Those of you who've followed us over the years have seen us through a number of changes as Six Apart, and the industry we helped to create, has evolved.
What started with a simple goal to make creating and publishing content for the web easy, became a social publishing platform that today powers some of the biggest brands on the web, as well as passionate individuals—those of us who simply want to express ourselves, share our expertise or insights, and reach an audience of like-minded others.
Six Apart helped empower people and companies to publish. And they did. With amazing content they created valuable publishing properties with massive and engaged audiences—the influential audiences that advertisers want to reach. Over the past several years we have grown another side of our business, Six Apart Media, which has focused on helping publishers turn their passions into businesses and on helping marketers authentically engage these publishers and their audiences.
Today Six Apart announced its intention to join forces with VideoEgg to form a modern media company called SAY Media. The new entity will combine the engagement platform and insights of VideoEgg with our social publishing platform, conversational marketing tools, and robust network of publishers.
SAY Media will be a force—powering more efficient, useful and social advertising programs that tie rich and engaging advertising experiences to online communities with meaningful and measurable results. Good for publishers. Good for advertisers.
We believe SAY Media will become one of the world's most significant modern media companies, while still embracing the same goals we've always had at Six Apart—to empower people to create great content and make money doing it. Soon we'll have the capabilities to do it that much better. When you know more, I think you'll be as excited as we are. Get a glimpse of our future at www.saymedia.com.
Chairman & CEO
Check out the BusinessWeek article that covers a Twitter-ful afternoon with director of digital care Frank Eliason. Or the report by TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington a few weeks ago of getting frustrated on the phone with Comcast customer support, only to find that a simple Tweet would deliver a solution to his problem in minutes.
Considering the company’s success on Twitter, it’s not surprising that they are augmenting their social media strategy by adding a blog to encourage longer-than-140-character conversations between customers and employees about all things Comcast.
The blog is called ComcastVoices, and it’s on Movable Type. It was launched just five weeks ago, and already the conversations are proving to be lively, informative, and respectful.
Let the folks at Comcast tell you directly what they’d like to achieve with the site:
For you marketing and customer support pros out there who might find the idea of such openness with customers a little daunting, here are a few things to note about the blog:
- Comcast can set the tone and keep the conversation productive because this is their platform.
- The “Rules of the Road” define expected behavior for the site. It’s very clear that comments are moderated by Comcast and that only polite, on-topic and respectful comments will be accepted.
- The “About” page tells customers what they can expect from the blog, and refers them elsewhere for their personal support issues while encouraging them to tell Comcast directly what’s important to them.
can see the negative comments of some customers turning positive as
they engage in conversation with employees. For customers, simply being
heard goes a long way.
- It’s hard to view Comcast as a monolithic, monopolistic behemoth when you see and hear from employees and executives directly.
But it wasn't until last week's heroic landing of US Air flight 1549 in the Hudson River that we got a great reminder of just how much Gothamist means to use as a definitive source of local news. The Gothamist post about the ditched plane wasn't just one of the first detailed stories, it was also one of the most frequently-updated. Dozens of people used the recommendation feature built into MT Pro to make it the most-recommended story on the site, and dozens more chimed in with their comments on the thread. And since our Six Apart Services team is headquartered in New York City, this was a great reminder of how much important reporting our clients do.
The truth is, blogs and social media being among the first to break big news stories is, well... old news. The more significant thing here is that this was a demonstrated success of a well-regarded network of blogs doing what it does best — serving its community in a personal and approachable way, right when they need information the most. So If you haven't done so lately, check out your own city's Gothamist site, and if you want to get the best team in the business backing your efforts, drop our Services team a line. If it isn't obvious, we pride ourselves on keeping a real, personal connection to the projects we collaborate on with our clients.
The Major League Baseball season has begun and everyone at Apperceptive HQ has a smile on their face. Sure, a new beginning yields boundless optimism from our baseball fans, but it's the launch of MLBlogs that's making us happy.
For the last few seasons, fans have had the chance to create blogs branded with their favorite team's logo and colors, but the system was ready for an upgrade. Apperceptive couldn't pass up the opportunity to help. We moved the bloggers from Typepad to a brand new install of MT4 that is hosting hundreds of active blogs, created four new template sets for each of the 30 teams, built a slew of new plugins to allow instant access to existing MLB.com users (among other features) and paved the way for new features in the coming seasons. Best of all, it's free to anyone with an MLB.com account. Congrats to the MLBlogs team on a fabulous new community.
The writers' strike just ended and shows are making their way back into development, but that hasn't kept AMC TV from unveiling a brand new look and home for their blogs. AMC's blogs spotlight their diverse programming. Some of the highlights since launch include a live chat with Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston right after the series finale, I am Legend's alternate ending, screenwriters' picks of which classics are in need of a rewrite, and there is going to be another Robocop sequel.
Apperceptive helped bring this together by building a set of custom templates and plugins on top of Movable Type's Community Solution. In addition to their blogs, the site features six forum areas for each of their focused genres and shows, lists of the most popular and recommended entries, and photo galleries (Steve Martin, Breaking Bad) to accompany the blog.
Just two weeks ago, Six Apart announced the first stable release of Movable Type Open Source. We would have told you sooner, but we've been busy uncorking champagne and celebrating its arrival. Truth be told, we've been busy working on a whole slew of sites, but the office is definitely excited by this development.
Many of us on the Apperceptive team have been Movable Type users or developers for half a decade. By going open source, Six Apart is inviting the Apperceptives of the world to leverage their talents and make MT a better product. The community has already built hundreds of plugins and now we all have the chance to add the best features directly into the product. We had never lost our enthusiasm for Movable Type, but this opens up a whole new world of opportunity.
Congratulations to the Six Apart team!
If you follow political blogs, you're well acquainted with Talking Points Memo. Josh Marshall's blog has been a staple of the political scene since the 2000 Presidential Elections. Early this month, we helped roll out a new design across TPM, upgraded the site to Movable Type 4 and added support for profiles and recommendations. The day after the launch, Josh was liveblogging Super Tuesday and opining the broadcast of MSNBC's debate coverage. Meanwhile, the site didn't miss a beat.
Since then, Marshall has received the prestigious Polk award, a first for a journalist who's primary readership comes through a blog. But they're not resting on their laurels.
Any one of TPM's features would be a noteworthy site to itself. The site was among the first to trace back the trail of the Spitzer investigation, they maintain the most up-to-date poll report on the web, the acclaimed TPM Muckracker acts as the prototype as the future of investigative journalism, and TPM's readers offer more than a hundred news and opinion posts every day in the TPM Café.
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.