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positively glowing over MT3

I am so excited to finally be able to talk more about 3.0! In case you haven’t seen, the Developer’s Edition, a preview to allow developers a special chance to work with the new system, is out today.

Much of my first full month of employment has been spent working with the rest of the Six Apart team, readying this brand new version of Movable Type. I more I played with it and learned about it, the more I liked.

This week, I think I’ve already put in 70-80 hours finishing up support area sections among other things. Literally from the moment I’ve woken up until the time I went to sleep. Brenna , my "liason to the senior powers" (to use an Angel term smile ) has been my lifeline. smile

I have LOVED every minute of it.

Please take this as my really tired babblings, and only as that. These aren’t official words from Six Apart, its my own thoughts and suggestions.

typekey-logo.gif First, in the beta testing, TypeKey was the "bad guy" that everyone was ranting about. It took quite a while to convince people that its really one ONE of the new options to deal with comments. And for people like me who have a lot of regular readers, I can see it will make it EASIER for them to comment and easier for me to filter out the crappy comments. So yeah, that didn’t phase me too much to deal with those questions.

The time it takes to alpha/beta test a major release like this takes time. A HUGE number of people worked on it, with Ezra as our fearless leader. But somehow, the complaints from people not testing got stronger and stronger because they couldn’t understand what was taking so long.

Nothing quite prepared me for today. I knew we’d get some complaints, its par for the course, but so much hostility? Wow. I really truly am shocked.
no comments from the peanut gallery on my naivity please blush

A few of the things that are important to me:

The Developer Release is just the first step in our commitment to developers.

Mena’s Corner, Movable Type Developer Edition 3.0
Developer’s Edition. A way to give developers a chance to get familiar with the new version and abilities of the software. Now that the licenses have changed and users can legally offer services like design and development, its helpful to give the developers a chance to learn before the next release comes out. Plus, with great improvements to the plugin backend, future releases will be WAY cooler to have some plugins available. See also Plugin Contest.

I’ve very excited to see friends I’ve made in the MT community be able to perform services and put their information together as official developers for MT. I think this will be a really great addition to the community. I’ve always thought that projects like the original ScriptyGoddess with its group authors writing tutorials and Blogplates with its group webring of designers were important. Sites that can bring people together like this can act as a bouncing off place, with people sharing an idea and building on another idea back for themselves. Say you are a creator of a MT site, and you write a tutorial about how you did posted a picture on your blog. So you let the community know that you wrote this tutorial, and it inspires someone else to make a list of tips for posting pictures. This tutorial is let loose back into the community, and it inspires yet another person to improve their site. It all bounces back and forth like a Ratchet and Clank Bouncer weapon.

Money-wise. I’ve donated between $100-150 cash money (as opposed to the hard to value time and hosting) to Movable Type/Six Apart. Most of this was prior to the time that I got really active in the community. Before this time, I had donated to Blogger (and never got my stickers!) and then Greymatter in much smaller portions, but I knew that I was contributing to something really good when I found MT. I would gladly send a few hundred dollars more for this product. Movable Type is more than a blogging tool to me, it really does power my life. I use it for everything, and with each new cool plugin or upgrade or tutorial, I am happier and happier.

So what are my current stats? I’m extraordinary because of how much testing I do on MT blogs. Its hard to put a number on that for sure. [disclaimer, yes, I am an employee, so its not quite the same for me]. On love-productions, I have 17 blogs and ~45 authors (I didn’t count, but there are 36 on TRK and then a few extra in various other blogs, rina-doll was a co-author with me for a while). 5 blogs and 4 authors on the other copy for mt-plugins . I believe that puts me in an extraordinary category because 1) I’m not really using all 17 blogs, most are just tests and 2) the 45 authors are very non active, with me as really the only poster. ( theredkitchen had a lot of participation at one time!) So what package does that put me in? Its the "ask Six Apart for more information" package!! Don’t be afraid, the contact form people don’t bite. If you don’t see a package that fits your needs, it can’t hurt to ask for a recommendation.

