04
June
2007
|
01:41 AM
America/Los_Angeles

Movable Type Scales Up, Goes Open Source

By Tom Foremski

I use Movable Type to publish Silicon Valley Watcher although many other bloggers moved to Wordpress a long time ago. I like it because I know it and I don't want to learn another platform if I don't have to, plus it works. So I was very interested to get a briefing on the new Movable Type, Version 4.0.

I spoke with Chris Alden, EVP and General Manager of the Professional Division at Six Apart. He said that version 4.0 represents the largest investment of engineering years that the company has ever made in Movable Type. And it answers critics who said that Six Apart was spending more time building its hosted services businesses, than on Movable Type.

I can't wait to try it. It has social/community features built into the platform. Users can rate posts and each other; they can be given special publishing rights, they can be given permission to write posts without moderation, they can even publish their own blogs on the blog.

There are a lot of new content management features built in, favoring large scale deployments. It is designed for four types of users: large publications such as New York Times; Universities and academic uses; Marketing and promotional; and internal blogging within large organizations.

A lot of features, previously available as plug-ins, are integrated into the platform. And Six Apart will release "functional packs" that are targeted at different types of users, such as large media companies, that contain specialized functions that don't need to be in the base platform.

Also, the look and feel of the software has been completely redesigned--the first time in five years.

And, Movable Type will be available under an open source software license in Q3. The open source version will be based on Movable Type 3.x series with some Version 4.0 features.

"It will be a similar model to that of MySQL, which offers an open source licence as well as a commercial version that is supported," said Mr Alden.

The current Movable Type version 4 is beta, but the shipping version is just 6 to 12 weeks away.

Wordpress is a good blogging platform and popular among individual bloggers but Movable Type, with its ability to run multiple blogs from a single installation is gaining ground in enterprise applications.

I'm looking forward to trying it out and moving SVW to the new platform-- after the beta period.

---

Additional Info from Six Apart:


