Posts from May 14, 2004

Berliner love

Berliner love

: The Love Parade in Berlin isn’t happening this year because the organizers couldn’t get financing. In any American city, the pols would also be doing everything they could to keep a parade filled with naked people off the streets. But not in my favorite European city: “Berlin politicians are now promising to focus on finding a way to bring back the Love Parade in 2005. As for this year, Berlin’s techno clubs are trying to think of an alternative event to offer the thousands of party tourists that descend on Berlin each summer for what used to be the world’s biggest rave.” (Official site here.)

Party on

Party on

: Wonkette parties with aged conservatives. With photo.

Disgusting

Disgusting

: DJs in Portland, OR were fired for laughing at the tape of Nick Berg’s execution. And well they should have been fired. This didn’t happen because of FCC threats — there are, so far as I know, no FCC rules for incredibly stupid, insenstitive, wrong-headed, inhuman, unpatriotic, cruel, rude, and downright slimy behavior. The station simply had the good sense to get rid of these idiots. And their apology (ungrammatical as hell) did them no good.

Bottom line

Bottom line

: Movable Type reveals its new pricing and I predict it could cause a storm of protest.

Regular pricing (introductory pricing lower) for the personal license runs from $99.95 to $189.95 for five to 10 blogs. Regular pricing for the commercial license runs from $299.95 to $699.95 for five to 20 blogs.

The problem for little guys is that personal is defined as “noncommercial.” So, one must assume, if you do anything to make money — Blogads or AdSense or Amazon affiliation or what about a tipjar? — you have to get the commercial license. There’s also a free version with no SixApart support but it, too, is noncommercial.

The problem for big guys is the arbitrary limit on the number of blogs. Calacanis already has more than 20; Denton will soon; Corante is one away; in full disclosure, my day job site is well over that. This is the chronic conundrum of software licensing: You have to be able to price on volume usage but you also don’t want to discourage usage… because you only drive your customers to your competitors. Why limit the ambition of your customers? The attitude should be: Want 1,000 blogs? Great! We’ll make it easy for you. Putting a cap of 20 on the license is thinking small, way too small.

It’s clear that SixApart should be making money for a very good product. It’s clear that they were not getting enough money before. I like all the guys at SixApart; trust and respect them. I like the product and have no desire to go looking for alternatives. But…

This comes at what I believe is a bad time: when Movable Type users have been feeling a bit neglected as all the new features have gone to the paid hosting service, TypePad (which won’t work for many bloggers with big ambitions in terms of the number of blogs or bandwidth) while MT 3.0 is forever on the horizon.

Olivier Travers wrote a great and softspoken post two weeks ago saying that the delay in getting to the next version of MT has only increased the anticipation and that the lack of new features is thus bound to disappoint.

I’ve spoken with some other power users of MT who are unhappy that they have not gotten swift help on such issues as comment spam.

And at the same time, Blogger comes out with all kinds of new features … at last (but, hey, it’s free). And I know of another rabid competitor getting ready to pounce.

Damn, the last thing I wanted to do right was comparison shop.

: UPDATE: SixApart’s Anil responds in the comments (as I knew he quicklyi would):

The personal/noncommercial license specifically allows incidental revenue like blog ads or tip jars or affiliate revenue, just to accommodate the way personal bloggers use the app. That was fun trying to explain to a lawyer.

Great.

Those who serve

Those who serve

: Tim Oren visits the new World War II memorial in Washington. He says:

Our current struggle is the first in our history as a nation in which the roll call of the dead contains a majority of civilians. This is our enemy’s goal, for they are murderers, not soldiers.

And he pictures the words of Gen. George Marshall in stone:

We are determined that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom on the one hand and of overwhelming force on the other.