Are you in a dilemma of what to choose because of hosting a group of friends on your site? Maybe its time to point them to their own host and copy of MT, or try out TypePad. Chances are, if you are hosting a group of friends on your site, you could run into more problems that could need support... and the free version doesn’t have any support built into it.

My websites are my hobbies. I am not into skiing or golfing or any other sport, or taking long (ha, any!) vacations, or knitting and quilting (I want to someday!), or anything else too exciting. My websites and my family are what entertain me. MT really makes my time online funner, and I’m more than happy to pay for it with that in mind.

I even saw one post that declared Movable Type 3.0 is evil confused okay, I haven’t seen my copy spinning around and spit acid at me from inside the computer, so maybe evil is a bit harsh.

Another post suggested that Movable Type is destroying the developer community [ooops, I closed that window and didn’t copy the link first. I’ll try to find it again] confused Hardly, they are having a giant contest, created new licenses to make it BETTER for developers, and are taking the great resource that is mt-plugins.org and officially sponsoring it instead of it just being something I do in my spare time. Besides that, they’ve hired a bunch of employees so that its not just Ben and Mena in their extra bedroom doing all the coding. That’s positive for the community; ideas will develop faster with more heads and [wo]manpower to make things a reality.

Complaints about the No support from Six Apart section of the free version. C'mon people, support has never been completely sponsored by Six Apart. see, here’s the current and future free support. With the exception of the last few months, no employees have frequented the boards, only volunteers. That hasn’t really changed anything.

Other 6A team members were pretty busy today, too ;) But I must point out: Walt calls it Devtastic. smile Mark linked to the best thing I read today, MetaFilter: mcwetboy’s blogosphere story.

I haven’t even gotten through a small bit of the news feeds waiting in my box, and this was just where I got to. I want to adress a few more specific things my friends said, because its important to me.

I’m going to bed. Tomorrow, I have a lot to do still!! smile


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference positively glowing over MT3:

» New MT, A Case Study from Rodent Regatta
There is a classic study in free enterprise and marketing that is playing out before our eyes. Six Apart, after... [Read More]

» Seeking unlimited weblog/author license from So Very Posh
Per Kristine's advice, I've used the contact form on the MT site to see how much a personal license for unlimited weblogs/authors will be. That's the only type of license I'm interested in. We'll see how long it takes them... [Read More]

» Movable Type 3.0 from Bewitched, Bothered, Bewildered
The brand spanking new version of Movable Type is out, version 3.0...and as you can see by looking to your right... I have not upgraded. I believe it will be a long time before I do upgrade. Why is this,... [Read More]


K., I’m so happy you’re excited, and I’m very happy for SixApart, but it feels very bittersweet to me, somehow - I commented on Maddy’s post here. smile

As Donna said, I’m happy for you, Kristine, and 6A, but I also feel a bit sad. I hope this all gets worked out in the end. I’m afraid I won’t feel quite as enthusiastic about working with another CMS as I was with MT.

As others said, I’m glad you’re happy about the change. I’ll use the contact form to see how much a license for unlimited blogs and unlimited authors is going to cost.. It doesn’t really matter if I only have X blogs or X authors now, my needs are going to grow. Although I’m sure you’ll disagree, as an employee, you have no choice but to put a positive spin on the changes and especially the new licensing structure (which is what I have a problem with, NOT the price).

Ditto the previous thoughts - glad you’re excited about the changes - ... and also ditto on the problem NOT being with the price—but with the licensing structure. COuldn’t we have had a personal version available with unlimited blogs/authors for $100 or so? The licensing stuff belongs to the commercial users.

A time like this is exciting for any company and I am so very happy for you as well. I couldn’t imagine anyone better to join 6A. I am surprised with all the hostility as well but I’m still saddened by this. I feel like I was deceived during beta testing and that’s left a bitter taste in my mouth. I went ahead and upgraded to the free version and will likely buy a license, which one I don’t know yet, but I will wait. I’m hoping the company I love so much will listen (and tune out the hostility) and respond appropriately.

It’s great to see you so happy and enjoying what you do. I’m not so sure about the licensing bit, so I think I’ll stick with 2.661 until a newer version offers some of the features on my MT wishlist. I might even go to WordPress at some point. I don’t feel any hostility towards 6A, and I’ll just continue with my blogging with whatever tool suits me best.

