Dear Movable Type Customers,
You may have read reports that the website PBS.org was hacked and some sources claimed that a previously undiscovered security flaw in Movable Type 4 was to blame.
Six Apart and our affiliates have been working closely with the Public Broadcasting System to learn how the hack was accomplished. We are continuously reviewing our code base to protect our customers from any vulnerabilities in Movable Type.
Today, Six Apart released the first Movable Type update since the PBS hacking case. Please see the release note on movabletype.com for details. All Movable Type customers get benefits from this release, so we strongly recommend that you apply this release as soon as possible.
Six Apart is committed to continuing to eliminate bugs, especially when such bugs potentially expose our customers to malicious attacks.
In the past years, Six Apart has made efforts to provide security fixes promptly for major releases of Movable Type, because we understand that our customers are not always ready to migrate to the latest version of our software. That's why we have released updates for the Movable Type 4.3, 5.0, and 5.1 branches today.
This has always been an important policy at Six Apart, and will continue to be our commitment to our user community.
President & CEO
We are happy to announce that Six Apart KK (SAKK), a Japanese subsidiary of SAY Media, has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Infocom, a Japanese IT company, as of February 1, 2011. As part of this transaction, SAKK will assume responsibility for the worldwide Movable Type business, and the Six Apart brand.
We at SAKK are very excited to continue our investment in Movable Type, the Movable Type Open Source project and the worldwide community of developers, publishers and bloggers around the world that use Movable Type.
Below is a translation of Infocom's press release announcing the agreement. And be sure to read the SAY Media blog post about the announcement. And stay tuned -- there is more to come!
General Manager of SAKK
Infocom strengthens the expansion of its social media service business
Acquires Six Apart KK, the domestic leader in CMS, as a subsidiary
February 21, 2011 (Tokyo, Japan)
In order to strengthen the expansion of our social media service business, Infocom Corporation (Shibuya Ward, Tokyo; President & CEO: Takashi Yoshino; hereinafter referred to as "Infocom") concluded a contract to acquire all shares of Six Apart KK (Minato Ward, Tokyo: General Manager: Nobuhiro Seki; hereinafter referred to as "SAKK"), the domestic leader in CMS, from Six Apart Limited (San Francisco, U.S.A.; CEO: Matthew Sanchez; hereinafter referred to as "SAUS"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SAY Media Inc. (San Francisco, U.S.A.; CEO: Matthew Sanchez).
In our mid-term management plan beginning from March 2010, Infocom positioned net business as a priority business field and has worked actively to create new business. In the field of net business, Infocom has enlarged its contents transmission and e-commerce businesses with a focus on mobile phones. Infocom has also attempted to establish a new business which would serve as a third pillar. Also, social media service (hereinafter referred to as "SMS") has come to the forefront of the Internet industry. In order to strengthen activities in the SMS field, Infocom invested in the SMS developer Jibe Mobile last October and concluded a contract to acquire all shares of SAKK to further strengthen our activities in this field.
SAKK conducts development, sales and support for Movable Type, a tool which possesses the top share in Japan for updating of homepage information and posting management of blog articles. Furthermore, many customers use TypePad, a product which enables end-users to enjoy blogging.
This acquisition of SAKK shares by Infocom is based on the following judgments:
- As the use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook continues to increase, we believe that links between such services and existing homepages/blogs will become even more important.
- SAKK has just begun to develop business for "zenback", a service which is capable of connecting SMS and existing Internet media. We expect further development of this business in the future and believe that faster growth and expansion of ad networks can be realized through cooperation with our company.
Furthermore, SAKK will acquire intellectual property rights which are held by the party to the share acquisition (SAUS). These rights are associated with existing products and services such as Movable Type. SAKK also acquired rights for using the trademark "Six Apart", as well as licensing rights for additional software.
The Infocom Group shall actively seek expansion of our net business by adding our specialty of SI to the base established by Movable Type and then conducting sales to major corporations. Also, we will increase the synergistic effect of existing contents transmission/e-commerce through the development of advertising which utilizes "zenback", a service which SAKK has just begun developing. "zenback" is provided as a blog part which is used to display a variety of related information such as related article and Twitter in personal blogs.
Additionally, Infocom shall increase the efficient utilization of our business base. We shall strengthen our partnership with SAKK and shall enhance support for customers using existing products and services. Infocom shall also make every effort to ensure that users and partners can continue to use SA products and services with peace of mind.
My husband Ben and I started Six Apart in 2001—and with you, the bloggers and creators, we changed the way people expressed themselves online. In doing so, we have helped to redefine the media landscape. Thank you for embracing our platform and for sharing your voice, your passions and expertise.
