Adam Rice

My life and the world around me

Another pocket of slack stamped out

The end of free has come to Movable Type. If you want to upgrade and be honest, it’ll cost you. A lot. I am disappointed.

I am an enthusiastic user of MT2. It’s a good program. I’ve encouraged other people to use it, and via the MT support forum, tried to help the community a little. But based on my own current usage, I’d owe Six Apart $150 if I upgraded to MT3: their license is based on the number of authors and blogs you host, rather than a more direct metric, like the number of support requests you make. And my usage is entirely for vanity and community projects: it’s not like I make a dime off any of this. That’s a lot of money to spend on free expression.

Even that might not be too bad if I perceived much value in this upgrade. I don’t. As useful as MT2 is, it’s getting long in the tooth, and there are features that users have been clamoring for for years, few if any of which appear in the new version apart from comment management.

For the time being, I’ll sit pat. MT2 works, and it isn’t going to stop working. But there are features I was expecting in MT3 that aren’t there, and (as I understand it) will not be there unless developed by third parties. Switching to a different system–even an open-source one–would be expensive for me in terms of time: I’ve got a lot invested in tweaking MT and learning its ins and outs, and getting to a similar level of proficiency with a different system would take a long time. So in that sense, it would be reasonable for me to pay $150 to upgrade (if I had a reason to), but only because they have me over a barrel.

Later: After the barrage from the blogosphere, Six Apart has backed off a bit–giving you more for your money and allowing a more expansive definition of a “blog.” I congratulate them for being responsive. With a little creative counting, I could probably sneak in on the $100 license now. Still not exactly cheap.

2 Comments

  1. I agree that the new tiered pricing structure is silly for personal users. Yet I do understand their desire to charge ISPs more if they offer MT as a service to their users. Did you see Kottke’s post on this topic? He makes sense, but he doesn’t acknowledge the ISP issue, either.

    For me, the biggest issue in the pricing structure would be educational pricing, which they didn’t publish. Last fall, we set up an MT system for a class I TA’ed. It was nice using MT, since I was familiar with the system, so I could easily install the software and support students, but I’m sure if we did it again, we wouldn’t use MT, since there are so many other free blogging systems out there.

  2. I moved to WordPress a few months ago, and it was the best thing that happened to my blog. I wrote a How To move from Movable Type to WordPress over at my blog, which might be of interest to you.

    WordPress lets me do everything MT did, and the support and user community positively rock!

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