Results tagged “Sixapart” from kwc blog

Test post from blogit

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I'm trying out blogit.typepad.com. It seems nice, though the setup process requires you to know and type your Atom API URL - using the iPhone keyboard, as you can't login to the site with Firefox.

kwc.org now on MovableType 3.3

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I've upgraded kwc.org to use MovableType 3.3 (this is a prelude to upgrade movabletypo). MT 3.3 adds two new major features in my opinion: built-in tagging and widgets. The latter should make it a lot easier for MovableTypers to maintain their blogs, as widgets allow you to update sidepanel content without having to edit your templates, which is a major pain of old MT. I haven't given that a try yet, though -- I've been busy trying to tag my old entries. So far I've tagged 100 entries. Only 2200 left to go...

This is all a prelude to a major kwc.org site redesign. I'm jealous that meta finally found the time. Mine will be more oriented towards finally bringing kwc.org into the MovableType 3.x world, as my templates were designed with the entirely different MT 2.x-isms that require many hacks to get them to do all the customized behaviors like books covers and selective ads that I like.

Vox is great, no more crap

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My first 'review' of Vox was titled, "Vox: It's great! It's crap!", which wasn't really a review of Vox as much as an meta review of the Vox beta program, which had these odd Starter-level stalker accounts that you had to wait through. Well, SixApart started pumping out the full-level invites soon thereafter and now my Vox neighborhood is looking a lot more like my LiveJournal neighborhood; this has given much more opportunity to truly sample Vox.

I like it a lot. The Flickr, YouTube, and Amazon integration surpass what I have tried to achieve with a various MovableType plugins over time, and, as this integration is builtin, no troubles about thirdparty developer abandonment of plugins. The Vox-style gives photos, video, and products equal footing with your blog entries, which elevates it to the level of a media-management system, rather than just the blog-management system that MovableType and LiveJournal are -- I don't have a TypePad account to compare. I see it as a more multimedia-aware LiveJournal, and it also should inherit another useful trait of LiveJournal: no spam. Spam continues to be the bane of the MovableType platform, though hopefully MT 3.3 will offer more protection on this front.

MovableType remains the platform of choice if you need a customizable publishing platform. I have a great deal of control over page layout, site layout, and content that isn't possible with Vox or LJ, but neither of those latter sites is supposed to compete: they are meant to be effective through simplicity, and that they are.

I have three Vox full invites for anyone that wishes to try.

Vox: It's great! It's crap!

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davextreme has posted his early review of the Vox service, and seeing as I got my invite from him I thought I should follow with a review of my own. I agree with what davextreme says -- Vox looks great, has great features, but I won't say more because I can't actually use them yet as I'm still stuck in a "Starter level" account. So, instead I'll talk about how "starter level" accounts + a brand new service is a crack-smoking way to run a beta.

A "Starter level" account only lets you leave comments and add friends. Vox doesn't have many users with full accounts and most of them are prominent bloggers and SixApart employees. Put the two together and you get a beta experience that consists of adding a bunch of SixApart employees to your neighborhood and watching them have a conversation about their family tree -- you can comment if you like. As a beta user, it just feels creepy.

If Vox wanted to impress me, it would have to demonstrate that it is as capable as LiveJournal in building and supporting communities. The only impression right now is that it's a great tool for being a wallflower in the SixApart corporate community. Wait to give out "starter level" accounts when people can at least lurk in their own communities.

Vox (thanks davextreme)

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davextreme passed along one of his invites to Vox for me to try out. I've been curious to try out Vox, which would appear to be SixApart's mind-meld of LiveJournal's community features with TypePad aesthetics. I was a bit confused when I first logged in as apparently I'm only "starter level" right now, which means that I can't actually blog. I searched page after page fruitlessly for a link to post a new blog entry until I figured this little tidbit out, but now that I get it I guess I'll let the account gather some Vox-karma so that I can really test it out.

Note to Vox team: the notion that www.vox.com/home is my 'home' and not kwc.vox.com seems counter-intuitive, especially when your "Hi kwc" link takes me to http://kwc.vox.com/profile/

The big rumor in blogland right now is that Six Apart (makers of MovableType, the software featured here an on movabletypo) are buying/have bought LiveJournal. This, naturally, is already starting to raise mixed opinions. I, for one, am happy for the news, for purely selfish reasons. Movabletypo is an attempt to replicate LiveJournal's strongest feature: community -- but it comes nowhere close to what LJ accomplishes, and that is why I am glad Six Apart is buying LJ.

I have no idea what Six Apart will actually do with their new addition, but I hope it will revolve around fixing the fundamental flaw with MovableType/TypeKey-based blogs, which is that it is a great tool for building pulpits, but a terrible tool for building communities.

I also hope to get rid of this nonsense that I have to create a separate LJ "syndicated feed" separate from my LJ user account in order for this blog to be displayed within LJ. I hope this acquisition means that they will erase the distinction between the two so that LJ people can add this blog as a friend, leave comments, etc... and not feel that they have left the LJ community to do so.

Perhaps this will also be the way to add community features to MovableType -- instead of trying to make MovableType a tool that you can build communities on top of, allow LiveJournal to integrate MovableType users into it's communities (i.e. making LJ the platform on which communities are built).

Sixapart mixer

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nametag

Sixapart went all out with their mixer. Open bar with great drinks (Chimay, sake, wine), tasty (but a little strange) hor d'oevres, great schwag, and an art gallery to top it off (with a slightly disturbing painting of a topless Uhura). There was also a lot of the MovableType team and random industry and blogger representatives, and you could generally tell who was who, as the MT people and industry people mingled while the pure bloggers stood around :). I managed to pull away from my wallflowering long enough to have a couple of conversations, including one with a guy from rojo, a soon-to-be combined XML aggregation/social network service.

The 3.1 demo went well. I wasn't excited by the PHP integration when I first heard about it -- I was worried that it wouldn't be a seamless switch -- but when I saw it in action I was impressed. With a simple menu selection you can get rid of page rebuilding, allowing you to make quick changes to your templates and speeding up the commenting process. The URLs stay the same and all the MT tags have been reimplemented using PHP. Kudos to Brad Choate for handing over the keys to this. They also showed off a new Post Status option labeled "future", which allows you to delay a post. That might be useful, but I don't know yet.

I've been having some good schwag karma. At Comic-Con I got the Star Wars lego minis and Incredibles poster. Google gave me a nalgene bottle and t-shirt. Sixapart wins the prize though. They gave everyone 32MB flash drives (USB 2.0) with the MovableType 3.1 beta loaded on it. They were even nice enough to give me an extra one so that bp can have one.

I didn't take too many photos as I've figured that their were so many bloggers there that there should be no lack of media produced from this event. Mena was taking tons of photos with Barak's Canon digital SLR, so I was jealous, as I want to save up some money for that camera. I did have to crop the photo of me and Mena to remove my mug from it, as there was no reason to ruin a perfectly good photo.

Mixer Photo Gallery (18 photos)