Get a frickin’ grip, MT bloggers.

I can’t believe the way people are freaking out over the fact that the next incarnation of Movable Type might actually cost money. For gawd’s sakes folks, it’s great software: compensate the people who make and maintain it. Or stick with the version you have. That’s fine too.

And, really, it costs how much? $150 tops for personal use and that’s 10 weblogs! For someone like me with 3 weblogs, it would cost $70. And, if I read the announcement right, I could apply the money I already paid for it – which I seem to recall being $50 because I was so impressed with the software – so it’d be $20 for the upgrade.

How much is other software which you might use every day? Quicken? $30-50 Microsoft Word? $200 Eudora? $50
But this isn’t just like those other things, this is a communication device, so how much do you pay each month for, say, your internet connection? Or your mobile phone?

I think the Movable Type pricing is perfectly reasonable. Yes, SixApart will probably lose some “customers”, but how useful are customer who think your product isn’t worth paying for?

I pay for my software for the same reason I don’t pirate music: I think craftspeople deserve to be able to make a living off what they do.

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Dinah from Kabalor

Author. Discardian. Gamemaster. Current project: creating a binaryless universe for fantasy gaming Vote as if you were about to move to the year 2090 (not 1950).

13 thoughts on “Get a frickin’ grip, MT bloggers.”

  1. You are so right. $150 for the top-end personal license is a bargain! And if you’ve donated before, you get a credit towards the fee. (However, I suspect those that are complaining about this aren’t likely to have ever donated.)
    Kee-rist, I bet a good portion of these people spend $5 for a latte every day — $70 or $150 for MT is NOTHING. Personally, I will gladly pony up. I can’t wait till I’m smart enough to start using 3.0.


  2. I agree that there’s been a lot of craziness going around today, with knee jerk reactions and melodramatic name-calling.
    Personally, I’ve heard for a long time now that MT 3.0 was going to be cool, and it was going to cost. And that was fine with me, because it’s true that I use MT a crazy amount, and it’s a beautiful piece of software.
    BUT (and you knew that was coming) their pricing structure is very strange. It makes sense for very specific situations, but has huge, gaping holes where other people fall through the cracks. My friends and I have a communal blog, where we post articles of interest, and discuss politics and books and movies. We’re spread out over a wide geographic area, so having this online place to hang out has done wonders for our continued friendships.
    There are 12 people who author this blog on a semi-regular basis. Most of them post once every month, or once every two months or so. MT 2.661 has been indispensable for our blog.
    Under the licensing requirements for MT 3.0, it would cost me $699 to upgrade my one, low-traffic, community-oriented, non-profit, non-commercial blog. That’s just not something any of us can even dream of affording, on our low-income budgets.
    How, then?


  3. I donated $20 but will be dropping MT like a hot potatoe.. it’s not worth $70 dollars when I can get the equivalent for free from someone else.


  4. It’s not that we have to pay for it. The briefest intelligent look around the MT community would tell you that many, MANY of the complainers have always said they would pay for MT. I would pay for MT. I donated twice.
    The problem is not only that the prices are ridiculously high (I would pay $70, but not to be restricted to 1.25 blogs) that this is an entirely unexpected reversal of everything 6A has said (which itself isn’t much). We’ve ALWAYS been told that there will ALWAYS be a full-featured free version of MT3. MT3 was going to be the release for everyone, MT Pro was coming later. We begged and begged for more info, and this is all we got. Those were pretty pitiful bones to throw us; now we know that they were lies as well.
    Restrictions on number of blogs and authors is by NO DEFINITION full-featured. In fact, their //feature// page looked like this…
    …until sometime this afternoon. See the things at the bottom? Where unlimited blogs and authors are in the feature list? Yeah.
    6A has always been horrible at communicating. They always told us that they were horrible at communicating because they were working so hard to get a wonderful product to all of us. Turns out that that wasn’t entirely true, either.


  5. I don’t think people are objecting to the fact that they have to pay either. They’re objecting to the restrictive nature of each license and how much they would have to pay to continue their weblogs as they have been under previous licenses. They’re also objecting to the feeling that Six Apart has lied to and generally misled them, stating there would always be a fully featured free version and giving no indication that the new fees structure was in the works.
    Add to that those of us that are not in the US and have to pay a considerably larger sum in our own currency. The New Zealand dollar is worth just under half the US dollar, so that $70 lower tier is getting up to $140 – $700 to do what I’m doing now on my blog would cost me close to $1400. It’s not worth it for a site that’s created for fun and does not and has not ever earned any money.


