Six Apart Rolls Blog Development, Advertising Together

A company evolves from blog publishing tools to new blog creation and advertising services.

Six Apart on April 21 acquired Apperceptive and launched a community development service and advertising group, a move that signals the blogging tools provider is ready to become a full-fledged media player.

San Francico's Six Apart has succeeded in creating blog publishing services but needs to build out its offerings to avoid stagnation in an ultracompetitive market for online publishing, which includes Google's Blogger and Automattic's WordPress platforms.

With more media companies and corporate entities throwing their hats into the blogging ring, software providers can differentiate themselves by helping bloggers monetize their content. That brings Six Apart to its new Six Apart Services and Media offerings.

Apperceptive, which helped The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Boing Boing and Major League Baseball build out their blogs, forms the core of the new Six Apart Services offering, which aims to help publishers and bloggers develop blog communities.

The Six Apart Services team, which includes blogging developers and consultants from its Movable Type or TypePad blogging teams, will provide custom development, implementation and design services to large publishers and corporate customers.

The New York-based group will work closely with the San Francisco company's professional network of third-party developers, designers and consultants to boost the market for blog consulting and implementation.

Ad Revenue, VIP Bloggers and a Credible Punch

Six Apart Chief Evangelist Anil Dash told eWEEK April 21 that Apperceptive will help Six Apart pack a credible punch in the blogosphere.

For example, Dash said that just two and a half years ago, The Huffington Post used a Movable Type blog that readers scoffed at as a "celebrity ego-thing." After getting an overhaul from Apperceptive, The Huffington Post is now one of the top 10 media sites in the country, Dash said.

"They're hosting a presidential debate this year," Dash said. "This shift from skepticism to a fundamental part of the mediasphere ... happened really, really rapidly."

Blogging design and development combined with communities are great but hard to make money from without some advertising component. Accordingly, the company has also created Six Apart Media to help bloggers market and monetize their content.

Thanks to a partnership with Adify, Six Apart Media is offering an advertising program that will go beyond basic text ads to offer display or even video ads to let bloggers and social sites make more money.

Six Apart Media will also offer a VIP program to promote and support influential bloggers in building their audiences and visibility. VIP services includes blog assessment and optimization, design and template analysis and Webinars.

Six Apart is building momentum in 2008. Just last week, the company moved to help bloggers reach their Facebook-using readers with the Blog It application, a tool that lets users publish to their blogs directly from within the popular social networking site.

Last December, the company sold its LiveJournal blogging service to Russia's SUP, part of the company's plan to focus more intently on its Movable Type Publishing Platform, the TypePad hosted blogging service and its Vox blogging service.