History of support

Dave Winer, 3/23/04:

The Cluetrain says we should be more open and communicate. I’ve bought into that. So have the Trotts and their investors. If they have to walk on eggshells in order to communicate, they’re going to do less of it. So try to give them the benefit of the doubt, and try to work with them. I will too, overlooking how they’ve treated me in the past, because it’s good for the community for us all to work together.

Dave Winer, 5/14/04:

Six Apart announced new pricing for Movable Type and hell breaks loose. The users are acting as children, saying somehow they didn’t know that eventually Six Apart would charge for their software. I knew they were going to charge, why didn’t you? I can say this because I’m not a customer (I do use their software, but I didn’t pay for it) and I’m not them. But I’ve been where they are and it sucks. No one’s perfect. If you use their software, you owe them some money. If you don’t like the price, don’t use it.

Dave Winer, 5/21/04, on Six Apart’s pricing:

Editorial: It’s lame to charge for weblog software based on how many weblogs you make and how many authors there are. A weblog isn’t that big a deal. Manila lets you make as many weblogs as you want with as many authors as you want. Today’s modern $2K computer can manage thousands of weblogs. Charge a fair price and don’t fuss over how many blogs they make or how many people edit them.

Dave Winer, 6/14/04, on transitioning weblogs.com sites:

There are several commercial Manila hosting companies, including weblogger.com. Thomas Creedon maintains a list of commercial and free hosting services. If you want to have your site hosted more cheaply, consider the possibility of forming a co-op of some kind.

Anil Dash of Six Apart, 6/15/04:

We’re also interested in offering TypePad as a hosting service for those who are transitioning their weblogs.com sites. I’ve got a good idea how to do a lot of the tech, but if people can lend insights into a more open way to export and import these sites, I’m all ears.

I’d love to see someone document the process of migrating (from any tool to any other, really) in order to help us all focus on making this better for users in the future. I’d volunteer myself but I’d rather it be someone neutral who’s interested.

Dave Winer, 6/23/04:

One difference between what happened to SixApart and what happened to me, is that I came to their defense, and they joined the mob. I’ll still come to their defense in the future, when I think the community needs moderation, but I won’t forget what they did, trying to hustle new business with the people whose sites were stranded.

5 Comments

  1. Heh.

    I love reading Dave Winer. He makes me laugh all the time, especially when he doesn’t mean to.

  2. As background, I had emailed Dave prior to my first comment listed above, asking if it would be helpful to offer any of the weblogs.com users a site on TypePad, or if we could offer technical assistance with the DNS issue he’d mentioned in hosting all the subdomains. Here’s the email I sent Dave:

    Hi Dave,

    I listened to your post about not being able to host weblogs.com users any more, and I wanted to get in touch to see if you’d want to offer those users a path to getting hosted on TypePad if they want.

    We’d be willing to offer them a discount and free trial on TypePad, and I’m assuming we can use the API to migrate their posts over. We’d want to offer it to all weblogs.com users, not just those who got in touch, so that we could maybe keep some of the older pages Googleable as well. (I think a lot of the blogs aren’t in the web archive.)

    We might also be able to help with some of the DNS issues if you need, since I think our tech guys have some good solutions to handling a large number of subdomains.

    If you’re up for it, let me know, we’ll work something out. If you’re not interested, no problem.

    Anil

    I didn’t get any reply to that message, so I posted non-critical comments where I thought affected users would seem them. Yes, we make money hosting TypePad blogs, but as Dave mentioned, he didn’t have a problem with that, and in some ways, you get what you pay for. To my mind, offering people who cared about their blogs a pay service that they know would be obligated to provide a service worthy of paying for was a good option for those who placed more importance on peace of mind. I don’t think anybody gleefully rubbed their hands together and said “we’re gonna retire from the handful of people moving over from weblogs.com!”

    I didn’t get a response from Dave about either the offer of technical help or the option to offer users a hosted service, so I posted a brief comment on Sam’s site, as well as one on the comments thread on the weblogs.com shutdown page, mentioning that we’d help people transition if they needed. Sam was right, the outage was a time to not be partisan, a time to focus on how we could help the users, and a chance to learn from the situation about how we could do better in the future. Part of that is making migration of weblog data a task that’s got a known process.

    For my part, I had figured not speaking on the situation until it was resolved, while emailing offers to Dave and Rogers Cadenhead to help with the technical and hosting problems was the most useful thing I could do. (I offered TypePad because, well, we don’t do Manila hosting. I also offered help in archiving or storing users’ data just on a personal basis, if that was useful, but it turned out not to be.)

    Then, when Ev’s post went up, it seemed succinct and accurate, so I linked to it.

  3. Yeah. Your comment struck me as reasonable and helpful. I like the approach, in times of hot feelings, of tackling the technical problems that can be fixed. It won’t make everyone happy but at least one’s doing something.

    This post is… hm. There’s no commentary in it because it’s intended as documentation. I don’t think I missed any relevant comments, and if I did I’d be happy to add them. One of the interesting things I noticed over the last two weeks is that it’s very hard to get a complete picture of the reactions without tracking through quite a few blogs. Context is hard.

  4. As I’ve said before: Dave needs to realize that, whether right or wrong in his decisions, he’s really, really bad at framing that “context” Bryant refers to. (For example, he could state his reasons for terminating 3000 blogs before actually doing it.)

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