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December 22, 2008

Movable Type Monday: Motion, Facebook Connect, Premium Themes, and More

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Happy Monday, folks! Lots of buzz this week over Six Apart announcing Motion, a new microblogging application built on Movable Type. We had a first look at Motion here, and while it’s still in beta and has some bugs, it has potential to be a very useful social networking application.

Besides Motion, a few other things were released for MT this week: read more

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December 17, 2008

Premium MT Themes: An Interview with iThemes Co-Founder, Cory Miller

iThemes

This is turning out to be a busy week in the Movable Type world. On Monday, Six Apart released Motion, their social networking application built on MT. Then on Tuesday, iThemes — maker of premium WordPress themes — announced the opening of their MT themes store. The availability of themes is one area where MT lags way behind WP. This is especially true when it comes to premium themes. That’s why it’s exciting to see vendors move into the MT themes market.

Yesterday I got in touch with Cory Miller, co-founder of iThemes, to ask him a couple of questions about the premium theme business and his company’s jump into the MT market. read more

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December 12, 2008

200 Themes Removed From WordPress.org – Matt Explains Why

There’s been some ruckus about the sudden departure of some 200 themes from the WordPress.org theme directory. Justin Tadlock and Spectacu.la both had a lot of things to say about this.

I emailed Matt Mullenweg, and he explained that the reason for the massive theme purge was that there was a lot of spammy SEO links as well as various violations of the GPL that is required to be hosted in the directory. He also said this, to address the people who are worried about what is really going on with the theme directory:

There were also a few that violated WP community guidelines, like the domain policy. So since Monday we’ve been clearing stuff out en mass. If you’re kosher with the GPL and don’t claim or promote otherwise on your site and your theme was removed, it was probably a mistake. Give us a week to catch up with the bad stuff and then drop a note.

So there you have it. Mystery solved, hopefully. The whole thing is, however, a reminder that a theme marketplace is needed, although I would say that it might be a better idea to offer links to the ones that have already established themselves, given how late to the game a WordPress hosted one would be.

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December 10, 2008

Blog Network b5media to Use Revolution in the Future

Brian Gardner announced that b5media will use one of the Revolution themes as the base theme across the network, and CEO Jeremy Wright confirmed that it is indeed so. The theme will apparently roll out in a network redesign due next year, and not a moment too soon if you ask me.

While I have nothing against the Revolution Streamline theme, which will be the basis of the new design, I’m a bit surprised to see b5media going with something that is a premium theme available for all. Or is it? I can’t seem to find it on the Revolution Two website, so maybe b5media bought the rights to it? I’ve contacted Brian and Jeremy for a comment on this.

Check out the Revolution Streamline demo if you want to know what the basis of the new b5media base template will be in 2009.

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November 21, 2008

Interview with Adii of WooThemes Fame

Interview with AdiiAdii, or Adriaan Pienaar as his real name is, calls himself a WordPress rockstar and sells premium WordPress themes on WooThemes. You’ve probably came across him one time or another if you’ve been looking for a theme designer, or if you’re interested in premium themes.

Since the small controversy with WooThemes giving away a premium theme for free, much like Brian Gardner did with Revolution, I’ve been meaning to do an interview with Adii to get to know a little more on what he thinks about premium themes. So read on for a freshly pressed interview! read more

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November 6, 2008

WooThemes Releases Premium Theme for Free, Customers in the Middle Again

WooThemesYou might remember us (me, mostly) giving Brian Gardner a hard time about his decisions regarding the Revolution Theme, a successful premium WordPress theme, and his move to Revolution Two. Older customers got in the middle, and we talked about that in an interview.

Well, now it seems as if WooThemes is doing something similar. In a late “we’re 1 year old” birthday post, they’re offering The Original Premium News Theme for free, which was the first premium WordPress theme released by Adii, one of the people behind the WooThemes project.

So won’t the people that paid money for that particular theme be a bit pissed off that now thousands of blogs might use it? read more

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October 31, 2008

Premium WordPress Theme Store Round-up

Recently launched Spyre Mag, a design blog edited by Freelance Folder founder Jon Phillips, has an interesting post up. It’s a round-up featuring 17 websites that sell premium WordPress themes. That would be themes that you buy a license to use. Might be a good start if you want something original for your blog, but aren’t willing to cash up a grand or three to designers like yours truly.

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October 13, 2008

Artisan Themes: Another Premium WordPress Theme Marketplace

Artisan Themes is yet another marketplace for premium theme for WordPress, with possible versions for other platforms at a later date. The owner, being Design Intellection’s David Yeiser, launches with one theme, called Renaissance, but there’s likely more to come.

This follows closely after Brian Gardner’s decision to make the Revolution theme open source, as well as the background to this, one being the fact that the whole premium theme business model is a grey area, as Gardner mentions in an interview.

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October 1, 2008

Brian Gardner’s Revolution Theme Goes Open Source

Brian Gardner’s Revolution Theme is one of the more successful premium WordPress themes out there. While I have no idea how many licenses have been sold, the praise and amount of websites running it is testament enough.

No more, says Brian on his blog:

As of 12:00 midnight, Friday October 31st, the themes that are currently available at the Revolution theme site will no longer be available. Ever. This was a decision that I made in order to protect the integrity of the current themes and the conditions under which they were released.

I didn’t see that one coming, but it does makes sense. The whole idea with the premium themes model is that you’ll have a small number of sites running the same design, more or less, and not thousands of look-a-likes, as you might have should you just download a popular theme. Wanting to protect your users makes sense. But there is more. read more

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