Last month marked the end of one of my longest-running consulting engagements, with popular technology blog ReadWriteWeb. Founder Richard McManus announced last month that ReadWriteWeb is being acquired by Say Media, a company formed by the combination of VideoEgg and Six Apart (formerly the maker of Movable Type). Congratulations to Richard and the rest of the RWW team on this exciting next step!
ReadWriteWeb will soon be migrating from Movable Type to a proprietary SAY platform, which, based on publicized rumors (I have no inside knowledge), may be based on the TypePad platform that came with the Six Apart acquisition (which in turn, many moons ago, was based on Movable Type).
During the fours years that I worked with ReadWriteWeb, most of the services I provided were Movable Type management, maintenance, optimization, and custom development. Projects included at least one major re-design integration and a hosting migration from one provider to another. I also helped RWW integrate social media services through several of my Movable Type plugins including FriendFeed Comments, Twitter Commenters, and Twitter Tools. My Visitor Stats plugin helped provide real-time stats about traffic to RWW stories and show which posts were most popular.
Once again, congratulations to ReadWriteWeb and thank you for 4 years of interesting projects. I wish them all the best in future.
Movable Type is powerful content management and blogging software application.
Movable Type (MT) is designed to enable extensive customization and extensions of the application. Creative use of the customization tools available have lead to many innovative uses of the software.
An example is the MT Forum View that I developed. This customization makes MT look and act like a discussion forum. A working example can be seen in the forum on this site. An good example of an active forum powered by MT is my Seinfeld Blog Forum, in which almost 300 forum topics have been started by visitors to the web site. Seinfeld Blog is also a good example of using MT to power both the site and the forum, enabling a truly integrated interactive web site. Almost everything on the web site has a related discussion in the forum. This approach invites visitors to comment and discuss anything and everything about the site.
Two of my other web sites use Movable Type to power a visitor-driven database, with integrated discussions. Smells Like Sour and the Blog Spam Database accept submissions from visitors as additions to the database. Visitors can then discuss each submission in the forum.
Due to the highly-flexible nature of Movable Type, there are countless other creative applications of the software. I am very interesting in learning what your needs and ideas are - perhaps I can develop a customized MT application to enhance your web presence.
For a free assessment, click here.
Yesterday I posted my first Movable Type plugin, MTDynamic, on my new site, MT Hacks.
The plugin enables dynamic rendering of Movable Type blogs by using parameters in the URL. This can be used to display an entire MT site (pr just selected pages) dynamically, which opens up some interesting applications. One is the filtering of content by blog author, catgeory, and other criteria.
For more information about MTDynamic, click here.
David Sifry presents a simple method for limiting comments for only one week after the entry was posted. There are both advantages and disadvantages of implementing this - but it does simplify comment management significantly and it may be suitable for some blogs.
In recent announcements, Six Apart has announcement that the next version of MT will be Movable Type 3.0, which is a free upgrade to the current versions. Movable Type Pro, a paid version, will follow 3.0 and will focus on features for business and organizations. MT 3.0 will include new features such as:
- Comment registration. As a response to both comment spam and to the increased usage of Movable Type on large community sites, we'll be adding the option to restrict comments to registered users.
- Improved comment and TrackBack management features.
- New API hooks for plugin developers. Plugins will now be able to hook into many more pieces of Movable Type, including adding callbacks for saving and removing objects, building application methods with integration into the UI, and hooking into the publishing process. This opens up possibilities for plugins to add even more advanced functionality than they're able to do now.
- User interface rebuilt using CSS. We've seen with TypePad that a CSS-based interface gives users very fast application response times, and gives us a flexible interface for making application-wide changes, and we want to give this same speed and flexibility to Movable Type users.
- Support for the Atom API. We've already added Atom syndication feed support in version 2.65 of Movable Type, and we'll be adding publishing support for the API in 3.0.
The announcement also alludes to some other features to be announced later. I am particularily interested in the comment management features being added. A beta is expected in the first quarter of 2004.