Today we announced that Six Apart is joining forces with VideoEgg to form a digital media company called SAY Media. The new company will continue to embrace our mission to make creators successful by helping them grow and monetize their audiences. Together we will create a modern media company that will better serve both creators and advertisers.
As we move forward, I will continue to have an active role in the new company. I hope you will join me, as you always have, in shaping our future. Want to know more? I think you'll like what you see.
With much appreciation and thanks.
Mena Trott, Co-founder
Those of you who've followed us over the years have seen us through a number of changes as Six Apart, and the industry we helped to create, has evolved.
What started with a simple goal to make creating and publishing content for the web easy, became a social publishing platform that today powers some of the biggest brands on the web, as well as passionate individuals—those of us who simply want to express ourselves, share our expertise or insights, and reach an audience of like-minded others.
Six Apart helped empower people and companies to publish. And they did. With amazing content they created valuable publishing properties with massive and engaged audiences—the influential audiences that advertisers want to reach. Over the past several years we have grown another side of our business, Six Apart Media, which has focused on helping publishers turn their passions into businesses and on helping marketers authentically engage these publishers and their audiences.
Today Six Apart announced its intention to join forces with VideoEgg to form a modern media company called SAY Media. The new entity will combine the engagement platform and insights of VideoEgg with our social publishing platform, conversational marketing tools, and robust network of publishers.
SAY Media will be a force—powering more efficient, useful and social advertising programs that tie rich and engaging advertising experiences to online communities with meaningful and measurable results. Good for publishers. Good for advertisers.
We believe SAY Media will become one of the world's most significant modern media companies, while still embracing the same goals we've always had at Six Apart—to empower people to create great content and make money doing it. Soon we'll have the capabilities to do it that much better. When you know more, I think you'll be as excited as we are. Get a glimpse of our future at www.saymedia.com.
Chairman & CEO
Is your company active in social media? Then you’re probably asking yourself where to allocate your budget: to paid media or earned media - or some combination of both. If this is on your mind, we hope you’ll join us at the OMMA Global conference in NYC on September 27th for a panel discussion entitled, Is Your Budget Being Well Spent in Social?
David Tokheim, EVP & GM of Six Apart Media, will weigh in on the discussion, joining panelists from Deep Focus, Catalyst, Bling Media and Rey Interactive. Tokheim will share his insights on how to decide where dollars should be spent and will delve into the role of the media team in a world where not all advertising is paid.
Come, listen, get some advice, and see how to apply this paradigm shift to your own business and budgets. For more information go to: http://www.mediapost.com/events/?/showID/OMMAGlobal.10.NYC
Join us in Las Vegas October 14th-16th for BlogWorld & New Media Expo, the world’s largest New Media event, and take advantage of our special Promotional Code SIXAPART20 to receive a 20% discount!
You’ll learn about content creation, distribution and monetization strategies, as well as step-by-step techniques, and the most productive, bleeding-edge tools—all from the most successful bloggers, social media pros, podcasters and Internet TV and radio broadcasters.
Not to be missed: our own Michael Sippey, Vice President of Corporate Development, will discuss The Future of Blogging Platforms on October 15th 4:00-5:00PM.
For more information: www.BlogWorldExpo.com
Marketers realize that engaging these influencers is an important part of any brand building campaign and our goal is to help them do so in authentic, scalable, and effective ways. In the past, marketers could only reach bloggers and their audiences through banners or through traditional promotional integration with a handful of sites. Today, with the launch of TypePad Conversations, we aim to change that.
What Is It?
At its core, TypePad Conversations is about powering discussions across a large set of bloggers and their audiences through provocative questions. We ask these questions to millions of bloggers and their readers, sparking conversations across a range of topics. You can join in the discussion here!
If you have ever been to an industry conference like iMedia, E3, Ad Tech, ShowWest, you have experienced a form of sponsored conversation. We are taking that principle online and allowing brands to join in the conversation, and as with those conferences, TypePad Conversations helps brands sponsor discussions without controlling them.
Participating in the conversation is strictly voluntary and we don't pay bloggers to post. If you are a member of the Six Apart Ad Program - open to bloggers on all platforms -- you will share revenue from impressions generated from the advertising that accompanies TypePad Conversations.
Like Facebook's engagement ads and Twitter's Sponsored Tweets, TypePad Conversations is about finding the right balance between the brand's desire to participate in the conversation, the publisher's desire to drive traffic to its site, and the reader's desire to engage with great content.
Nothing like this has existed for blogs before today.
