Recently in Six Apart Category

First of all, THANKS to Six Apart and the community of users for the support. Creative Commons and WITNESS can really use the money and we appreciate it VERY much. A portion of the donations by users for permanent Live Journal accounts was donated to RAINN, EFF, Creative Commons and WITNESS during a recent campaign.

Unfortunately, we failed to disclose my involvement in Creative Commons and WITNESS when Six Apart was conducting the campaign. I'm the chairman of Creative Commons and a board member of WITNESS. I apologize to everyone for this oversight. I think that transparency is an essential part of everything we stand for and it really is unfortunate that we didn't handle this properly.

I would like to make it clear that while I donate time and money to WITNESS and Creative Commons, I pay all of my expenses and have never charged anything to either of these organizations... so while it doesn't make the lack of disclosure OK, I don't personally benefit financially from either of these donations from Six Apart.

Anyway, thanks again for everyone's support of Six Apart, Creative Commons, WITNESS and other organizations that I love.

BTW, Valleywag posted about the lack of disclosure.

UPDATE: BTW, my wiki profile probably is the best list of affiliations that I have if you're interested.

As many of you already know, Six Apart, which I my company Neoteny is an investor in has been working for awhile to develop Vox. (I'm the Chairman of Six Apart Japan as well.) Vox is still in preview mode, but we're welcoming and asking friends to sign up and give it a try. It's free. I'm actually enjoying it a great deal and have been posting most of my stuff on my Vox site these days. It feels more personal and is a bit more group oriented than this blog. Anyway, let me know if you have any questions and let me know what you think.

Click this badge to get an invite through my landing page.

Last night was the launch party of CGM Marketing. It is a joint venture between Digital Garage, Asatsu DK, Dentsu and Cyber Communications (CCI). (Press release)

I co-founded Digital Garage in 1994. My little web/IT company called Eccosys made a joint venture with and later merged with the Garage group headed by Kaoru Hayashi. The Garage group was involved in advertising, marketing and content. We were their little Internet engine that could. In the early days of Eccosys, I had been talking to Yahoo about doing Yahoo Japan. After Softbank invested, it was clear that I wasn't going to get to run Yahoo Japan. I was offered 1% of Softbank Japan by Masa Son, but I turned it down. (Maybe I should have taken it. ;-P) Soon after, I was contacted from a friend at Infoseek about starting Infoseek Japan. We quickly shifted gears and started getting Infoseek Japan up. Softbank set up a joint venture with Dentsu, the #1 ad agency in Japan and called it Cyber Communications. They were tasked with figuring out how to sell ads on Yahoo Japan and interfacing with the agencies. We turned around and got Hakuhodo the #2 agency, Asatsu the #3 agency, Daiichi Kikaku, Yomiuri Kokoku and Daiko and created the Digital Advertising Consortium (DAC). In aggregate, these ad agencies approximately equalled Dentsu in size.

Infoseek had pioneered the idea of CPM ads, selling inventory based on impressions. At the time, none of the ad agencies liked the idea or thought they could sell it to their customers. They understood television GRP, but it was really a measurement of effect. The notion that you could sell ads by how many people actually viewed it, instead of the "value of the spot" was sort of a non-starter. We set up a study group/feasibilty study period for six months where we had people from all of the member agencies come together and talk and learn and eventually try to explain to sales teams in their respective groups. Infoseek launch around 6 months after Yahoo Japan, and we launched with a healthy rotation of ads.

Eventually, Internet ads were a big success and and CCI and DAC are now both public companies. Infoseek Japan now lives inside of Rakuten and is still one of the top portals in Japan, outliving the parent which was purchased and smothered inside of Disney.

In reflection, Infoseek and "home pages" didn't take off in the way I imagined. I thought we would have a lot more personal publishing. Instead, we ended up with big sites that were for all practical purposes, professional media sites. I had dreams of "the death of advertising" 10 years ago and had thought that personal publishing and targeted advertising would disinter-mediate some of the lying and stupidity. We didn't get that far.

So here we are - blogs, wikis, tags, Technorati, RSS/Atom, and the web looks a lot more like what I had envisioned 10 years ago. The online ad business is more innovative than its old media counterpart, but it has become mostly an inventory/sales business. So lets try this again. This time, we decided to hook up with Dentsu the #1 ad agency, Asatsu the #3 ad agency and CCI, the competitor to the company we set up to sell Infoseek ads.

