Movable Type leaves the SAY Media nest

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Last spring, after much hemming and hawing and nerdy rumination, I switched this blog to using the Movable Type ("MT") publishing system, following a decade using Blogger. I've been happy with that decision.

But I had some nagging questions in the fall, when Six Apart, the company that made Movable Type, merged with another firm to create the hydra-headed online advertising entity known as SAY Media. At that time I wrote: "Maybe SAY Media will do well by the software, or might sell it to some other firm that will."

It turns out they went for option 2. Essentially, the Japanese division of Six Apart, known as Six Apart KK, has been the only part of the company working on Movable Type for some time. It is taking full responsibility for the software and being sold to another Japanese firm, Infocom (unrelated to the classic text games publisher of the same name, which made Zork decades ago). Both Movable Type and the Six Apart name now belong to Infocom.

This is probably a good development for Movable Type and its users, since there is no logical place within SAY Media for it. Still, it's also sad, since MT was the product that launched Six Apart ten years ago, and now it's been jettisoned by the company that it helped create. That does happen in the life of a business: the Hudson's Bay Company no longer runs fur trapping operations, and Sharp stopped making mechanical pencils decades ago.

Security updates for Movable Type continue to come out, and apparently the new version 5.1 beta will be available next month. Those are certainly good signs too. I hope MT settles in well with its new owners, for whom it appears to have some actual importance. I wonder how Six Apart founders Ben and Mena Trott feel about their once-flagship product and self-named company (their birthdays are six days apart) finally being out of their hands.

1 Comment

Like you, I'm hopeful. Movable Type is now in the hands of people who a running quite a decent business, and in a part of the world where it's one of the predominant publishing platforms rather than an also-ran.

It also says something about the Anglophone-centric nature of technology discussion that so many people are instinctively seeing this as bad news...

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