The future of Moveable Type, Vox, TypePad, and Live Journal

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I spent a great hour with blogging and social networking pioneers Six Apart. We talk about the future of Moveable Type, Vox, Live Journal, and Type Pad.

With who? Six Apart’s CEO, Chris Alden, and VP of Products, Michael Sippey, and Engineer David Recordon.

If you can’t handle the hour of all this social media goodness, well, Rocky went and did an Editor’s Choice which is only six minutes long. Yeah for editing! Someday I’ll tell you the short videos only increase my traffic 30%, but every percent counts, doesn’t it? :-)

Don’t know who Six Apart is? They are one of the oldest blog companies. Started by Ben and Mena Trott, who just had a new kid themselves (congrats). They make Moveable Type, Vox, TypePad, LiveJournal, and a few other things. Inventors of trackbacks, among other things too. So, it’s worth hearing what they are up to and spending an hour with them.

Published by

Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people. Best place to watch me is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

Comments

  1. Scoble meets Six Apart (TypePad)

    Robert Scoble has an interview with Chris Alden, Michael Sippey and David Recordon of Six Apart . Their TypePad platform powers this blog so I was interested to see what they are thinking and planning…

  2. Robert,

    Nice interview – thanks!

    One thing I wish they would do however is discuss Typepad more. More specifically what are they going to do to make it a better platform. As a customer, it seems rather stagnate while Vox and MT are getting plenty of changes. When paying monthly or yearly, you would think they would discuss what is coming.

    I know I am considering moving away from them because the features such as editing and even simple things like paginating post pages are not there. A few other people I know feel the same way. The pro hosting does not allow even the simplest of things to be done.

    Again, thank you for the interview. My disappointment is with them and the lack of transparency when it comes to the Typepad service and what we as customers should expect.

  3. Robert,

    Nice interview – thanks!

    One thing I wish they would do however is discuss Typepad more. More specifically what are they going to do to make it a better platform. As a customer, it seems rather stagnate while Vox and MT are getting plenty of changes. When paying monthly or yearly, you would think they would discuss what is coming.

    I know I am considering moving away from them because the features such as editing and even simple things like paginating post pages are not there. A few other people I know feel the same way. The pro hosting does not allow even the simplest of things to be done.

    Again, thank you for the interview. My disappointment is with them and the lack of transparency when it comes to the Typepad service and what we as customers should expect.

  4. I agree with Ben (comment #4) — they need to pick it up on the Typepad front. Not good to be stagnant.

    Typepad, we love you, but we want more, more, more… :-)

    Congrats to Chris on taking the CEO reins — he’s a great guy, and I look forward to seeing more of the good things he’ll be doing there…

    Thanks for the post, Robert — see you at The Palace
    next week?

  5. I agree with Ben (comment #4) — they need to pick it up on the Typepad front. Not good to be stagnant.

    Typepad, we love you, but we want more, more, more… :-)

    Congrats to Chris on taking the CEO reins — he’s a great guy, and I look forward to seeing more of the good things he’ll be doing there…

    Thanks for the post, Robert — see you at The Palace
    next week?

  6. Rarely do the providers of technology succeed in determining the final use of that technology. Web 2.0 is a perfect example of applying a label to something that is hardly even understood and is more spontaneous generation than planned. It’s always about grabbing the tiger by the tail and appearing like the outcome was planned from the start.

  7. Rarely do the providers of technology succeed in determining the final use of that technology. Web 2.0 is a perfect example of applying a label to something that is hardly even understood and is more spontaneous generation than planned. It’s always about grabbing the tiger by the tail and appearing like the outcome was planned from the start.

  8. “It’s a bit revisionist to call them social networking pioneers. Blogging, yes. But there’s not much of a social network component to it.”

    I think that LiveJournal in particular (and to be clear — this is both LJ before we acquired it and since it’s been part of 6A) can be credibly described as the most pioneering social networking site. It was the first large-scale site to popularize fundamentals like being able to add friends, being able to aggregate friends activity on a single page, being able to discover content and connections through Interests, which work like tags, and having profile pages which show all your social connections.

