The Movable Type Shitstorm

So Movable Type 3 is out, and there are a lot of unhappy campers out there. Main complaints: Too expensive for no real updates. There’s also a lot of “making money off of volunteer labor pool” kinda comments. Witness the shitstorm.

Personally I think it’s a bad move on sixapart’s side to cripple the free version so badly. If you want to make money on a pro version (or developer version as they call it), don’t take away existing features (unlimited blogs and authors) from the free version. Add new features to the pro version. It’s a cardinal rule in software. Don’t take features away. It makes your users feel cheated.

While I’m sure the backend changes to 3.0 are amazing, there are almost no changes to the visible parts of the software besides comment moderation. That’s not enough of a change to justify the cost.

I don’t know how much of the new features of 3.0 are taken from existing plug-ins written by 3rd parties, but I get the feeling from the rants that it’s a lot. It would be a shame if that was actually the case.

There is a lot of speculation that this will be the impetus for a mass switch over to drupal or wordpress. Personally, I think I’ll just be sticking to MT 2.66 for the time being.

Update: Lots of activity. Some defense of Sixapart is out there, but basically there’s a lot of seething resentment. As one blogger pointed out, this update seems to be pushing out individuals who are non-commercial but want to host their own blogs. Like me. While it seems a better business model, it alienates a large and vocal group of MT supporters who provided a user base that gave rise to commercial application.

I don’t think anyone begrudges Sixapart’s need to make money. But the way they rolled out this update was a big mistake. They are trying to make their software much more enterprise related, i.e. aimed at service providers. This is fine. Large ISPs can more than pay for this. But in this process they have knee-capped a huge segment of their current user base. Maybe this was not their intent, maybe wires just got crossed in the roll out. But either way, I think that Sixapart has got some serious back pedaling to do if they are hoping to maintain their current users.