Thanks for your thoughts on the matter. I think you stated them well. I’m enjoying reading the various opinions even though some people could certainly be nicer about it. smile

I am happy SA has grown to what it has. It’s a sign that they have an excellent product and community.

My whole problem has nothing to do with charging, but the cost/benefit ratio. I gave $40 back to support SA within a day of downloading MT 1.x (I can’t remember if it was 1.3 or not), so paying isn’t the issue.

The costs are way too high for personal users to afford. I wish they had come up with a personal edition as well - $100 for unlimited blogs/authors for personal use. I have no issues with the commercial schemes.

Besides if SA is going to turn a blind eye to license infractions within certain limits, why not just offer that to start with.

Basically, I am being forced to move because the upgrade is just too cost prohibitive for me and my little self supported site.

Lynda said:

Although I知 sure you値l disagree, as an employee, you have no choice but to put a positive spin on the changes and especially the new licensing structure (which is what I have a problem with, NOT the price).

Yes, I do disagree!!! You know this, I’ve been such a huge support for many years before I was employed by the company. I pride myself in reading the information and not just "going off the handle" like some of the rants I’ve read. I can always find something to be excited about with each new release. Its not just my "employee positive spin" this is how I feel. smile Maybe when I wake up some more, I’ll write another post about how I feel about the licensing structure.

$69.99 US is VERY expensive for a lot of people. 6A has priced out a lot of people. I donated $20 several years ago and could never come up with what I’d need for a license.

Brandy said:

I知 not so sure about the licensing bit, so I think I値l stick with 2.661 until a newer version offers some of the features on my MT wishlist.

smile Thanks for your nice-ness, Brandy, if more people were like you, my newsreader wouldn’t be nearly so full of things that make me want to cry!!!

I think that is the best solution for most people the moment.... this Developer’s Edition really can only get better before its next incarnation. 2.661 is still a great workable version, I’m running it or a little lower on both of my servers. I am easily swayed by the pretty new interface and some of the new options, besides the fact that I enjoy developing things to work with MT and that makes it fun to be using the Dev edition. smile

I was a longtime supporter of MT and was pretty active in the support forums as well. I think it is great that 6A is growing and expanding, but I feel their license structure is not their best move. I for one can comment as I was part of the alpha and beta testing. During that time, I saw no significant changes to the software to warrant such an extreme pricing scheme for upgrading. Granted, people can just choose to keep their current version, but that’s not fair. It’s also not fair to leave the average blogger in the dust or tell them if they choose to take advantage of the new features, they will have to give up twice as much. The average bloggers who can’t afford the steep upgrade pricing are truly the ones who made MT what it is today, but lending their support in other ways. It’s my opinion that those same supporters have been slapped in the face in favor of the "developer" and more well-off user who can afford such a crazy license fee for "personal" web software. And I can say this as my current employment is as a programmer, so I understand the need to be credited and compensated for my work. I am not trying to slander 6A or Kristine in any way. I understand the process of developing software and I’m seen the workings of MT3 in its developmental stages. I just feel that 6A went about it all wrong and will loose a large customer base as a result. The fact is they simply just can’t afford it.

Kristine, I am glad that you are excited about the new MT because you have at least 150,000 reasons to be . smile

I do feel a tiny bit bittersweet about the licensing, but I do understand the reasons why six apart brought their pricing structure in.

It didn’t work out so fine for me, but that’s just how it is. I’ve gotten over it and am dealing with it in my own way. It’s far easier to deal with than losing two whole websites and being able to do little about it except rebuild with the help of my friends.

It’s great that you’re excited and livin' la vida movable but I really, truly can’t understand how no one could see this reaction coming. People are talking class action lawsuits... it’s just very, very odd. I just can’t comprehend how the decisions were made.

class action lawsuits?! what POSSIBLE basis could they have for a case? that’s idiotic.

