Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Blog history 101

Time for a little history lesson on blogging in general and Movable Type in particular. After all, most of what we take for granted with blogging can be traced to Mena and Ben Trott, owners of Six-Apart, LTD. Just a few short years ago, when both were 20 years old, Mena got into blogging while Ben followed not as a blogger, but as the programmer of the family. Today, after their acquisition of LiveJournal, the couple's privately-owned company has about 7 million customers. Here's an excerpt from the Boston Herald article which warrants a visit and complete read:

None of it would have happened if Mena hadn't grown bored during the post-boom doldrums of early 2001 and decided to write her own blog.
"I really needed a creative outlet," Mena said. "I figured I wasn't going to be famous in the real world, so I may as well try to be famous in the online world."
Mena gradually won fans with a quirky journal called Dollarshort. The blog shared the foibles of her youth and mused on eclectic topics like her disgust with people who clip their fingernails on public transit and her obsession with the 1972 disaster movie, "The Poseidon Adventure."
It was the kind of thing her taciturn husband would never do.
"Ben is shy and gets uncomfortable when people talk about him," said Andrew Anker, Six Apart's executive vice president of corporate development. "Mena gets upset when everyone is not talking about her every day."
As Mena blogged, Ben became frustrated in his search for a decent computer programming job. While unemployed, Ben began to work on the computer code that became Movable Type.
When 100 people downloaded Movable Type during the first hour of its release in September 2001, the Trotts decided to run their own business from their bedroom, drawing the inspiration for the company name from their nearly identical age - Ben and Mena were born six days apart in 1977.
"We were just looking for something to subsist on," Ben said. "We figured if we ever got 3,000 users, we would just close the (TypePad) service and make it invitation only."