; we figured we'd have lunch, talk about Movable Type and TypePad and then part ways.
About two years ago Andrew Anker emailed Ben and I and asked if we wanted to meet up for lunch. Although I knew the name, I had to do a search to see what I could find about him on Google. I stumbled onto the first result, a links.net page written by Justin Hall. The first line:
"Andrew acted like a big brother. Snide, know it all condescension, with deference thrown in for civility."
At BlogOn 2004, we'll be demoing some of the features coming to the next update to Movable Type. We'll have more information about the event as it draws nearer. For those who won't be able to make it, we'll be sure to have an online component detailing what to expect. More information to come.
The formal announcement:
Six Apart, éditeur américain d'outils de publication de weblogs, vient d'acquérir son partenaire francais Ublog. (Six Apart, American weblog tool maker, has just acquired its French partner Ublog.)
Loïc and his team have been acting as our exclusive agent in Europe for the past six or so months bringing the TypePad service and Movable Type to the European market. Today we announced the formation of Six Apart EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) a subsidiary formed through the acquisition of Ublog.
Now, the informal, interesting, background on the deal:
Around November of last year we began speaking to Loïc (who had been introduced to us by Joi) about working together to bring our products to the European market. I was hesitant to proceed since I felt that a small company like Six Apart should wait longer before branching out to another continent (after all, we already knew that we'd have Six Apart KK). When I met Loïc, I sat stone-faced through the meeting since I tend to, well, sit stone-face during meetings. Loïc asked us about our plans and I was very reluctant to reveal anything about the company. I like to process initial meetings before becoming too friendly or talkative and this meeting was no exception.
During the meeting, though, we were very impressed by his drive and his background. Loïc and his wife Geraldine have been together since they were teenagers (similar to Ben and myself) and they had founded companies together and worked together. Those who are in this special club of husband and wife teams know that if a marriage can get through the stress of working relationships, most other hurdles in marriages are easy.
Ben and I gave a talk at BlogTalk in Vienna on Tuesday. Unfortunately, because of jetlag and some bad timing, we weren't able to convey all the points we wanted to make in the talk itself. So, I'm posting a transcript of the speech we prepared.
I realize that we've never really communicated these messages. I feel strongly — and have always — that personal weblogs are often marginalized because of their presumed triviality. Weblogs are going to hit the mainstream and they're going to be a new method for communicating with small, intimate groups in a more optimized manner.
Good morning. My name is Mena Trott and this is Ben Trott, my husband and co-founder of Six Apart, the company responsible for Movable Type, TrackBack TypePad and TypeKey. Since we first released Movable Type almost three years ago, the weblogging world has changed significantly. It seems that although millions of people are participating in weblogging, there are still common preconceptions about the purpose of weblogging.
While we're not here today to dismiss any form of weblogging, we are here to talk about how we see the medium evolving to reach an audience that's outside of this room...
We've seen webloggers and the media proclaim that weblogs would change the world, giving ordinary people the powere to bring politicians down. [Slides about Lott]
The first release of Movable Type almost coincided with the one-month anniversary of September 11th. From the time of our announcement about our soon-to-be released software to the actual launch, the weblogging landscape had already begun to change. Overnight, weblogs that were once about technology or daily minutiae, were suddenly dedicated solely to the attacks, to the politics behind the attacks, to the politics leading to the War and so on. People who never once wrote about government, religion or terrorism were suddenly transformed, and all of this was captured in daily, weekly and monthly archives.
Those writing these weblogs could be characterized as the pundits.
People have predicted that weblogs would also usurp traditional forms of journalism. Here, Kevin Sites, a journalist for NBC keeps a weblog about his time in Iraq.
Weblogs would also change the way we elect our leaders and parties. Politicians realized this past year that weblogs would be a crucial part of their campaigns. And, for those watching these campaigns, weblogging takes on an even more important role. [Slides about Presidential campaign]
While in Tokyo this past April, I divided my time at Kizuna and meetings at Six Apart KK (KK basically means corporation), our Japanese subsidiary.
Kizuna was a great opportunity for me since I'm usually too pragmatic for my own good and have a hard time talking about concepts when I'd rather just build or try to build. Also, I haven't had much opportunity to publicly talk about the space we're in so I'm not terribly confident when speaking. However, I found that spending the time with people who also approach what we're doing on academic and theoretical levels was quite rewarding.