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SixApart ad services, acquisition signal Blogs are 'coming of age'

Vendor set to provide design, development and optimization services to bloggers

By Heather Havenstein
April 21, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Six Apart Ltd. today introduced a set of services designed to help bloggers better promote and earn money from their blogging efforts. At the same time, the company announced that it has acquired Apperceptive LLC, a New York-based media creative agency, as a cornerstone of the effort. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Together, the announcements signify the "coming of age" of the blog, noted Chris Alden, CEO of Six Apart, which operates the popular Movable Type social media tool and Type Pad hosted blogging tool.

"As we've been working with folks, we realized that their blogging hobbies have become their careers and their experiments in blogging have become full fledged strategies," Alden said. "Blogging has had a profound impact on the way companies are doing business both externally and internally. People are looking to us to provide more services."

To help support this growth, Six Apart Monday said Apperceptive can help bloggers design and build Web sites that attract more traffic, while taking advantage of the new services, which include advertising and other programs. A VIP program will provide blog assessment and optimization, design and template analysis and educational services, along with webinars, all designed to help bloggers build their audiences and visibility SixApart said.

The new Six Apart Services will help online publishers create custom communities, encourage user-generated content and manage Web publishing from a single application, Alden added. Bloggers can also integrate social publishing platforms into existing IT systems to create more effective internal collaboration tools, Six Apart said.

Six Apart will also offer Type Pad bloggers a set of personal consultation services to help get the most out of their blogs, it said.

"You've got some tools companies out there that create blog software and hosted blog services, and you have some media companies that provide advertising solutions," Alden added. "I don't think there is anyone who brings all these together."

Janet Meiners, a blogger at the Marketing Pilgrim noted that other companies "who don't get blogs and blogging" have tried to provide similar services.

"Then [customers] have to start over or they're not getting the traffic or response from their blog that they should," she added. "What I like about Six Apart is that they are targeting their services to the little guy (or gal). Even more popular bloggers struggle to draw big name advertisers that pay well. They may be bloggers with a loyal but niche following and are good at writing but lack the know-how or clout to draw advertisers."

Six Apart will also provide services that help with the technical problems most bloggers face, she added, such as how to migrate a blog to another platform.

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