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Six Apart launches Moveable Type Version 3.0

It’s been a long time in the coming but Moveable Type version 3.0 is now available. As a developer of blogs I’ve been waiting for MT 3.0 since March when we were told it would be out. Waiting not so much for the features but for clarity as to the licensing of MT. Till know the commercial license was about as vague as anything you would want to read and when asking for clarity they said just wait till 3.0 coming in March.

As far as features there is not too much difference. The big differences for blog publishers are an unsubscribe feature, easy to use moderate comments feature and a cleaner,more upbeat backend user interface. The unsubscribe allows readers who have subscribed to the blog so as to get email updates can unsubscribe right on the blog. Till know a blog publisher had to ask users to email the publisher to be unsubscribed.

The moderating comments feature is nice. The feature was there before but now there is a nice clean looking interface that displays the status of all comments, including those that have been yet to be approved and displayed. With spammers hitting blogs to get links to their drug and porn sites, this is a nice feature. It’s also real nice when using the comments in a way like we are going to for certain law firm blogs where lawyers in the firm will be adding their analysis and commentary to the law & news via the comments feature.

The backend user interface is nice. The old MT of metallic grey is replaced by a clean & bright interface. Heck, it’s just a happier looking interface.

What MT 3 really brings is recognition that MT is a powerful data base driven content management tool that can and will be used by Web developers just like they have used other tools that are now outdated. Till now MT could be used for free on a non-commercial license and $150 per commercial license. However, because the license was so vague, developers like our company were chilled from using MT to the full extent possible. I just could never tell if we could continue to use MT on a long term basis.

The license is now clear that developers can use the license for $299 per user (discounted to $199 for now). Because MT is the best blogging software, for a lot of reasons I do not have time to get into right now, we’re going to use MT (with a lot of extra hacking & development) as the foundation of our blog offerings.

I also think MT is now going to be used by companies, including law firms, as an internal knowledge management system. In fact it’s the large corporate market that Six Apart is going after with MT 3 and the new licensing terms. Rather than expensive intranets, MT allowing multiple authors, commenting and the uploading of documents is a great and cost effective tool, even at $599 for the most expensive license. Beats the heck out of emails with attached files.

I know the new licensing caused some hardships for blog hobbyists who had multiple authors and blogs. The price went from free to hundreds of dollars. However, Six Apart, over last weekend, quickly responded to the concerns and reduced prices for those folks using a non commercial license. But there is Six Apart’s TypePad if one wants to set up their own blog with less features. Finally anyone expecting great software from a great company has to expect to pay for it.

We have been using MT 2.6 on our blog and Web sites. We are going to use MT 3.0 on new sites and gradually update the past products our customers are using. Because of the modifications and enhancements we make for our customers we need to make sure MT 3.0 works with our enhancements and vice-versa.

I say kudos to Six Apart – though I am going to be paying a few bucks more.

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