SixApart’s empire grows

SixApart’s empire grows
: Loic Le Meur just made the big announcement about which he has been hinting: His French blogging company, UBlog, has become exclusive agent for SixApart — Movable Type and TypePad — in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

SixApart recently licensed its software to Japan’s NTT.

All of this, of course, has the fine hand of SixApart investor and angel in many senses of the word, Joi Ito.

TypePad is growing its linguistic base. It’s available in French and Spanish; German and Dutch are next. (See the next post above.)

Loic says UBlog will continue to distribute its free product in Europe and will offer upgrades to its current customers.

So we have Blogger now part of Google with its own business plan: Getting targeted pageviews for targeted ads.

And we have SixApart as a still-independent company with its own business plan: Licensing software and services in the blogging world.

And there are other, smaller players: Radio (big in education, with Salon, and elsewhere); 20six (another European player), a few enterprise business players. And Steve Hall reminds me not to forget the huge community-blogging tools: Livewire, Xanga, et al. Meanwhile, AOL’s blogging effort has not exactly taken over the world (I could tell them why but why bother). The portals and media companies have been generally clueless in this and probably should be; this is a grassroots media movement of the people and putting the tools in the hands of the people is what it’s all about.

Where this all shakes out is too soon to tell. New players could still enter (blogging software isn’t that complicated). Big companies could still buy existing players (now is the time to get into this).

And the field of blogging will grow as this functionality is used for everything from audio to video to corporate communications to family shopping lists.

But all players will have to keep in mind that more than with browsers or HTML or media players or any Internet technology, the practioners of this technology feel a real proprietary interest and responsibility for it; the best player will make sure to listen to bloggers and give them what they want; that will be the secret to success.