Back in December 2008, Six Apart acquired Pownce and promptly shut it down. Now we can see whether that was a wise move, as Six Apart has launched TypePad Motion, a microblogging service ‘evolved from the Pownce codebase and community’.
It’s written in Python using the Django framework, and the idea is that it’s easy to build and customise, allowing developers to use Typepad for the ‘heavy lifting’, with a flexible and separate layer for creating the design etc.
It allows members to share notes, files, photos , video and audio, and celebrity Typepad users have already integrated the system – examples include Zachary Quinto and Ryan Star if you want to take a look. Content can be cross-posted to both Facebook and Twitter, as you’ve probably come to expect by now!
It’s part of Typepad’s move into proving a cloud service to build social applications, including opening up Typepad’s API’s and providing a TypePad Developer Program for a free beta version of the Typepad API.
While it’s nice to finally see the acquisition of Pownce turn into something meaningful, and also interesting to see where the future lies for Six Apart, the cloud platform and opportunities for developers are actually far more interesting for most people than TypePad Motion. Unless you’re a celebrity, you’re not necessarily going to be getting much conversation generated on a regular basis on your site when compared to using a general community like Twitter etc. And I’m not sure the functionality is enough to make people switch to a paid TypePad account from Blogger or WordPress.
And there’s been ways to self-host your own microblogging platform for a while – Laconica has now become StatusNet, but remains an open-source microblogging server.
What Six Apart’s move really means is a move more towards the cloud service provider space – the likes of cloud storage providers etc, rather than a move into microblogging.