Six Apart News & Events

The Laws of Motion

About a week ago, we launched a beta test of a new application for Movable Type called Motion. It's a powerful new social application that combines the insights we've learned from the smartest social sites across the web with unique new open technologies we've invented here at SIx Apart. We've gotten a great response from the community about Motion, and it's on track for release in early 2009 as a free application for any user of Movable Type Pro.

If you want to check out Motion here are a few easy ways to get started:

(Note: Content on the demonstration site can be reset or deleted at any time, and we regularly take the site offline as new updates to the Motion application are installed.)

The Web is in Motion

Just as important to us as the technologies we've developed are the ideas behind Motion. These philosophical underpinnings are explained in our blog post introducing Motion. We believe that the right strategy for connecting your blog or site to the world of social networking is not to select one particular social network to hold all the cards, but to connect to all of the powerful and vibrant social networks across the web.

In our internal conversations we've referred to these principles (with tongue firmly in cheek) as The Laws of Motion, and given our company name, there are naturally six of them. Here's what Motion is meant to demonstrate:

  • The biggest online social network is the internet itself.
  • Today's mainstream social networks are like yesterday's mainstream media.
  • Reveal the community you already have.
  • Your social network belongs under your control.
  • Your community should start with half a billion members.
  • The web is in Motion.
We've explained each of these principles at length in the Motion announcement on our blog, but the most exciting news is that unlike even a year ago when the number of companies that believed in these principals could be counted largely on one hand, today our partners and peers all over the World and across the web agree with these ideas and have begun the work of connecting all of our sites together.
OpenID Signin

Facebook Connect? Google Friend Connect? Why Choose‽

The most visionary social networking sites on the web are naturally the first ones to embrace this idea of interconnectedness. For example, the newly-announced Facebook Connect plugin directory features the brand-new, open source Facebook Connect plugin for Movable Type which we first previewed here on this blog earlier this year.

This plugin is a free download that works with any Movable Type 4.2 installation, but what's better is that this functionality is built right in to Motion, along with support for authentication through Google, Yahoo, AOL/AIM, and any other popular OpenID provider. There's never been an application like this, which supports the half a billion individual accounts across these services, allowing almost anyone on the web to comment on or favorite your content without having to register to create an account.

And while the technology we're talking about is pretty cool, at this time of year, we know everyone's mind is on the coming new year and what it will hold. Though this geeky stuff can pale in significance to the personal and global issues that rightly come first, at Six Apart we do care deeply about the web and the conversations it makes possible. So as we gear up for 2009, we can't help but see it as a hopeful sign that an ambitious and fairly idealistic vision for the future of the social web has gotten such a positive early response.

We can't wait to see how the open web evolves, continue working to help it evolve faster, and we're even more excited to see what our community does with these new abilities in the coming year.