How It Works
We work with leading voices in a category, such as Women's Lifestyle, to create questions that are syndicated to influential bloggers.
Bloggers post their answers on their blogs and inspire their audience to participate. Readers invite people in their social networks to join in by sharing their answers on Twitter and Facebook.
Answers from all participating blogs are aggregated at conversations.typepad.com with the best featured in the "Awesome Bar," a branded content module that appears below the original post on each participating blogger's site.
The best way to understand how this all works is to join the conversation on some of our amazing publisher sites like Betty Confidential, Geekweek, and Jessica Gottlieb.
We are very pleased to be partnering with Sprint and their 4G campaign as the first sponsor of TypePad Conversations. Sprint has been fantastic to work with and we are grateful especially to Betsy Paynter, Sara Devine, Stephanie Wilroy, Jim Clark and Rich Pesce who said:
"TypePad Conversations are a unique way for us to avoid banner fatigue and organically reach highly engaged audiences."If you are a marketer who'd like to participate, please reach out.
I would like to thank the inspired team at Six Apart that has put countless hours of blood, sweat, tears and magic into the progress we have made over the last two years.
I look forward to seeing you join the conversation!
David Tokheim, EVP Six Apart Media
* comScore, April 2010
As we work on ways to help our clients distribute conversations around their brands across the web, Facebook “Like” will be an exciting and effective way to amplify those conversations.
The “Like” button allows publishers and marketers the ability to deliver a compelling social web experience on branded sites without the design constraints of a Facebook fan page. Just adding the Facebook “Like” button to your website or blog integrates it with Facebook.
Typing your company or product name into the Facebook search bar will display the site to which you’ve added the “Like” button. In short: ANY web page can now take the place of a Facebook fan page.
Most importantly, fans of your brand will get a consistent experience no matter where it’s accessed. Our powerful publishing and community solutions now have the ability to behave just like Facebook fan pages, leveraging the network for each engagement. And that is great news for everyone.
As we noted last week Six Apart was chosen by Facebook as an official launch partner for this release. Stay tuned for more announcements from Six Apart on how we can help you leverage social media as part of our conversational marketing platform.
Mark Zuckerberg described this as a technology that pulls together all the different social networks to create a web "that is smarter, more social, more personalized and more semantically aware."
As more and more content pours onto the web our ability to efficiently navigate it becomes increasingly important. Facebook’s assertion is that you are going to be more interested in the things your friends, and others you are connected to, are interested in. We think they are bang on.
Blogging is a great networking tool that allows you to build a community around your passion, hobby or business and we’ve been building features to help customers drive community and link it into social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Six Apart's focus on community and social media resulted in Facebook selecting TypePad as an official launch partner for this announcement. Today we released Facebook “Like” to members of our beta team for testing and feedback. We have already seen some great integrations as well as a ton of positive feedback on the Everything TypePad blog.
This move by Facebook brings endless possibilities. We'd love to get your thoughts on how you think it will impact blogging.
As we mentioned recently, Carla Bourque, Six Apart Sales and Biz Dev VP, participated on a panel at OMMA Social here in San Francisco last week. If you missed the event, you can read about it in moderator David Berkowitz’s Social Media Insider column on MediaPost. David asked his panelists to respond in writing to some of the bigger questions that came up during the panel, and the abridged answers are in the MediaPost column, while the extended version is on David's blog, Inside the Marketer’s Studio. Carla offers some valuable insights on some of the conundrums surrounding social media measurement (Full disclosure: David is a Six Apart customer, using TypePad for his popular blog.).
Looking ahead to March, Leah Culver, Six Apart product expert and co-founder of Pownce, will moderate a panel at South by Southwest (SXSW) titled Web Framework Battle Royale. Exact date is tbd. Wear your armor and prepare to be educated and entertained.
For you Django lovers out there, Six Apart New York will host Django Hack Night next Thursday night, February 11, in our offices in the Flatiron district. Bring your project with you and be prepared to show and tell at the end of the evening.
We'll be speaking at several conferences over the coming months, and hope that any customers, partners or friends will be sure to say hello if you are attending any of these. As you will see, a common theme is the value of social publishing to marketers and brands, and the importance of measuring that value. We'll share our experience and knowledge with others who are embarking on social media for the first time or simply trying to understand how to measure it.
First up is Carla Bourque, VP of Strategic Partnerships, who will speak on the topic "Measuring Social Media: How to Connect Metrics to Objectives" at OMMA Social on Tuesday, January 26th at the Nikko Hotel in San Francisco.
