Here's an excerpt of the announcement I received via email:
"Today we announced our intention to join forces with VideoEgg to form a new, modern media company called SAY Media. This new company will continue Six Apart's mission to make creators like you more successful. It will continue to help you create powerful and engaging content, and grow and monetize your audience. And it will continue to leave you in control.
"Nothing in TypePad changes today, and SAY Media will continue to provide support to TypePad subscribers, and evolve the TypePad platform. You can choose to take advantage of our strong relationships with marketers to monetize your blogs, or you can keep your blog ad-free."
The announcement has caused some degree of confusion and no small amount of concern among Typepad bloggers, for this reason: Say Media is a "media" company, not a software platform company, which is what SixApart is (was) at its core.
Even though 6A developed an advertising arm, I suspect most Typepad users didn't take advantage of it. We just wanted a simple to use blog that was ad-free. We didn't need all the bells and whistles offered by Wordpress, just a place to share our experiences, express our passions, and build our small businesses.
Now, that has changed.
Common sense says, if you're a "media" company, you're no longer a "software platform" company. You may have a platform, but you're intent has changed. Thus, the business model changes along with it. Let's put it this way, I will be hard pressed to believe you can do both well. While I didn't see it coming, looking back, I guess this has been part of Ben and Mena's vision for some time.
To my point, the Say SAY Media site tells the story. They want "passionate, independent media creators."
How many of you qualify? I know I don't, unless I misunderstand the meaning of the term, which I don't think I do based on this quote these quotes from an Adweek article reporting the merger...
"Say Media expects to lose some subscribers to the Six Apart blogging platform. Its main focus, Young said, is in those that hope to build media businesses, rather than regular people who write a blog for fun."
"The absorption of Six Apart gives the company the added reach of the latter's Movable Type and TypePad blogging software. Say Media plans to use those ties with content creators to foster the growth of independent media properties it can package to advertisers."
"The kinds of people we want to work with are emerging media personalities."
You know I have always focused on how Typepad can be used as an easy to use publishing tool for small business. It became that too. Now, not so much.
With the advent of Wordpress, maybe the handwriting was on the wall. Maybe Ben and Mena are to be commended, not only for their extraordinary vision in creating one of the world's first blogging tools to be used by the populace, but for seeing that to contend against WP strictly on a blog-to-blog, component-by-component standpoint was fruitless. There was too much at stake to lose by playing that game. So, they changed the game.
But, what may be good for Ben and Mena may not be good for the thousands of Typepad users who have no intention of becoming media moguls. Time will tell.
I will say this...I bet Matt Mullenweg is smiling.