March 11, 2008

we're here to compete

(Update 3/12/08:  Wow, I guess all this talk about competition struck a nerve.)

Since when does “competing” equal “playing dirty”? 

Yesterday we ran a post on that touts the advantages of Movable Type over the soon-to-be-released (any day now) Wordpress 2.5. Was the title of the post (“A Wordpress 2.5 Upgrade Guide”) cheeky? Sure. Was the post timed for the release of 2.5? Of course! But was the post an accurate representation of the capabilities of Movable Type? Absolutely.

In response (as I’m sure you’ve seen by now if you read TechCrunch), Matt Mullenwegg twittered “six apart is getting desperate - and dirty.” 

I don’t call our post desperate or dirty – I call it competing.

At Six Apart we’ve been working extraordinarily hard on MT, and we’re proud of the product. Over the past year it’s been great to see the platform energized and have loads of bloggers moving to MT – and in some cases even coming back after leaving us for a while. And as Anil pointed out in the post, we know we’re not done – we have an ambitious development schedule for the MT platform, which has evolved from a professional blogging tool to a powerful social networking platform.

So yes – we’re going to compete. And we’re going to name check our competition in blog posts when we feel it’s warranted. Matt shouldn’t have a problem with that – after all, he has a long history of name checking Six Apart and our products…including characterizing one of our most prominent TypePad bloggers as a “sharecropper.” (I’ll leave the value judgment re. that particular choice of words as an exercise for the reader.)

Finally, if you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Wordpress fan and we have no chance of ever convincing you to switch to a Six Apart product, that’s fine. But you should recognize that having a strong, healthy and evolving set of alternatives to those provided by Automattic is only good for blogging. As Anil said in his post, all of us at Six Apart are here because we take seriously our responsibility to invent the future of blogging. We’re doing that with our products, we’re proud of the work we’re doing, and we’re here to compete.