Six Apart Announces Movable Type 4 beta - blogging's next step toward a
flexible, extensible social media platform for individuals and
businesses
Easier to use than ever, MT4 provides the most powerful blog tools for
any size organization
San Francisco, CA - June 5, 2007  - Six Apart, the world's
leading independent blogging software and services company, today
announced the beta release of Movable Type 4, a blogging platform
designed to meet the website content management needs of growing
organizations and to serve as a social media platform that enables
businesses to create community-driven websites.
Today's announcement marks the first of a series of new products,
features, and services around Six Apart's flagship blogging platform
that will be unveiled throughout the summer
"We have a wide range of customers, such as the Washington Post, Oracle,
Boeing, Intel, TBWA/Chiat Day, NYU, and Whole Foods, using Movable Type
for publishing, marketing, and internal communications," said Chris
Alden, EVP and General Manager of the Professional Division at Six
Apart. "They demand flexibility, scalability and interactivity as they
deploy blogs throughout their organizations. MT4 has been re-designed
and re-architected as a platform to address their needs while providing
a basis to build social networking features that re-define the scope of
blogging,"
Six Apart also announced the inauguration of the Movable Type Open
Source Project, an initiative that will make an open source version of
Movable Type available in Q3 of this year. Developers and customers
interested in the project can visit www.movabletype.org for more
information.
The new Movable Type includes numerous features and improvements that
make it the easiest and most powerful way for individuals, small
businesses and companies to begin, and then scale, their blogging
initiatives:
*        MT4 includes more than 50 new features that make it easier than
ever to use, including an installation and upgrade wizard, easier and
more powerful template management tools that speed site development, all
new default templates and themes to help users create a great looking
blog in minutes, and a completely redesigned user interface focused on
streamlining common tasks. Advanced WYSIWYG composition and editing for
a dramatically improved posting experience and a system dashboard with a
dynamic graphic display that gives a powerful summary of recent activity
also contribute to ease of use.
*        MT4 is a social media platform that allows users to turn their
audiences into communities. Readers can become members of a website
through Movable Type's community management features, with rights to
post alongside authors and to add and share rich text and media posts
with photos, videos, and audio. Movable Type also has a ratings
framework to enable recommendation features. There will be more
information later in the beta period about an optional functionality
pack with community features for Movable Type.
MT4 saves users time by allowing management of many blogs and many users
in a central interface. Users can install, manage and publish an
unlimited number of blogs with one installation. The Movable Type
aggregator pulls multiple blogs into a single blog, and users can be
managed more effectively with customizable roles and groups. There will
be more information later in the beta period about an optional
functionality pack with enterprise capabilities for Movable Type.
MT4 can power an entire web site - not just a blog. MT4 provides the
power and flexibility to build web sites that are easy to manage and
easy to update, at a fraction of the cost of traditional content
management systems. New content and asset management tools make
uploading and revising photos, documents, and videos incredibly easy.
Users can create standalone web pages that automatically inherit the
design of the blog, to ensure the entire site has a consistent look and
feel. Easy-to-use template management tools put the focus where it
belongs: on content, not on code.
MT4 scales to meet the needs of growing organizations with the most
advanced technology, power and performance. Six Apart runs some of the
largest sites on the Internet, and has brought the technology that
powers these world class sites into Movable Type. MT4 leverages
technology that helps scale Vox, LiveJournal and TypePad, as well as
sites from AOL, Microsoft and Facebook. These technologies include
database caching through Memcached and Data::ObjectDriver, and
authenticating of users with OpenID. Movable Type can now be run in
multi-server environments, with broad support for operating systems
(Linux, Windows, and Solaris) and databases (MySQL, PosgreSQL, Oracle,
and SQL Server).
MT4's new component-based architecture enables solution-specific product
extensions. MT4 introduces a new architecture for the Movable Type
platform that unifies its commercial and enterprise product lines while
enabling advanced capabilities with optional functionality packs. Making
use of Movable Type's open plug-in API, Six Apart has architected the
platform to accommodate full featured packs that support enterprise
integration, community management and other solution-specific uses.
In addition, MT4 includes the world-class customer support that Six
Apart has provided since Movable Type's inception. A network of
professional consultants, developers, designers and business
professionals is available to customers to provide customization and
extra services when desired.
Pricing and Availability
Developers and customers can download a beta version of Movable Type 4.0
at www.movabletype.org, and are encouraged to provide feedback at the
beta community website at the same URL. Personal use of Movable Type
continues to be free, with no restrictions placed upon the number of
blogs or authors. Personal use customers have the option to purchase
support separately if needed. Commercial, Education, and Non-Profit
licenses for the current version of Movable Type, MT 3.35, will include
a discounted upgrade to MT 4.0 during the beta period. Existing users
may buy upgrades to MT 4.0 at a pre-release discount. For detailed
pricing information please visit www.movabletype.com/pricing. Enterprise
customers should contact sales@sixapart.com for information about
discounts on MT 4.0 during the beta period.
About Six Apart:
Six Apart Ltd. provides award-winning blogging software and services
that change the way millions of individuals, organizations, and
corporations connect and communicate across the world every day. Founded
in 2002 by husband and wife team Ben Trott and Mena G. Trott, Six Apart
has grown into a global company with its headquarters in San Francisco,
CA, and offices in Europe and Japan. The company continues to lead in
the blogging and social media industry with the Movable Type publishing
platform, the TypePad hosted blogging service, LiveJournal, an online
community organized around personal journals, and Vox, a free blogging
service for friends and families. For more information visit the Six
Apart corporate web site at http://www.sixapart.com/.
Six Apart announces easier than ever website-building features in
TypePad Blogging services provider responds to individual and business
customers' evolving requirements for all-in-one website tools
Embargoed
San Francisco, CA - June 7, 2007 - Six Apart, the world's leading
independent blogging software and services company, today announced a
combination of features in TypePad, the award-winning hosted blog
service, that make it easier than ever for users to build and maintain
professional, updateable websites in minutes. The new features, the
most-requested in a recent TypePad customer survey, include TypePad
pages, new professional themes and layouts, and enhanced visitor
statistics. The company also announced enhanced integration with Windows
Live Writer.
TypePad's new features make it easier than ever to build an entire
website. More than 20 percent of professional and business customers
already use TypePad as their primary website because of its
user-friendly interface and the ability to quickly and easily update
information. Other customers use TypePad alongside their traditional
websites to enhance customer engagement and increase search engine
traffic.
Denise Wakeman, TypePad customer and founder of The Blog Squad, said,
"I'm thrilled to have the ability to add pages to my TypePad blogs.  I
can now create stand alone pages to use on my blogs as I would on a
static website for things like contact, bio and product info. Being able
to define the URLs also helps me be more strategic with the search
engines. As I say to my clients, you really don't need a 'traditional'
website anymore when you can do everything so much more easily on a
blog."
With the introduction of TypePad pages, traditional web pages become as
easy to create and update as blog posts, giving professionals an
all-in-one, easy-to-maintain web presence.  Pages found on traditional
websites, like "About Us," "Our Products," or "Contact Us," can now be
created in TypePad using a wide variety of new themes and layouts
designed expressly for professional and business users.  These new
themes and layouts, along with TypePad's dozens of existing themes and
layouts, can be used for web pages and blog pages alike. Users can set a
page to be the home page for their blog, so it's the first thing readers
see when they go to the website.
TypePad business customers range from large media organizations like USA
Today to real estate offices, wineries, and legal and accounting firms
to smaller organizations such as crafts and clothing retailers.
 "Professionals use TypePad to promote their businesses and to easily
and frequently engage with their audiences," said Chris Alden, EVP and
General Manager of the Professional Division at Six Apart. "With the
addition of these new features, businesses can use just one service -
TypePad - to build their website, with design, hosting, blogging, and
world-class support included."
In addition to TypePad pages, Six Apart introduced enhanced support for
visitor statistics and Windows Live Writer. Every website and blog owner
needs to know how many visitors come to their site and how they arrived.
Enhanced visitor statistics give website owners this information through
a quickly readable graphical presentation showing historical visitor
information and a downloadable Excel file for deeper analysis.
Integration with Windows Live Writer means that users can compose and
post their web pages in the same way they've been able to compose blog
posts: in a rich offline editing environment, whenever and wherever they
like.
About TypePad:
TypePad is the award-winning hosted blogging service preferred by
professionals, small businesses, and enthusiasts. TypePad provides a
rich set of features for publishing, updating, and sharing information
on the Web. No installation or configuration is required. TypePad blogs
are fully hosted and managed by Six Apart.
About Six Apart:
Six Apart Ltd. provides award-winning blogging software and services
that change the way millions of individuals, organizations, and
corporations connect and communicate across the world every day. Founded
in 2002 by husband and wife team Ben Trott and Mena G. Trott, Six Apart
has grown into a global company with its headquarters in San Francisco,
CA, and offices in Europe and Japan. The company continues to lead in
the blogging and social media industry with the Movable Type publishing
platform, the TypePad hosted blogging service, LiveJournal, an online
community organized around personal journals, and Vox, a free blogging
service for friends and families. For more information visit the Six
Apart corporate website at http://www.sixapart.com/.