Next, our GM and EVP of Six Apart Media, David Tokheim, will speak about the role blogs and social publishing play in marketers' social media strategy at The Social Graph Clinic, scheduled for Friday, January 29 at New York University's Stern School.
In April, Richard Rocca, Publisher and VP of Sales, will moderate a panel at OMMA Global entitled Making Social REALLY Work For Your Brand. This event takes place March 17 & 18 in San Francisco.
We'll keep you posted on our sundry speaking plans throughout the year, and we do hope to see you at one or two of them.
The TypePad Platform
In 2003, Six Apart launched TypePad, which quickly became and remains the leading premium hosted blogging service. According to comScore, Six Apart is the leader in the blog category in the US and reaches over 183M unique visitors per month around the world - that’s bigger than MySpace - and TypePad is the cornerstone of Six Apart’s hosted services.
In the last year we’ve rebuilt TypePad from the ground up and introduced social networking features such as profiles, following, microblogging, and status updates to our bloggers. We've invested in making TypePad the most secure, stable, scalable and social blogging platform, but until now the only way to use it was through TypePad.com. Today we are very pleased to announce the launch of the TypePad Platform, where any developer, blogger, publisher, or corporation can use the TypePad “cloud” through our open APIs.
Cloud services didn’t exist in 2001 the way they do today, but now services from Amazon and others make building and launching new web sites much easier and less expensive by providing infrastructure level “cloud” services. Users of Flickr, Facebook and Twitter have transformed the internet by sharing their media and building relationships online, in part because of the flexibility of experiences that those platforms' API have enabled.
We hope to take cloud computing a step further with the TypePad Platform with this “smart cloud” service - combining the flexibility of infrastructure-focused services with the building blocks of our social application platform. Our platform enables developers to use structured object, like blogs, posts, comments, people, activities, groups, and tags, to quickly and inexpensively build next generation social applications on a reliable, secure, and scalable platform.
That all may be a bit too much jargon, I realize, so the bottom line is this: cloud services are transforming how web sites and social applications are being built, and we want to help move this trend forward by opening up TypePad’s APIs. We hope to dramatically lower barriers for those trying to get started on a shoestring to build the next Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.
For larger publishers and Internet businesses, we see the TypePad Platform as new way to incorporate blogs and social networking into their sites - offering an alternative to completely local software solutions or completely hosted SaaS solutions. With the TypePad Platform, publishers can use the presentation layer and templates of their choice - be it via MT, PHP, Django, Java, etc. - while not having to install and support an expensive back end.
For personal bloggers and TypePad users, opening up our APIs means that TypePad will be built into applications that will help the bloggers and their readers, paving the way for more applications that enhance TypePad functionality. For our larger TypePad customers it opens up a large set of possibilities about how they can integrate their TypePad blogs into their existing web sites. For our Movable Type and Six Apart Services clients, this opens up many more ways that TypePad can be used in conjunction with, rather than an alternative to, Movable Type or other installed blogging platforms.
The TypePad Developer Program
To help folks get started using the TypePad Platform, we’ve launched the TypePad Developer Program to provide developers with a free beta version, or Developer Preview, of the TypePad API, available today. Commercial versions of the TypePad Platform will come later, but the TypePad API for developers is free. Developers will find documentation, a forum, mailing list and group where they can get their questions answered quickly at developer.typepad.com.
To show what the TypePad Platform can do, today we are announcing and open sourcing TypePad Motion as the inaugural open source application built by Six Apart for the TypePad platform. Typepad Motion is a microblogging app evolved from the Pownce codebase & community, It’s written in Python using the Django framework, making it extremely easy to build and customize. It’s a great example of how developers can use TypePad for the heavy lifting without sacrificing the flexibility and control of an entirely separate presentation layer, like Django, to maintain templates and build pages.
A TypePad Motion site is a place where members come together to share notes, files, photos, videos and audio with others and featured users can aggregate all of their activity around the web onto the TypePad Motion site, keeping their fans or followers up-to-date on their activities. Several celebrities have integrated TypePad Motion sites into their branded websites, such as Zachary Quinto (Star Trek, Heroes) and Ryan Star.
For more information about TypePad Motion, please visit typepad.com/go/motion.
This opens up a new chapter for TypePad and Six Apart, and it’s just a start. The TypePad Platform is new and now primarily for developers who wish to preview and test the service. We’d love your feedback. It is Six Apart’s continuing mission to dramatically reduce the cost and time to market while increasing the capability and scalability in building social applications. We’re hoping to make web publishing even more accessible and social and we hope you will join us.