    Just as importantly, fundamental technologies like memcached (which is used by nearly every social networking site), OpenID, and many other platform components were not just created at LiveJournal, but made open and free enough that dozens of other sites could adopt them to serve tens of millions more users.

    Oh, and yes, blogs are social platforms. Both Movable Type and LiveJournal were amongst the first blogging tools to power basic capabilities like comments. Just my opinion, of course. :)

  9. “It’s a bit revisionist to call them social networking pioneers. Blogging, yes. But there’s not much of a social network component to it.”

    I think that LiveJournal in particular (and to be clear — this is both LJ before we acquired it and since it’s been part of 6A) can be credibly described as the most pioneering social networking site. It was the first large-scale site to popularize fundamentals like being able to add friends, being able to aggregate friends activity on a single page, being able to discover content and connections through Interests, which work like tags, and having profile pages which show all your social connections.

    Just as importantly, fundamental technologies like memcached (which is used by nearly every social networking site), OpenID, and many other platform components were not just created at LiveJournal, but made open and free enough that dozens of other sites could adopt them to serve tens of millions more users.

    Oh, and yes, blogs are social platforms. Both Movable Type and LiveJournal were amongst the first blogging tools to power basic capabilities like comments. Just my opinion, of course. :)

  10. BenB definitely. I think pretty much everything you’ve mentioned is on the roadmap for TypePad in the next little while, but to be honest, I don’t know offhand the specific timing for the various parts.

    I totally agree we need to open up more about the roadmap for TypePad, and we’re planning to start doing that over the next few weeks. If you’re not already reading it, the best place to start is the Everything TypePad blog. One recent example is the massive improvements being made to things like comment publishing. That’s just the first step in similar improvements that will be made across the service. Similarly, you can look at Apple’s own web app directory to see that we’re not just content that TypePad’s got the best mobile experience of any blogging app, but that we’re going to keep pushing the boundaries there to invent new things.

    Perhaps the simplest thing to point to is the influence that efforts like Vox have had on platforms like Movable Type. You can see how MT is using the asset/image/video management capabilities of a platform like Vox in combination with the scaling abilities of LiveJournal. We’ve already brought TypePad onto much the same technological platform as LiveJournal and Vox, and that means the next phase for TypePad will be realizing the fruits of those efforts. Until then, we’ve made it dead simple to post to TypePad from Vox, and there’s a ton more features on the way.

  11. BenB definitely. I think pretty much everything you’ve mentioned is on the roadmap for TypePad in the next little while, but to be honest, I don’t know offhand the specific timing for the various parts.

    I totally agree we need to open up more about the roadmap for TypePad, and we’re planning to start doing that over the next few weeks. If you’re not already reading it, the best place to start is the Everything TypePad blog. One recent example is the massive improvements being made to things like comment publishing. That’s just the first step in similar improvements that will be made across the service. Similarly, you can look at Apple’s own web app directory to see that we’re not just content that TypePad’s got the best mobile experience of any blogging app, but that we’re going to keep pushing the boundaries there to invent new things.

    Perhaps the simplest thing to point to is the influence that efforts like Vox have had on platforms like Movable Type. You can see how MT is using the asset/image/video management capabilities of a platform like Vox in combination with the scaling abilities of LiveJournal. We’ve already brought TypePad onto much the same technological platform as LiveJournal and Vox, and that means the next phase for TypePad will be realizing the fruits of those efforts. Until then, we’ve made it dead simple to post to TypePad from Vox, and there’s a ton more features on the way.

  12. I found this post searching for info on the future of TypePad (I’m currently taking a serious look at WordPress).

    I would also like to see TypePad keep a running/active list somewhere of future developments.

    BTW, is there a central place where TP users can suggests features? If not, I think that would be a good idea.

    Thanks!

  13. I found this post searching for info on the future of TypePad (I’m currently taking a serious look at WordPress).

    I would also like to see TypePad keep a running/active list somewhere of future developments.

    BTW, is there a central place where TP users can suggests features? If not, I think that would be a good idea.

    Thanks!