There more I look at the blogging "market" these days, I see things falling into fairly well defined places--at least in my head. There is a already a well defined split between the hosted services that offer blogging capabilities (Blogger, TypePad, Y! 360, LiveJournal, etc) and the "host it yourself" model.
That second group is the ecosystem that MovableType and WordPress currently dominate and I think they'll continue to do so. If you further divide that into "corporate/enterprise" and "personal/non-profit" groups, I think both products will find their respective roles.
WordPress will come to be the de-facto choice in the world of self-hosted personal weblogs and low-end webhosting "value added" package. MovableType will be the blogware of choice in the corporate blogging world, both for internal weblogs and those that face the outside world.
Of course, there will be many exceptions to these generalizations, but these are the trends that I see. Matt's decision to create a WordPress Inc. shift things around a bit as well.
What do you think?
Posted by jzawodn at March 23, 2005 09:33 PM
Serendipity and b2evolution merit mentioning - both are very feature-rich blogware (and better than Wordpress and MovableType IMO). Blogware needs to support multiple blogs with a single installation and single database (AFAIK only b2evolution really does, while Wordpress and Serendipity have difficult hacks). If the most important requirement for corporate use is a company behind the blogware, then that's probably MovableType.
I find it interesting how the Sixapart website ( http://www.sixapart.com/decision ) seems to project the impression that 6A is trying to wean away or discourage normal users from using MT for their personal blogs.
A company behind the blogware is not essential to get Corporate users for WordPress - lots of OpenSource products did not have a corporation behind them at some point or the other, and yet prove popular choices. Cost is a factor, and already, you can get support for WordPress at the forums, or from one of many talented WP users who wouldn't mind supporting WP on the side - so to speak. Wp Inc. is interesting, as it should fill some perceived gaps with respect to "professional" help.
I guess MT will end up wherever it is that 6A wants to take it. :)
WP will be around for a while, and since it's free, the barrier to adoption is a little bit lower, and so I should expect that a lot more organizations and people start looking at it for solutions.
I don't know. I think as long as 6A keeps their community good will high, people will continue to use MT on the low-cost tip. WordPress is great, but I don't think free is everything in this market. If WP gets a big boost, I imagine it will be because ISPs will start pre-installing it.
I do have a problem with most of the selfhosted Blogsoftwares - they depend on a database.
While I do see a value in that, I stay on Pivot as a text file based version, because I can easily install it everywhere if one has PHP access. Just hooked up another guy last night with it. I will send him a zip file, he will upload it and we will be done. Another blog will be born that way.
You don't need a Truck if you want to transport your groceries - and most of us only have groceries for the weekend ...
As I myself would be able to administrate a db-based blog, I won't spend the money on upgrading my domains to mysql enabled just to have a blog running. I might be forced one day to do so for different purposes, but for the moment I don't want to.
As a matter of fact, this is a decision on different options I really do have.
Joe User on the other hand has the choice between easy blogging at blogger.com and co or to set up such geeky stuff with something called seequel. Or use the stuff with seeequel on a paid service. Is seeequel something you can eat?
Will he do that? Probably not. This is why he will be stuck with services like LiveJournal etc.
Take a look at the figures MS Spaces has made. I am sure Y360 will top that. Did Millions of people wait for those too services to start blogging?
No, they could not start before, because it was not easy enough. The self-hosted blogs are so complicated to run like coding html with edlin.
Creating a Wordpress Inc makes sense from my point of view - and the market will be big enough for different flavours of blogging software. Even for the commercial ones.
Plus: Competition is always good for the development of new features. :)
I've always been surprised there's no XML-based blogware out there. Most are DB-based, and some (like Pivot and Blosxom) are textfile based, but I would think XML would be perfect for just such an application.
XML != DB
Movable Type can use BerkeleyDB or SQLite, both of which do not require a DBMS like MySQL or PostgreSQL. Although only a handful of hosts offer SQLite (which is a shame as it's quite good), most offer support for BerkeleyDB.
Despite what Mike says, you could certainly use XML for storage of weblog data.
I agree with you and with the consensus here so far, for personal projects that are self hosted I think WordPress is the best solution for now. For someone looking for a managed solution - I refer them to TypePad and MoveableType. But these things can change. A short time ago those recommendations, from me, would have been for Blogger/GreyMatter/Radio and Manila respectively.
Over time, the current systems will become more entrenched with their existing users, but as new blogs come online - there’s plenty of room for competition.