We are offering members of the Six Apart community a discount to the conference (standard price is $489, Six Apart price is $329), which will also include presentations from social media practitioners of Southwest Airlines, Dunkin Donuts, CNN, Domino's, and the American Red Cross. The indefatigable Gary Vaynerchuk, of Wine Library TV fame, will also keynote.
Can't make it to Harvard on the 31st? That's ok. The summit will be streamed live by CNN.com/Live, the Internet's only multi-stream live video news service, from 9 am Eastern.
Gravity Summit events help bridge the gap between the new Social Media Marketing tools and the business community, by educating and informing marketing professionals, small business owners, advertisers, C-Level executives, and others, about the exciting new marketing and communications landscape that is evolving daily.
We've attended past Gravity Summits at Stanford University and UC Irvine, and have found that people actually practicing social media inside companies are more willing to speak at an education-oriented conference than at a typical industry conference. The presentation quality is high and authentic, as is the discussion. We recommend the experience.
We hope you'll take advantage of this discount, attend the conference, and learn more about social media, or tune in to the live stream at 9 am on the day of - August 31.
The Question of the Day on Vox has helped us spark some of those conversations amongst bloggers who might otherwise suffered from a case of writer’s block. Because we’ve seen such great success with the Vox QotD, we decided to introduce the same feature to TypePad. We are really excited to see how this new feature inspires creativity amongst TypePad bloggers and their loyal readers.
Learn more about the TypePad Question of the Day in the FAQ and let us know if you have a question you’d like to ask!
If your question is chosen, we will publish it, along with a “submitted by” message and a link to your blog. It’s a great way to connect with bloggers, and also to get more readers to your blog. Please keep in mind that QotDs should appeal to a wide audience and should be no more than 95 characters.
You can send your submissions for QotDs to firstname.lastname@example.org.
So many of you adopted the Green Badges that we designed, we couldn’t help but wonder What if we asked YOU to create an earth-friendly badge? After all, our bloggers are some of the most creative and eco-friendly out there and who better than you to spread the message that when we all do one act, we act as one, and help the planet? No one!
That’s why Six Apart partnered with One Million Acts of Green brought to you by Cisco to create the “Green by Design” contest. To enter, all you have to do is create a Green Badge with an earth-friendly design and/or message. One winner will be chosen each week in June and that person’s badge will be available on EverythingTypePad for people to put on their blogs, and will appear on blogs all across Six Apart Media’s advertising platform. Plus, when the badges receive a million impressions, Six Apart will donate another $1000 to The Climate Project.
Visit EverythingTypePad for all the details on how you can enter the “Green by Design” contest.
And don’t forget to record your Acts of Green on the One Million Acts of Green website. Because together, we are making a difference.
Lauren Kozak, Social Media Director for Britney Spears, recently stopped by our San Francisco offices and shared her views about how corporations can use social media to grow their brands and engage with customers in meaningful ways.
We enjoyed her talk so much that we videotaped some of her advice to share with you.
Lauren's advice is the real thing - it not only comes from her current experience creating social media success for one of the biggest brands in the world, but also from her pre-Britney Spears work as a social media advisor to corporations when the medium was still in its infancy.
We hope you find Lauren's insights helpful. Let us know what you think!
Check out the BusinessWeek article that covers a Twitter-ful afternoon with director of digital care Frank Eliason. Or the report by TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington a few weeks ago of getting frustrated on the phone with Comcast customer support, only to find that a simple Tweet would deliver a solution to his problem in minutes.
Considering the company’s success on Twitter, it’s not surprising that they are augmenting their social media strategy by adding a blog to encourage longer-than-140-character conversations between customers and employees about all things Comcast.
The blog is called ComcastVoices, and it’s on Movable Type. It was launched just five weeks ago, and already the conversations are proving to be lively, informative, and respectful.
Let the folks at Comcast tell you directly what they’d like to achieve with the site:
For you marketing and customer support pros out there who might find the idea of such openness with customers a little daunting, here are a few things to note about the blog:
- Comcast can set the tone and keep the conversation productive because this is their platform.
- The “Rules of the Road” define expected behavior for the site. It’s very clear that comments are moderated by Comcast and that only polite, on-topic and respectful comments will be accepted.
- The “About” page tells customers what they can expect from the blog, and refers them elsewhere for their personal support issues while encouraging them to tell Comcast directly what’s important to them.
can see the negative comments of some customers turning positive as
they engage in conversation with employees. For customers, simply being
heard goes a long way.
- It’s hard to view Comcast as a monolithic, monopolistic behemoth when you see and hear from employees and executives directly.