I took the time this evening to setup Movable Type 4. I believe in the open source movement and though MT was much alighned for going into “paid mode” for MT3 (and alienating many, many bloggers who were loyal MT users), they swung the other direction with MT4 by opening it up. Not only is it free and GPL, but it’s damn sexy.
I recorded a screencast of the setup routine. There’s a few embarassing moments in there (like when I couldn’t get database credentials right!) but in the end, it installed beautifully. The video is big in filesize and resolution. Recommend downloading it first. I wanted to capture details as I worked.
The blog that is moving over is Suicide Fan, my sports podcast. As lovely as our experiment with podcasts was, the blog was not overly successful in the network and it’s time to move on. Good time for MT4.
However, there’s still a few things I need to work out before I can actually switch.
- I need an MT4 podPress alternative in terms of Flash player
- I need a new theme. Obviously, I can’t take the b5 theme with me so it will be time to figure out a new one
For as much crap as I’ve given Jason Calacanis over the years – ramped up most recently over “the Winer incident” at Gnomedex (I won’t link because I don’t want to focus on it and because this post is supposed to be positive), I have to give him my endorsement on his latest Mahalo idea – a Mahalo Ombudsman.
An Ombudsman is an intermediate go between, often used in the military as an ambassador from the military to the families of military members. In the Mahalo context, an Ombudsman would be someone who has a significant following in the tech/media blogging world and would monitor Mahalo’s search pages for neutrality as well as answer questions for the community.
Personally, the latter should be handled by the company as a whole. Jason should answer community questions. That aside, I can live with an Ombudsman doing it.
I’ve said of Mahalo that it would not work because Jason has a personality that has already polarized much of the blogosphere. The reality is that stepping out of the spotlight and allowing an Ombudsman have the spotlight would do wonders for disassociating him from the service which I still think is necessary. If folks see Calacanis in Mahalo, bad things will happen. But if folks see Mahalo as another tool to effectively search, research and find resources then the product is a winner.
This is a fantastic first step.
As critical as I have been to Jason (I resent that the one time I met him in person, I was an ass too!), the man is smart and I believe he recognizes the problem at hand and is sincere about addressing perceptions (or misperceptions, if you will).
I’m still not convinced about Mahalo, but if an Ombudsman were to be in place, I would be willing to give the benefit of the doubt. Hell, if I had the following that guys that he wants had – like Scoble or Jeff Jarvis, I might take it as an opportunity to look for my next job. Fortunately for b5media, I don’t have that following. :-)
This morning, I was shut down in the middle of a podcast recording at Baltimore Ravens training camp. During the video, my camera was pointed at me with a tree in the background. There were no fans, players, Ravens likeness, etc. There was no reason for a shutdown. But I was because I didn’t have a press pass – something that I had requested.
I escalated the issue to the Ravens Media Relations VP today who simply stated, “we do not credential websites unless they are National sites such as ESPN.com or CBSSportsline.com”.
This is an example of an organization who still doesn’t “get it”. It’s controlled by PR folks protecting their brand. They have not received the memo that the value of the brand is controlled not by the front office but by every fan, ticket holder and other type of customer. It’s a trust thing.
Just like CBS believes they can control their ratings if people don’t use TiVo or HP believing they were protecting their brand when they treated a customer stupidly.
Ironically, the Ravens are hiring for a New Media Manager position. Do they realize the irony? If you alienate bloggers, you alienate your base. You alienate powerful people who can make or break you.
In the end, it’s not so important that I be awarded press credentials for training camp. It’s that companies learn their base, the dynamic of trust in protecting brands and figure out how to navigate social media deftly and not deafly.
Besides, thanks to my hundreds of thousands of readers, Technosailor is not only a national website but a global one. :-)