Speaking of experimenting - I've used Frontier, Manila, Radio, PHP-Nuke, PostNuke, GreyMatter, MoveableType, Blogger, WordPress and CivicSpace on various projects over the past few years. And yes, I know, that's kinda nuts.
I might migrate my personal site to blojsom or Roller next. Or cook my own if I find the time. I like the simplicity of blosxom and blojsom alot. Roller would be far more popular if more hosts provided java hosting out of the box as well. The early versions of Roller we terrific - but I haven't had a chance to experiment for a while.
The community site I run (linked as my weblog url in this post) is running CivicSpace - which I find to be almost perfect for what I'm using it for there.
BTW Mike, Shelley Powers is working on WordForm http://wordform.org/, which I believe is a WordPress variant that enables multiple blogs with a single instance of the system.
I can't wait to see Y360 :)
I'd prefer s9y (Serendipity), but it seems WordPress is better when you try to install it in a hosted solution.
Many hosting companies have several php security restrictions and I felt WorkPress installing process works better.
But it's just a feeling.
Don't count out/ignore TextPattern. Dean Allen commits a cardinal sin among open source developers--releasing neither early nor often--but Textile, his "Humane Web Text Generator", is well thought of and widely adopted, and TextDrive, the hosting company he founded, at least in part, to support open source projects, seems to have no difficulty raising VC funding from its clients. Given its creator and its solid funding, not to mention a loyal user community, I would be surprised if Textpattern doesn't start grabbing market share.
One other big category you might want to consider is the whole CMS space. Drupal.org is a good example. Witness the success of spreadfirefox.com as a prime example.
I still don't think the built-in blogging features of CMS tools like Mambo and Drupal match the functionality of Wordpress and MT, but they are catching up all the time.
I think CMS tools will intrigue corporations because it is easy to extend them via supplied (or custom) modules. Need to add a discussion board? faq? user preference system? Just turn it on.
I'm probably several steps behind you guys in terms of programming acumen. I know just enough to build a basic site and implement a service like MT. I couldn't build my own blogging app or do anything sophisticated with SQL or Java.
As an average Joe, I'd love to see someone do a detailed review of the various blogging apps. Sort of a "which blog for you?" article that takes varied levels of skill and knowledge into account. I was a former Blogger user who switched over to MT for my blogs recently. I have my own domain and hosting service and built my own templates, so I guess I'm an intermediate level user. But a friend of mine just switched from MT to Wordpress, and I'm wondering how that would benefit me if I made the switch. And I have to admit that I haven't even heard of some of the apps you guys mentioned.
A full review of the varying apps--with recommendations supported by feature sets--would be of immense value to me. Is anyone up for the task? (Or does one exist that I don't know about?)
Agree with the split between hosted and host-it-yourself products, but I would like to suggest that there is emerging a clear split in the host-it-yourself market. As Nicole Simon notes not everyone needs a truck for their groceries, but when you need a truck. . .
As blogging moves to an enterprise-wide activity, a growing number of vendors is emerging with enterprise-hardy platforms (Pingware, Myst-Technologies, etc.)designed for community environments. Some are CMS with blog capabilities, but still must be factored into the equation. The growth in number of users of these platforms will not be as dramatic as it is for those targeted at the heart of the market.
So, IMHO the market will be two main branches, as you have indicated, with the host-it-yourself split yet again.
RE: Neil T, Greg
Any XHTML blogger/CMS uses XML by definition, as XHTML is valid XML.
The XML spec doesn't say anything about storage, it just defines the document format. For instance, you can store XML-formatted documents in files or in database columns.
I think what Greg meant is that none seem to be storing content a plain file-format without the need for a RDBMS for storing content.
Coming myself from the Perl planet, and currently using Wordpress, I don't see any reason why today someone would start a new blog on MT instead of chosing WP, especially if they are less than a bit skilled in Perl.
I can understand someone using MT not willing to switch on WP, of course. But starting a new weblog with MT ?
So in the long run, I think WP will overtake MT.
A number of hosting companies (e.g. Dreamhost) are now offering blogs as simple "one click" installables. The majority of those tend to be dreamhost.
I also know that a bunch of folks I know have little if any technical skill but are still able to run a blog.
Frankly, I think that the difference comes down to a person's "geek level". Moveable type is incredibly powerful, but with great power comes great having to hack around to get it to do what you want. Ok, so Uncle Ben Parker was obviously better at coming up with the quips, but the one thing absolutely in Wordpress' favor is the fact that it's nearly braindead to customize, particularly now with the theme modules.
