With the release of Movable Type 4, the focus should be on its embrace of open-source technology. Instead, the launch has sparked a lively discussion about what many people have been saying for months: Movable Type is becoming a distant second option in the blog publishing world to WordPress. It wasn’t that long ago that MT ruled the roost, and Ben and Mena Trott were the king and queen of the blogosphere – or, at least, the blog publishing realm. Today, the new king is WordPress’ Matt Mullenweg, who embrace of open-source technology has attracted scores of developers looking to expand the WordPress eco-system.
The question is how MT lost its first-mover/early-mover advantage? In the tech world, all you need is one small, but crucial, mistake to find yourself going from the penthouse to the outhouse. In MT’s case, it was the decision to introduce a paid-version in 2004 that caused a revolt among its large and loyal user-based. People who had enthusiastically wave the MT flag started looking for another option – and WordPress became the platform choice for the in crowd. You could argue Apple’s became #2 the day it made one strategic decision: to keep the Mac OS in-house rather than licensing it to other computer makers. One decision, big consequences.
As always, Scott Karp makes some excellent points about MT vs. WordPress. “The real competitive action is going to play out in the open source developer community and among bloggers and other independent publishers, who have rallied around WordPress.” He also points out that many businesses use MT while independent publishers and individuals are WordPress users.
For more, check out Aaron Brazell’s information and entertaining post entitled: Five Things MovableType Learned from Bilbo Baggins.