Although I don't like the word "Consumer" in the "Consumer Generated Media Marketing" name, the idea behind this company is to try to take it the next step. (I wish we could use "user") At the first meeting yesterday, I said that I thought that advertising, PR and marketing would converge into "communications". That companies that created or improved good/great products would communicate with their users and that it was about getting involved in the conversation. It was not about spending money to force yourself in front of people who didn't want to hear about your message. It was also not about charging people to participate in "content". It was about people having conversation and about companies knowing when, how and where to say the right thing so that they contributed to the conversation and were welcome in it.

Clearly, the first step is to figure out things like ads that are smart about blogs, tags, time, context. It is also about treating the blogger and the advertiser equally where the ads reflected the desire of the person having the conversation as well as the desires of companies to participate in them.

I was saying all of this in a room full of ad agency executives. It is always sort of funny talking about the end of people's businesses. On the other hand, many of the senior members there were the same guys I was talking to 10 years ago trying to explain CPM and banner ads. I felt privileged to be allowed some suspension of disbelief as well as some trust that we'd try to figure out where the business was. (I don't think anyone REALLY thought that DAC was going to become a public company 10 years ago.)

I think the world is more complex than back in the Infoseek days, but we have a lot more experience and trust this time around. It was a really nice feeling shaking hands with people I hadn't seen for almost a decade - all of us very eager to work together again. This time we get to skip the phase where they think I'm crazy and jump right into figuring out the ad business around Technorati Japan, Six Apart Japan and hopefully soon Japanese Wikia. Technorati is the "secret sauce" and shiny new thing that Infoseek had been 10 years ago.

I am going to be on the board of this company, but will not run it. My role will be to bring new things to them, try to help them with their bearings and stir things up once in awhile.

Disclosures/disclaimer: I am an investor in Technorati, Six Apart and Wikia. I'm an advisor to Digital Garage. Digital Garage is the Japanese partner for Technorati and operates Technorati Japan. I am on the board of and GM of International for Technorati, I am the chairman of Six Apart Japan. I am on the board of Technorati Japan and and am involved heavily in its operation.

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Boris just upgraded this blog to Movable Type 3.2 which just came out. It has a bunch of new features and is very stable. One important new feature is advanced community management that deals with comment spam. Anyway, for people who have been waiting to upgrade, I think it's time. The upgrade is pretty easy and free for current licensees of 3.x. The new license also allows an unlimited number of blogs. If you need help, Boris is helping people out (for a fee).

Disclosure: I'm an investor in Six Apart and Chairman of Six Apart Japan.

Cory Doctorow @ Boing Boing Blog
GOATSE t-shirt in the NYT

Anil.184

Anil Dash wore a subtle and arcane GOATSE t-shirt for a recent New York Times photoshoot, and they ran a pic of him wearing it. GOATSE is an Internet legend -- a repulsive photo that used to live at www.goatse.cx that Internet pranksters went to great lengths to trick others into seeing.

SFW Wikipedia entry on Goatse, NYT Link

This is excellent... Wait, does this guy work for Six Apart?

Sorry I couldn't say anything before, but the rumors are true. Six Apart has acquired Danga, the company that runs LiveJournal.

See the press release, the FAQ, Mena's Corner and Brad's post for more info. So I guess I better clean learn bml and make my LJ look a bit better.

Six Apart Japan together with Softbank just started selling Movable Type in a box. Actually, it's a folder. Anyway, it's doing surprising well and is currently ranked #1 on Softbank's ECBuyers online store right now. Sorry if this sounds boastful, but we're pretty stoked.

Lifeblog 1.5 has just been announced and it will support blogging directly to TypePad from Nokia phones with Lifeblog. Yay! Good work gang.

via Christian Lindholm

Mena writes about August Capital and Jay Allen joining the Six Apart team. August is a top class Silicon Valley VC firm and they have recently invested $10M in Six Apart. Thank you for your confidence and welcome to the team. Jay Allen is the author of MT Blacklist and will be joining as a product manager. Welcome Jay.

We (Six Apart) released Movable Type 3.1 today. Some important new features including a dynamic pages and sub-categories. It comes with a plugin pack which includes MTBlackList 2.0. MTBlackList 2.0 is my favorite comment spam zapper. (More on Mena's Corner.)

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