Friends don’t let friends do MT 3: looks like MT 3 sucks as well as costs too much
As Ben & Mena Trott of SixApart cower from the massive revolt their once loyal fanbase (including The Blog Herald) have started over the MT3 pricing model, reports are surfacing that MT 3 is bad news for blogging, as well as the hip pocket. Kevin McGehee of blogoSFERICS posts that “The user interface sucks. I couldn’t get the upgrade script to run properly, and comments are broken and when I tried to restore 2.661, it didn’t work”.
The whole episode is shaping up as a text book case of bad marketing and the potential decline of SixApart will surely be recorded in books. Ben and Mena Trott owe much of their success to the great word of mouth and free advertising they received from bloggers world wide over several years based on a FREE Movable Type. They received the same support when they launched the hosted and paid version TypePad as most respected their need to make money. But now by shafting the very people who made them they will suffer the consequences. For The Blog Herald, like many MT bloggers at the moment, it’s not a matter of if we will change; it’s just a matter of time and picking the best alternative.
I upgraded to MT 3 with no problems at all. Perhaps people just have your average upgrading problems, which has nothing to do with MT3 but people’s ability to follow direction. I’m not even tech savvy and I figured it out. The user interface is beautiful! It’s layout requires less clicking when I begin at the main page, and there is less clickiing involved when I want to move between blogs. Editing entries is easier and they even allow you to manage comments with more options.
I think this incident shows, most of all, that Six Apart is a small company, with no marketing department. A company with a large marketing department would have handled the whole announcement and development better. But such companies are often named “Microsoft” and sometimes damage control isn’t the same thing as damage repair.
I will admit to some disappointment over the new pricing structure and the fact that the Developer Edition of 3.0 has few new features, but the program runs as well as 2.661, and the Trotts are listening to the myriad of complaints and making changes to their pricing structure. I’m sure that things will be satisfactorily resolved in the next few days.
I think the Trotts are mostly guilty of not living up to the unreasonably high expectations we’ve placed on them after the past two years of development. The new release, however, only shows them to be mortal, not incompetent. In the end, if 3.0 isn’t worth the upgrade, stick with 2.661. It’s stable and robust and the plugins patch the holes in security.
My (now former) host’s tech support people looked into why MT3 wouldn’t install properly and it looked like MT3 had some undocumented requirements that the host didn’t support. But since by then I had already found another host that supports more and costs less, and I wasn’t going to be using MT anymore anyway, I took them off the case.
If MT3 has undocumented requirements, though, that’s a serious technical blunder, not a marketing blunder.