Democracy Now! is not just a radio show, it's a community media collaboration broadcasting cutting, progressive news and analysis in audio, video, and text to the world. And after two years in development, the redesigned Democracy Now! web site is up. As a long-time fan of the show, it was a pleasure to be able to contribute. Apperceptive designed the front-end for a hand-rolled content management system, blog, and store built with Ruby on Rails. The show is available in a variety of audio, video, and podcast formats, the pages are valid XHTML 1.0 Strict, the content is Creative Commons licensed, and the URLs are just beautiful.
Since its inception, Serious Eats has been one of our favorite sites (of course, we're a little biased). But Serious Eats Mobile is our new personal favorite.
Apperceptive helped Serious Eats customize their Movable Type plugins, community solution, our own Sphinx plugin, and templates for the mobile view, as well as nodding supportively while they did fantastic work. We've used the recipes as a handheld source of inspiration for dinner, planned a holiday meal on the train, and gotten great restaurant reviews on the go. Serious Eats in your pocket - the future is a yummy place to live.
If you thought that reading a magazine online was cheating, let Radar change your mind. Hourly updates, hilarious videos, eye-catching thumbnails and plethora of exclamation marks--all the more reason to stay online a little longer. With their newest addition of tags with each entry, you may find yourself wading in your favorite pool of Paris Hilton entries or soaking it all in at once on the scandal page. Determined to leave every single searcher satiated, its search box comprehensively finds entries containing any data containing the word or phrase of your choice. Last, but not least, is that burning feeling to respond to that question mark ending so many sassy titles. Comments and commenter profiles come to the rescue, no doubt contributing to the gossip content and reader staying power. Glossy pages and blogs: could there be a higher authority on news? Apperceptive is now happy to accept comments.
ninemillion.org tells the stories of refugee children from Iraq, Chad, and Colombia. Apperceptive redesigned the site for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in time for its September 2007 relaunch at the Clinton Global Initiative summit. The goal of the campaign is raising $220 million by 2010 to allow 9 million refugee and vulnerable children to get an education. Though the stories are some of the hardest you'll find, we choose a bright but sober palette to project a measure of youth, hope, and dignity.
The site also features a special appearance by UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie.
We love a blog with attitude and style, and those hand-made trivia collages really shine.
Our best wishes for a peaceful and happy holiday season from the team at Six Apart. Thank you for a wonderful 2007, and we look forward to a very exciting 2008 with you.
From all of us in the United States...
....and our Japan team.....
.... and our team in Europe.
See you in 2008!
Over the past few years, Just Seeds had been through a few incarnations, growing from a single artist's website into a full-blown artists' cooperative. The artists envisioned their site as a platform for not only making their work available to the public but also for discussing the political, social and cultural implications of their work. They also knew that they wanted a single, easy solution to maintain both the blog and the online storefront. Apperceptive used Movable Type to perform both functions, integrating MT with Ultracart to handle inventory and secure transactions. The newJustseeds.org is a snap to update and the content is always fresh. We think it was a great opportunity to connect art and commerce in a meaningful way.
InvestorPlaceBlogs is a forum where investors can discuss all things market-relatedinvestment strategies, specific stocks, and market trends. They can also participate in the Strategy Lab Open, a tournament to identify "the next great undiscovered investing guru."
Apperceptive integrated Movable Type Enterprise with data from Marketocracy, which lets users sign up to invest fictitous money in real stocks and tracks each portfolio's performancethink of it as fantasy-league Wall Street. Thanks to Movable Type and the Community Pack, participants can not only blog about their "buys and sells" but comment on and rate one another's posts. It's a fun way to test out some investing ideas without betting the farmand maybe pick up some tips you can apply to your real portfolio!
This year, VH1 built Vh1Eyecandy.com to deliver their massive archive of celebrity photos and video to the world. They asked Apperceptive to help Vh1Eyecandy's users share that content—and what they did with it—with the rest of the web. We wrote a module for their custom Symfony application that provided an Open Media Profile for Open Search-compliant API. With this addition, Vh1Eyecandy serves as a conduit to users of the Vox blogging service. Users can search and post any of the thousands of available files to their personal blogs without leaving the Vox interface.
Even though Apperceptive couldn't be on the red carpet with Joan and Melissa at the Emmys, we helped VH1 make sure Vox's users got to experience the thrill.
Last month, Apperceptive launched a redesign of the Chelsea Wine Vault. The new design makes the site easier to use — and to discover great wines. We customized the existing osCommerce storefront software and launched in time to help celebrate the store's 10th anniversary. With some basic search engine optimization, the project has already paid for itself — sales have doubled, and rare, premium items are flying off the shelf. May we suggest a staff pick?
For the rest of December, we'll be blogging a few projects we've launched over the last few months. To kick things off, here's a recent favorite:
"It's like American Idol. Online. In Japanese." That was the brief for Otorevo.jp, a web site lets users upload audio and videos of themselves performing musical numbers. Other users vote on their favorites and at the end of the contest, the performer with the most votes wins a record contract with Columbia Records Japan.
