Finally, this whole episode is a good reminder that the problems of the publishing industry haven’t gone away just because the world has gone digital. In fact, personal archiving is an example of a way it’s gotten worse. You never needed a ‘reading layout’ with a magazine or a newspaper because they were already optimized for reasonably efficient reading. Now layouts are optimized for ‘time on site’. You also never needed a separate service to help you ‘Read Later’ a magazine or newspaper because you could, you know, just read it later. As digital publishing continues to try and balance profits with audience satisfaction, you can expect many more debates like this from smart people like Anil, Gruber, and Zeldman. Just as it’s important for us to defend upstarts who fight the status quo, it’s also important to hold them to as high of a standard as we hold ourselves.
I'll blog more about this, but I love Mike Davidson's take on this weekend's scum-gate. From Anil's post, "The Price we Pay:"
Because when I would spend my time flinging zingers at Matt Mullenweg about the merits of Movable Type vs. WordPress, you know who was winning? Mark Fucking Zuckerberg. Facebook won the blogging wars. The web became a more closed place than if either Movable Type or WordPress had evolved into the tool that powered social networking.
An oversimplified post-mortem may be that Wordpress cared more about open source and open software, whereas Six Apart let people own their data — our terms of service was clearer about the ownership of hosted blogs, and the majority of authors used our installed tool (Movable Type). In Facebook's world, authors have given away more ownership & rights for their work and have less visibility into the software itself. In other words, the end result for users was negative in every way possible.