  6. Six Apart, until pretty darn recently, was just a couple of people making something neat. Then they reached a point where they were stung by their own success in making such an exceedingly excellent product and found that just a couple people plus some volunteers couldn’t support the number of people who loved what they’d made. So they turned into a company. Instead of just selling the software or service, they turned into a great little company which I’m happy to support.
    They’ve had to make some tough decisions along the way and, predictably, because they’re new at this, not every decision has been perfect with 20/20 hindsight. A surprising number of decisions have been great and have made the great majority of their users happy. They hired the right people. They learned from mistakes. They grew incredibly rapidly. All this under the scrutinizing eye and constant stream of alternately adoring and bitchy commentary which bloggers (the present author included) are so known for.
    It seems to me that the angry group who feels left out and burned by the fees (necessary to keep a business going) are those with many multi-author blogs. It’s a group I wasn’t really aware of before today. Maybe Six Apart just missed considering that in their first pricing plan.
    So what happens? Many of those offended folks react, sorry to say, like they’re in junior high (maybe they are, I don’t know) and scream “This SUCKS! Moveable Type SUCKS! Six Apart I HATE YOU!” and run upstairs and slam their doors as though somehow this pricing scheme were The End, unchangeable, with no possible additional pricing structures to be added.
    Had it occurred to anyone that they could have said, rationally, “Hey, Six Apart, I love your product, but this pricing scheme won’t work for me and here’s why… and here’s a pricing idea that would work because I really do want to keep using MT.”? And that Six Apart might say, “oh wow, we forgot about the multi-blog/multi-author personal folks. We need to add in one or two more personal plans for those circumstances.”?
    My guess is that those complaining the hardest have never run their own businesses and never had to deal with having to change plans to respond to changing circumstances.
    By the way, SFT, the $70 plan is up to 3 authors, up to 5 blogs. That doesn’t seem unreasonably priced to me at all, especially when you split it 3 ways and deduct your previous donations.
    And as for the Free Moveable Type you are lamenting the loss of, it’s still right there and sounds perfectly good for the average user:
    “Movable Type Free (Unsupported License)
    Not willing to pay for Movable Type yet? This fully-functional version of the application is available free of charge. Important limitations of this license include:
    * No support from Six Apart
    * No access to paid installation service
    * No access to fee-based services
    * No promotion of your weblogs through the Recently Updated list
    * No commercial usage
    * No more than one author and three weblogs.”
    So perhaps therein lies the crux of the whole matter. I suspect that these vociferous complaints are coming from people who consider themselves average users and yet have multi-author blogs or more than three weblogs. That just doesn’t sound average, folks.


  7. Uh, forgive me if I’m missing something, but can’t everyone who is currently using an older version of MT just keep using it? I haven’t seen anything that makes me think you have to pay or give up your blog.
    Man, it’s stuff like this whole kerfluffle that makes the rest of the world point at the blogging community and say “what a bunch of freaks”. Chill out, people, chill the hell out.


  8. When a company you trust reveals that all they’ve told you for more than a year was lies, that’s not something to stay entirely chilled out about.
    Re $70 for 5 blogs — a lot of people running multiple weblogs only have one real blog; they use multiple blogs for things like link lists, static content, etc. This is a feature of MT; to be able to create “weblogs” to handle stuff on your site that’s not strictly a blog. When you cripple the number of blogs we can use, you remove a feature vital to many people’s non-extraordinary use of MT. And again, they said they would never cripple features in the free version.
    If they had told us a year ago that they’d have this sort of pricing scheme, we’d’ve been miffed, but we’d’ve chilled out. If they’d told us a month ago, we’d’ve been miffed, but we’d’ve mostly chilled out. If they’d told us a week ago, we would’ve been REAL miffed, but dealt with it. But no, no, they choose to expose themselves as liars no earlier than THE DAY OF RELEASE. That just ain’t right, and you should expect nothing but a little furor.
    So yeah. Y’all chill out about the furor. In the grand scheme of things, a day or two of pissing and moaning is quite commensurate with something so offensive as this.


  9. SFT has it right. It’s not about paying for it, it’s about changing the entire direction you have led the entire community in, literally over night.
    I was in the alpha test group, and I beta tested MT3. I spend considerable time bug chasing and reporting because I wanted to use the software at the end, and believed that I was doing a good thing to help a community.
    6A changed that by pricing it out of the personal use market. This was not once indicated to anyone.
    Thinks the prices are ok? Does your host have dual CPUs in their servers? If so, there is automatically no license for you. Commerical blog with 21 authors? You automatically have no license, even if you spend $699 for the top commercial license.
    Big gaping holes in the licensing, communication and a big “up yours” to the community of people who were raving fans 48 hours ago.


  10. I’m a bit miffed, but I also understand that content creators deserve freedom of choice with their product.
    I’m an average “joe smoe” blogger. I just checked and I have six weblogs. (Path to Enlightened Insanity via Defacted Musings, Interesting Websites, PeJournal, WeJournal, Weblog, and Test eJournal.) If you peek around my website you’ll note that MT is sort of ubiquitously woven through much of the site. Additionally I host two weblogs for friends, that are very low volume.
    I plan to stay at 2.64. I had considered upgrading to 2.661 but the timing wasn’t right and now it seems that it has disappeared from MT’s website.
    I think what would be more appropriate would be a pay as you can system, for personal use. Perhaps asking people to pay a percentage of their income and putting them on the honor system, say 0.001%. What MT risks happening is losing their really innovative users, who are not as well off fiscally.


  11. MT 3.0 Fiasco

    It all started so innocently. Thursdays and Fridays are, by default, when I try and compensate for a crazy circadian. You will notice a pattern in my mt-calendars. If I allow myself one tub of Maxwell House, I can plateau…


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