I think what's on the back end doesn't really matter to most folks. To them, it's all magic and JuJu anyway. I'm willing to bet that any number of companies probably feel the same way, particularly the ones that aren't technical.
For them, Wordpress is more appealing because it's faster to set up and customize than Moveable Type (at least at first blush).
I am another bloggger in the Serendipity camp. I think it is a really easy install and it is full featured. I have tried MT and WP and they are nice but my preference is Serendipity.
My main gripe is that trackback between MT, WP, s9y, etc is less than consistent. And most blogging clients seem to work with MT and then WP with very few supporting serendipity.
Despite what Neil T. said, BerkeleyDB IS a DBMS (even more so than MySQL). Installing/running/maintaining BerkeleyDB is comparable to MySQL or PostgreSQL, and it's not for complete n00bs. Also, XML isn't intended to be a database. Performance would be truly lousy.
There is a multi-user Wordpress project here:
I've tried it but it didn't work at all.
To Bill, who's looking for a comprehensive review of possible solutions: http://www.asymptomatic.net/blogbreakdown.htm provides a really really useful feature checklist across about 15 different solutions. That was how I ended up with WordPress - it had a "yes" against *everything* that I particularly wanted, whereas the others were usually missing at least one feature that I considered really essential.
As a person who works full time on a Drupal hosted service (Bryght.com), I would like to know what you think is missing from Drupal's blogging features.
From my standpoint, it has everything you could want: an RSS feed for each blog, compatibility with the MovableType extensions to the MetaWeblog API so you can use all the blog reading and writing tools like FeedDemon, NetNewsWire, BlogJet and ecto.
And optionally a unique look and feel for each blog.
More excellent commentary on Drupal as a blogging tool over at D'arcy Norman's site:
Finally, check out D'arcy weblogs@ucalgary:
The hosting solutions like blogger and typepad are going to grow increasingly popular as more and more people begin blogging. WordPress has a lot of momentum behind it. Solutions that have built smaller but strong communities like textpattern (my favorite) and s9y and b2evolution are all in excellent shape.
Movable Type, it seems to me, is just in a state of decay. There are so few third party developments coming out for it compared to a year ago and fewer and fewer people are choosing it to start new weblogs. It will always have a warm place in my heart, but it seems like it will soon be joining projects like pmachine in the no longer developed pile.
For your hosting solution - I simply think more people need to know about it :) Apologies I didn't think of it for singular blogs instead of more community oriented sites. Not only does CivicSpace/Drupal scale up for large community sites - but it can satisfy blogger needs as well.
The fact that there isn't an outta-the-box blogger centric install for Drupal, that I am aware of, with the appropriate modules enabled, is a bit of an inhibitor I think. Then again - I haven't looked lately.
Regarding the Drupal as a blog solution, I wrote up a detailed post on my blog on the subject (http://www.tmarkiewicz.com/the-drupal-dilemma). I'm currently in the process of moving from Drupal to WordPress. If you only want to blog, Drupal is overkill.
Some interesting comments here and to those that profess their undying loyalty to lesser used blogware my compliments, but at the moment it comes down to MT V WordPress and despite starting along way behind the once mighty MT you'll find that if current growth rates are maintained that WordPress will surpass MT in user numbers within the next 6 months if not sooner. Why? well marketshare accross all blogs is said by some to be 3% MT, 2% WP at the moment but SixApart's corporate decisions, and as an earlier commenter said here, their apparent push of MT to corporate users (who are happy to pay) as opposed to regular users will further push people to Wordpress, and like anything when enough people use it there will become a point were it becomes the blogware of choice and number will continue to explode, personally I believe WordPress is nearly at that point now, and perhaps 1.5 is the version that will launch it into the stratosphere.
I must contend though with notion that MT will continue to dominate WP in corporate terms, I think that the market place today as compared to 2 or 3 years ago is far more open to Open Source alternatives and many businesses are understanding the benefits open source brings in terms of cost and flexibility. You can see parallels between WordPress Inc. and the service models chosen by companies such as RedHat or Novell (SuSe Linux), but having said that the WordPress suport community continues to grow and I'd argue if far more responsive and stronger than the once mighty MT community, in part because so many in the WordPress community are ex-MT users.