I am a bit upset about the price and licensing... There is absolutely no way that I can afford to pay $70 for software, when I am already paying approximately $100/yr for my domain... When the idea of a paid moveable type came up, I supported the idea and would have considered purchasing it, since it’s a program that I use on a regular basis, and I think it’s a great software program - but at the max, I would be willing to pay around $30. The paid edition really alienates a lot of users who would like to take advantage of those features, but simply cannot afford it. I was planning on putting it on a domain for my sorority, but I think that I might have to look towards a new CMS to meet our needs. confused

1 day later and I’m still fascinated by the hulabaloo. smile I found something I thought you may like, you may have already read it but here goes.

From version 2.6 to 3.0D, Movable Type just went from caterpillar to butterfly. Oh, not the kind of butterfly that floats and flutters beautifully in your garden. No, 3.0D is the butterfly that is only starting to emerge from the cocoon.

This is from Jay Allen. I think this is cute, just imagine what a beautiful butterfly MT will be... don’t cry ok? heart

KDLB: I don’t understand why you’re so shocked by the negative feedback you’re getting. MovableType chose to overcharge, and people are angry about it—what’s so baffling about that? You might not understand the controversy because you are an employee and already have a bias about the pricing. Why would 6A want to commit career suicide like this? It’s just a little strange to us.

Heya. I’m sorry about all the trackbacks. Every time I update that post, it thinks it hasn’t gotten through to ping you yet. You know how it is. I’m not trying to bombard you though. smile

To clarify:

Although I知 sure you値l disagree, as an employee, you have no choice but to put a positive spin on the changes and especially the new licensing structure

I didn’t mean you weren’t ACTUALLY excited, but as an employee, you are no longer able to voice any disagreements or frustrations you may have in a public arena. Doing so would not be wise to your career, just like if I were to bash my company’s website on my blog (especially if my employers KNEW about my blog) it wouldn’t be good for me and I probably wouldn’t be in the company very much longer.

As a power user yourself, you have to know how unreasonable the first pricing structure was. I can’t imagine you were genuinely shocked by the outrage, that’s just naive. I’m sure there are MANY wonderful things in MT 3.0D to rave about. I’ve never intended to upgrade until the plugins I use are developed for the new version.

The pricing structure as it is now is a little better, but still doesn’t take into account those who do group blogs with 20 authors. $10 for one extra author is steep and it would be an extra $150 just for someone with 20 authors on top of the $100 non discounted personal license. I’m sure you’re excited about the pricing packages because they’ll pay your salary and ensure it continues to go up. But when you stop and think about it, $250 for someone to continue with their hobby of a group weblog is unfair. Plus, unless the owner is willing to foot the bill for new authors, the growth of the weblog is stopped cold.

I know there was a survey to determine the pricing and whatnot, but I sure didn’t know about it. I don’t go to MT’s site every day for updates. If MT was going to take a survey to determine prices on upcoming licenses, they should have been upfront about that fact and did everything possible to make sure as many people knew about the survey. Using the MT notify list would have been a great way to let the word out. Maybe a new survey is in order now that all the attention IS focused on 6A and MT’s sites.

I’m not trying to be hostile at ALL and I’m trying to see the good in all this, but I still think that 6A has a lot of work to do (including revisiting the pricing structures AGAIN) to make up for all this.

Now would that be The Powers That Be, or the Senior Partners? wink

I’m really looking forward to helping out, too. I can’t wait! laughing

Having been a loyal Movable Type user for so many years now, I’m feeling quite bad and I don’t like feeling this way sad

I’m writing up my thoughts on version 3.0, and I feel like such a traitor, but I’m just not agreeing with the pricing structure. Even the free version has me feeling unhappy.

I’m sorry Kristine.

(laughing) I didn’t say the lawsuit talk had any basis (can’t really comment, I’ve never really followed the expectations or 'promises' people feel were made to them so i’m in the dark), just what I had posted to me and I’ve seen lawsuits mentioned in several other places.

Do I care? No... doesn’t really affect me. But when people are talking like that, they generally feel very, very pissed off, or alternately, hurt. Not just annoyed or inconvenienced. You’d do well to not gloss over that kind of emotion, as well, you end up with a clusterf*ck, like this. smile

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