Six Apart Bridging The Gap

sixapartlogoWhile I was attending WordCamp Columbus, I was also monitoring what was going on at WordCamp Mid Atlantic when I was shocked to find out Anil Dash, CEO of Six Apart provided the keynote for the event. The premise of the keynote was that Six Apart would be creating plugins which could be used on WordPress that would tap into their services such as TypePad Anti Spam, TypePad Connect, etc. Shashi Bellamkonda of NetworkSolutions did a great job pulling Anil aside to have a video interview with him to talk about this announcement.

By the way, if you want to see Anil Dash delivering the keynote, check out Isteconnects.org.

I commend Anil Dash for delivering this news first hand to a grass roots event centered around his competition. I wonder if he had butterflies in his stomach prior to the presentation or if he was juiced up with adrenalin? At any rate, my first reaction to this was WTF. But after taking a closer look and breathing some fresh air, I think this is a great business move by Six Apart. While to some, the notion of a company providing support for their competition is not new, to hardcore fans of WordPress, this could be seen as a shocker. In the end however, end users receive the most benefit. Now, WordPress users can tap into certain Six Apart services they deem to be superior than that offered elsewhere. At the same time, Six Apart now opens their doors to a huge audience. If I were in Six Apart’s position, I would have done the same thing.

Now, does Automattic have anything to offer to MovableType Users? If not, is it even in Automattic’s best interest to provide anything to MT users? One thing I would like to mention because it’s not clearly stated on the Six Apart plugin page:

The TypePad AntiSpam plugin for WordPress is open source and is licensed under the GPLv2.

Before I let you go, I just realized that Automattic has IntenseDebate, Gravatar, and PollDaddy to offer to not only users of MovableType/TypePad, but for any platform that supports embedding within content.

So what are your thoughts on this move by Six Apart?

9 responses to “Six Apart Bridging The Gap”

  1. With all the silly Six Apart vs. Automattic stuff that’s gone down in the past, I think it’s great that Six Apart are making WordPress plugins to tap into their services (like TypePad Antispam). This sentence pretty much sums up my thoughts: “In the end however, end users receive the most benefit”

  2. @Leland – I like rivalry’s and competition but when you stop to think about it, it really is end users who get the most out of this deal. So, nothing to really complain about.

  3. If this move by Six Apart was done based in altruism, then I must applaud their moving forward in this fashion, with the end-users being the most important audience to cater to.

    Then again, it could just be a magnificent foray into the enemy camp to gain new followers … but that could just be the cynic in me speaking out.

  4. Good for them. The Ben and Mena Trott have one of the best internet success stories, and Movable Type could definitely be considered the software that made blogging what it is today.

    There’s been a bit too much rivalry between the two camps, and it’s nice to see them trying to bridge the gap. I prefer WordPress myself, but I have nothing against MT.

  5. @Edward Caissie – On the surface, it looks like the move was for good intentions. But Six Apart is a business and this is also a great business move for them. So who knows.

    @Andrew – Good question, one in which I won’t answer because I’m not interested :)

    @redwall_hp – Yeah, I like seeing Matt and Anil Dash go back and forth every once in awhile to stoke up the fire but it’s nice to see stuff like this happening.

  6. It was pretty cool to hear Anil announce the new plugins live at WordCamp Mid-Atlantic (and very unexpected). I actually attended the speakers dinner the night before where I first met Anil and he is a really nice guy.

    Looking forward to playing with these new plugins!

    Brad’s last blog post..WordCamp Mid-Atlantic 2009 Recap

  7. Hi Jeff,

    Interesting that Anil showed up at WordCamp.

    As cordial as Anil is in person, I can’t say I trust his or SixApart’s intentions at all.

    If SixApart wanted to join the community, they should start by fixing Typepad export. I spoke with Anil at length about Typepad export and he came up with nothing but fabrications and lies about why there is no working Typepad export (just try moving a Typepad site to WordPress, I’ve done it successfully and it’s hard as hell).

    I offered to share our templates with Anil and help SixApart fix Typepad export. He couldn’t turn down the offer fast enough.

    Anyone who has a website on Typepad should call Anil or Chris and demand that they fix Typepad export (broken since 2003). I know of at least 15 Typepad customers who have done so. Radio silence from SixApart.

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