Wordpress, Inc. is a bit of a misnomer. WordPress Foundation might cover it better. I realize we've been a bit elusive in the past two days, but we'll release something in a short while.
Notice how many of these posts mentioned the word "community"? To me that's one of the biggest factors. Right now WordPress has active (and receptive) developer and user communities, lots of themes and plugins and happiness surrounding it. If that continues, I don't see WordPress losing popularity. Movable Type had all of that, except it was not open-source, and when 6A became the corporate masters of Movable Type, many didn't care for that. Even if "WordPress Inc." became as evil as Google (kidding!) it's GPL'd and forking would surely happen, which could not have happened with Movable Type... Think of that as your insurance policy if you like.
I work for CivicSpace and helped create Spread Firefox. The choice to use CivicSpace for SFX was an important one and the right one because the tool fit the need.
In my discussions with Matt, we are working to come up with ways for open-source CMS' like Drupal and WordPress to coexist and better comingle. It would be excellent, for example, if it were easier to port themes back and forth between the two so that you could run your own personal WordPress blog (as I do) but run your community with CivicSpace or Drupal and have the external (and internal) appearance be consistent for both admins and external visitors.
So Matt and I have been talking about how we can bring our user interfaces closer together so that the experience of moving between either tool is less jarring and more consistent. One real-world thing that's happening as a result of our collaboration is that Drupal will be moving back to a separate admin UI, to be more consistent with WordPress. This will ultimately, or hopefully, lead to a more seamless upgrade path between WordPress and Drupal -- so that you can start out with a personal blog and then scale up to a community when necessary, without having to unlearn or relearn a whole new UI. This improves the whole ecosystem of personal and community publishing.
Though the details are still hazy and is mostly talk at the moment, we are making progress. And since it's my job to create a very positive user experience in Drupal (and by extension, CivicSpace), working with Matt completely makes sense. With the WP Foundation getting started up, I think that bringing our collective effort together will lead to a lot of really great things for the open source and blogging communities.
Community Server Rocks! (.Text)
The need for a database will become obvious the bigger and more popular the blog becomes.
Smaller blogs may never have to mess around with a database but once you start getting thousands of comments and entries the current solutions out there (that I've tried anyway) depending on flat files unfortunately fall short (like Pivot which I've been a big fan of, but have switched away from because of our blog growth).
Especially when you want to do any sort of data mining and relational research, well, that's what databases are for.
Here's some thoughts on other blogging programs:
- Wordpress is a great program but has some issues, mainly with the number of queries it makes (like 10-15 alone for the home page). Would be nice to see a built-in static page or cached page option for data that isn't changing with each surfer visit. I know there is at least one hack for that, and I could and probably will work in my own solution, but until Wordpress builds this functionality in as a standard feature than that's a knock against it.
- Movable Type lost a lot of steam by all that fiddling with their licensing structure and I know a few large traffic sites (one of them is doing 30k+ a day) that can't move to their 3.xx version because of the licensing. I hope the 3.xxx version deals with larger traffic than the 2.xxx version does because some mods were needed to deal with that as well.
- Third party hosted solutions like Typepad, blogsopt and MSN Spaces have a huge downside in that you don't have the level of server side scripting control needed when you want to add and/or intergrate with other programs.
- Radio is serviceable, but I personally didn't care for the interface. .Text I've never used, but just like MSN Spaces a lot of those blogs look the same and I wonder about the flexibility.
- ExpressionEngine is ok.
- Blogger when you host yourself does give you some more flexibility, but their use of only Atom is annoying. Yeah, you can use feedburner, but what if you don't want to use Feedburner and serve up an RSS feed? You have to resort to some sort of program that sits between and converts. Clumsy.
The fact is that of the dozen or so different blogging apps I've tried there isn't a one of them that fits every blogger's need. They all have strengths and weaknesses.
My guess is that those who really need the "truck" that Nicole described above will likely be moved in the direction of writing or commissioning their own custom blogging program.
As Greg said above that there are no XML based blog softwares, here's one, BlogworksXML at http://hypothecate.co.uk/blogworksXML/ though it would be good to mention that its no longer under development. It was written in ASP & used XML files for storing data.
WordPress is great, but I don't think free is everything in this market. If WordPress gets a big boost, I imagine it will be because ISPs will start pre-installing it.
Thanks for sharing this info with us.
I'm looking for a way to migrate three years of content from Movable Type 3 to Word Press. Any tips, links, advice? There is some good intel here, and thought I'd ask.