Six Apart Sold to VideoEgg: What Does It Mean for Your TypePad Blog?

Tomorrow VideoEgg is expected to confirm that it has bought Six Apart, the parent company of the Movable Type, TypePad, and Vox blogging platforms. The two companies will lose their names and together will become SAY Media. According to Mashable, Chris Alden, the CEO of Six Apart will step down and Matt Sanchez, VideoEgg’s CEO, will continue in that role for SAY Media. Meanwhile Mena Trott, an original co-founder of Six Apart, will be part of SAY Media’s Board of Directors.

It’s reported that SAY Media will continue to support Movable Type and TypePad (the Vox platform will be dead September 30). However, VideoEgg is an advertising network and over the past few years Six Apart has also been pushing their ad network and encouraging affiliate sales.

According to AdWeek,Troy Young (President of SAY Media) said the main focus of the new company will be those bloggers who want to “build media businesses, rather than regular people who write a blog for fun. They quote him as saying, “The kinds of people we want to work with are emerging media personalities.” So where does that leave you?

If you’re using Movable Type and want to stay with a similar platform but have sworn off WordPress, then you’ll be happy to know that Byrne Reese, who used to be the Movable Type evangelist until he left Six Apart last year, has been working on a new open source blogging platform called Melody. It looks to be incredibly similar to Movable Type and it’s named after some song that seems to have special meaning to the Six Apart Movable Type crew. (Frankly, I don’t know the whole story. When I met them at Blog World one year, Anil Dash thought my name was Melody Nelson instead of Melanie Nelson and he went off on some weird diatribe about my name and the importance to the team. I gave him serious eyes and nodded to be polite. I just thought it was interesting that the guy in charge of Movable Type left to make a new version of it and called it something that had meaning to the group at Six Apart. It seems a little incestuous to me.)

If you’re using TypePad? I don’t know what this means for you. The Everything TypePad blog promises, “Nothing in TypePad changes today, and SAY Media will continue to provide support to TypePad subscribers, and evolve the TypePad platform. You can choose to take advantage of our strong relationships with marketers to monetize your blogs, or you can keep your blog ad-free.” I’m not concerned that anything will change today, as they point out. I’m concerned about the changes coming down the road. The information I’m seeing from TechCrunch, Mashable, CrunchBase, and AdWeek tells me these two companies are focused more on developing an ad network than supporting bloggers (unless, of course, you’re an up-and-coming or established media personality, apparently). I’m fairly certain they won’t be shutting down anything immediately, but if it were me, I’d be watching this closely. It doesn’t help that TypePad is one of the harder platforms to migrate. If you do plan to migrate, it will take some planning, patience, and probably some money to pay someone to help you if you’re not savvy about the back-end of your blog. (As an aside, yes I can help you migrate, but I hope it doesn’t come to that.)

I’m interested in your thoughts. Are you a TypePad or Movable Type user? If so, how do you plan to proceed? Will you stick with them no matter what or will you start preparing to migrate your blog to another platform just in case?

This article is cross-posted at BlogHer.com with permission.

13 Responses

  1. Melanie Nelson September 21, 2010 / 8:32 pm

    Colleen,

    Thanks for the link. I’ve added a bit to the post above and linked to that article.

  2. Miss Banshee September 21, 2010 / 10:15 pm

    I’ve been freaking out about this all day. I want OUT of Typepad. Of course, I don’t have the money or the tech savvy to do it. Sigh. Thanks for keeping us in the loop.

  3. Rebecca at Toothwhale September 21, 2010 / 11:41 pm

    Good grief. I have a TypePad blog. I’m a regular person who blogs for fun (by which I mean I don’t profit). I don’t know what I’ll do. I got an estimate a few months ago for migrating my one-year-old blog to self-hosted WordPress, and it was … a lot. Plus, WordPress makes me nervous. I’m not savvy about the back end of my blog and I like it that way. Is migrating from TypePad to Blogger … even possible?

  4. Between The Pages Blog September 22, 2010 / 7:07 am

    I’m in a similar boat to Rebecca. I have a TypePad Blog which I can’t afford to migrate. Blogger and WordPress seem like my best bet, but Blogger has a 1 GB blog size limit (my blog is mainly photos so I’d reach that in a month or two) and I’m not sure I’m technically savy enough for WordPress.

  5. Me September 22, 2010 / 8:21 am

    There are two different WordPress products. One is WordPress.org, which is software you download and maintain yourself. The other is WordPress.com, which is just like Typepad, hosted by WordPress and they do everything.

    Obviously there are some differences between Typepad and WordPress but you don’t have to be a tech expert to use WordPress.com.

    Not sure why anyone would have to pay someone to migrate their blog to another platform. I don’t know the specifics about transferring your blog from Typepad to Blogger (or WordPress or Posterous or whoever) but if it can be done at all it’s a fairly easy process.

  6. Melanie Nelson September 22, 2010 / 9:17 am

    Hey, everyone! I’m going to be writing a tutorial about migrating your blog from TypePad to Blogger or WordPress. But, honestly, I think you’ll be fine for the next few months to a year.

    In answer to “Me”, I wanted to point out that people (like me) do charge a fee to help people migrate their blogs, especially from TypePad, because it takes time. If I offered to help everyone migrate and it takes a few hours for each one, that’s my time that takes away from consulting, writing, editing, and my other money-making endeavors.

    If a blogger has the tech expertise and feels comfortable doing it, they can absolutely save the dough and migrate themselves. The issue comes when dealing with TypePad. TypePad is notoriously time-consuming to migrate because of the way they store and call images. Ensuring those images aren’t lost and links aren’t broken is the most time-consuming thing about migrating your blog. Then there’s finding a theme that’s similar to what you already have and tweaking it to match your current design (if you want to keep that look and feel).

    Any time you’re asking someone to spend that much time and give you their knowledge, you generally pay for that.

  7. Melanie Nelson September 22, 2010 / 11:09 am

    If you’re wondering which platform to move your TypePad blog to, check out my articles on choosing a blog platform: https://www.bloggingbasics101.com/how-do-i-start-a-blog/ On that page scroll to the section that says Choosing a Blogging Platform. Each link explains the pros/cons of Blogger, WordPress, etc. I’m working on a short post with instructions for migration.

  8. Natalie September 22, 2010 / 2:57 pm

    Hey there! I’m Natalie, a TypePad Product Manager here on behalf of Six Apart. TypePad will stay and continue to grow with even more features for bloggers. Really.

    It’s true that we’re heading in a different direction than the pure blogging-software company that we have been, but it’s been because of listening to bloggers’ wants and needs to be successful at blogging, whether that’s through greater distribution of their content, or through more opportunities to be paid to do what they love. Working as a new company with the VideoEgg team will bring benefits to bloggers of all platforms — even beyond TypePad or Movable Type!

    That does not mean that this is the end of TypePad: it most definitely is not. I’ve been at Six Apart a long time, and I’ve worked with a lot of bloggers and publishing houses using our software. We’ve considered our motto to be “We help bloggers succeed”, and that purpose still stands true.

  9. Melanie Nelson September 22, 2010 / 9:07 pm

    I received a comment over at BlogHer (this article is cross-posted over there) from a Melanie who worked on Vox. She left this link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histoire_de_Melody_Nelson) that explains the importance of Melody Nelson. Apparently Ben Trott, one of the original co-founders of Six Apart, has an affinity for that album. So there you go.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.