Six Apart and Enterprise Blogging

Six Apart came up with a new version of MoveableType with features for enterprise blogging. TechCrunch and Read/Write Web had a good review of the release. I had a good discussion with Anil Dash (one of the old-timers at Six Apart) on TechCrunch forum:

Jitendra

I am not sure I understand what Six Apart is trying to do here? I buy that enterprise blogging is a big deal and that the blogs are going more and more mainstream (See my old post on the growth of blogosphere) but the driving force behind the blogosphere is really that blogs are more personal and are not typically encumbered with extensive enterprise controls. Enabling enterprise level controls for blogging is gonna make them sound like enterprise press releases which is just not going to be popular…

Anil’s response

Anil
Jitendra, you raise an issue that commonly comes up, but that I don’t necessarily think is a valid concern. You see, offering better management tools for administrators to do things like create blogs more efficiently, or assign permissions and roles more easily, doesn’t inherently compromise the human voice or expressiveness of blogs. We think that giving IT managers better blogs tools makes it easier for them to get out of the way and let users express themselves in a human voice.

My response

The issue that worries me with the Six Apart direction is the central control of the blogging infrastrucutre at the enterprise level. To me blogging is essentially an individualistic endeavor where you have an opportunity to connect with your audience at a more personal level. From re-reading Six Apart’s positioning for enterprise blogging, it seems like you guys are trying to make blogging more of a collaboration tool. This might be benefitial to certain companies but its not clear how its different from Wikis in such situations?
Thanks,
Jitendra

I guess there is a possibility of getting some traction in collaboration related usage scenarios, but at what price? What about those crazy and expensive enterprise sales cycles? and what about all those requirements for integration with enterprise infrastructure and identity systems? CMS Wire has a great review.

I still don’t get the rationale behind this move…Do you?

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