Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

Six Apart follow-up

Anil Dash, a VP at Six Apart, read The Six Apart Mistake and shared a passionate and thorough response in the comments.

His argument focuses on three things:

1. Six Apart and all of its employees are passionate about blogging,

2. If someone is going to push blogging, Six Apart is preferable to some large, faceless corporation obsessed only with the bottom line.

3. If you truly believe in the power of blogging, you'll do everything you can to get people blogging.

Here's an excerpt:

So there's a responsibility for those of us who love blogs, who did it (and still do) because we love the medium and did it back when there was no money, no funding, and certainly no glamour in it. If this medium is going to exist on a global level, which is starting to happen, let's have it be by a company that's of blogging, and for blogging.

First, let me thank Anil for taking the time to respond. As I mentioned in the original post, Six Apart clearly watches blogs carefully and consistently contributes to the conversation. That is a very good thing.

Second, let me offer my perspective. My post offered essentially two criticisms. The first concerned what I believed to be the company's motivation in pursuing additional markets. Anil's comment did an excellent job of addressing this, but in the process, he made the same blanket assumptions about Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL and their respective employees as I made about Six Apart. I don't think it's a safe to assume that the Microsoft employees building MSN Spaces are any less enthusiastic about blogging.

The second was focused on the slow pace of improvements to TypePad, which Anil didn't address. The company actual rolled out TypePad Widgets last week, which will be of interest to users of all levels. There seem to be some obvious holes that should be filled and I wouldn't choose the priorities they've chosen for new development, but I would never want a company to be solely driven by what users think they want. I just don't want a company to be solely driven by what venture capitalists think they want either.

Six Apart is obviously determined to be the blogging company by offering a solution for every level of user and corporation. Newsgator is pursuing a similar strategy in the world of newsreaders. I don't begrudge them their ambitions and respect their focus on one core area. I just don't know if I'll be along for the ride.