How I’m Using MovableType

I run four MT pages on my private, personal site, ‘’: My Notes, Photo Notes, Commentary Index and Computers Index. I created these from one MT installation using the “Create New Blog” feature in the control panel. Thus, I’m unsure (after reading the 3.0 agreement) whether this counts as four blogs, or one.

I am really using a blog page as a “smart html page” for the Index pages. I had hoped to allow MT to take over more of this functionality. If I am really at a count of four already, MT 3.0 may not work.

MT is exciting and should be worth it even on a free site such as mine. But there are some concerns.

MT is a web application and a darned good one at that. I work in the software biz (mainframe) and also authored some shareware in the old Mac days. I understand and support cash flow — even though my own site is free and has none.

If I were running a commercial site I don’t think I’d have any issues with the MT 3.0 purchase plans. They make sense. As a personal user, I have to distinguish between how much I personally like MT and how badly my site may or may not need such an elegant high-tech “smart web page” solution.

I was affected by what Dave Winer did to Userland Frontier: an abrupt transition from money-burn freeware (you couldn’t even donate) to a subscription model at about $700 a year. He went after the webmaster market and intentionally squeezed out everybody who just liked to script as a hobby or a programming tool.

My biggest MT concerns are

(1) Am I close to the page limit now? Will $9.95 per extra page be worth a separate financial transaction whever I get a creative urge? I am not a big fan of metered usage for private, personal noncommercial use.

(2) Will my $69.95 be good the day after tomorrow? What contractual rights might I retain when version 3.2 comes out, also $69.95? Don’t laugh. Other software companies do this all the time.

For a free website, I could justify an essentially one-time expense for a quality addition like MT. I realize it’s not necessarily reasonable to ask for ironclad future guarantees. If I am to be looking at more recurring annual expenses, my personal solution (as I approach retirement) will be to do without.

(3) Legal boilerplate: I know software companies have “Agreements”. I don’t want my credit card information retained as part of my personal information. I won’t be divulging my mother’s maiden name Real Soon Now. Don’t care how many layers of SSL we have; private financial info is between me and my banker. Hope this never becomes an issue.

Sorry I missed the Fast Company article about Six Apart. Keep up the good work and best of luck to Six Apart [MT] in your new endeavor. If the business model can acommodate the needs of both commercial and personal users, great — count me in.


— Alex

This is a response to Mena’s request:

If free isn’t an issue for you and you’re willing to pay for a version of Movable Type (say the $69 version) and the blog/author limits won’t work for your current use, write a non-emotional post explaining how you’re using Movable Type and TrackBack this entry.

1,148 total views, 1 views today