Apperceptive built the site on Movable Type 4 with the Community Pack and a custom plugin to integrate with Blip.TV API. Users can also select "friends" to follow — and see who is following them. It's a tight, fun, beautiful community-powered site — and very entertaining. Following an artist or your favorite works is super easy and there's new content at every turn. If it hadn't been for the list of most popular songs, I wouldn't have found Iyse or Airmail.
You can also follow the project's growth on executive Ejovi Nuwere's blog:
The other week I met with one of the top 10 artist. During the meeting the artist cried tears of joy for the opportunity that has been given to them. For me this project has always had a emotional significance. I love to fight against the bigger foe. For the other people attending the meeting I think they realized for the first time the importance of what we are trying to do.
Pretty powerful stuff.
A few weeks ago, Facebook launched their Beacon feature, which lets you update your Facebook network when you’ve performed actions on other sites. Since then, there’s been a lot of discussion and debate over how the feature works, what the implications of Beacon are, and how it should work.
Here’s the story from our standpoint: We announced Beacon support on both LiveJournal and TypePad as initial launch partners. But we worked really hard with the Facebook team on one really important detail — making sure our implementations are completely opt-in.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but this was kind of a no-brainer. We’ve learned over the past few years that you just can’t surprise people about where or when their actions will be shared on the web. If it helps, you can just think, “What if every site on the web implemented the feature this way?”
So, to reassure people who’ve asked, both TypePad and LiveJournal are strictly, truly opt-in for sharing your information using Facebook’s Beacon feature. We think it’s a cool feature that has a ton of potential, especially if you’ve got complete control over it.
Acquisition of LiveJournal, creation of new operating company and investment fund by SUP promise new innovation and expansion for pioneering online community
San Francisco, CA – December 3, 2007 - Six Apart, the world's leading independent blogging software and services company, today announced that SUP, an international media company, has acquired LiveJournal (LJ), the pioneer of social networking communities online used by millions of people around the world to connect through personal journals and topic-based communities. SUP has established an American company, LiveJournal, Inc., to manage and operate LiveJournal globally.
This agreement builds on the established and successful relationship between Six Apart and SUP, which entered into a licensing agreement in October 2006 permitting SUP to manage LiveJournal in Russia. The Russian LiveJournal community is second only to the U.S. in number of accounts, and has been influential enough in that country to make “LiveJournal” synonymous with “blogging” in Russian.
“We have a tremendous respect for the LiveJournal community, and are pleased to see that LiveJournal, Inc. will continue to build on LiveJournal’s rich user experience. We have been impressed by the expertise and enthusiasm that SUP has brought to LiveJournal in Russia. They’ve introduced new features, nearly doubled the number of users, invested in key product enhancements, and have done justice to one of the most innovative online social networks in the world. Judging both by SUP’s track record and their eagerness to create a new user advisory board to oversee the community’s interests, this is clearly a good fit,” stated Chris Alden, CEO and Chairman of Six Apart.
“Having gotten to know LiveJournal in Russia over the past year we see enormous potential in developing the business worldwide; it has already showed its durability in America. We believe this is a great opportunity,” said Andrew Paulson, CEO of SUP.
Six Apart acquired LiveJournal in January 2005 from its founder, Brad Fitzpatrick. From its founding, LiveJournal popularized many of the fundamental innovations of social media, such as friends lists and powerful privacy controls. Under Six Apart, the number of LiveJournal accounts nearly tripled from 5 million to over 14 million, and dozens of new features were introduced to the site, including
• a powerful email/IM/web notification system;
• LJTalk, a completely open-source Jabber-based instant messaging platform;
• user-to-user messaging and tremendous improvements in comment management and editing;
• a vastly expanded mobile feature set, including a dedicated mobile client; and
• dozens of new visual themes and a completely new, simplified site design and navigation system.
Six Apart will continue its active investment in and promotion of the signature open source platform technologies created by the LiveJournal team, such as Memcached, Mogile, Perlbal, and OpenID, all of which have been adopted by other leading web properties from Craigslist to Facebook to Wikipedia. LiveJournal, Inc. will also carry on LiveJournal’s strong open source tradition.
Six Apart will also continue to represent LiveJournal to advertisers and sponsors for at least the coming twelve months. Brand owners interested in advertising on LiveJournal or Six Apart’s Vox may visit here. http://www.sixapart.com/about/advertising
“While we’ll miss being LiveJournal’s home, this is a great milestone for LiveJournal and also lets us to focus on the core products invented at Six Apart: Movable Type, TypePad, and Vox,” said Alden. “We are investing heavily in the products and have substantial growth plans for 2008.”
For more information about the acquisition, please visit http://community.livejournal.com/LJ_2008/
About Six Apart
Six Apart Ltd. provides award-winning blogging software and services that change the way millions of individuals, organizations, and corporations connect and communicate across the world every day. Founded in 2002 by husband and wife team Ben Trott and Mena G. Trott, Six Apart is a global company with its headquarters in San Francisco, CA, and offices in Europe and Japan. The company continues to lead in the blogging and social media industry with the Movable Type Publishing Platform, the TypePad hosted blogging service, and Vox, a free blogging service for friends and families. For more information visit the Six Apart corporate web site at http://www.sixapart.com/.
Six Apart Media Contact
Office: 415.344.0056 x 107
SUP Media Contact