Eating Away From Below

Eating Away From Below.

A few months ago, Peter Merholz wrote a post on his blog called “Eating away from below, which was a smart and interesting take on how nimbler, easier, more social software is going to start succeeding in large businesses. Peter is partially responsible (well, actually, it’s all his fault) for coining the word blog, and he’s been extremely influential with his work at Adaptive Path and on his eight (!) year old blog, so we tend to listen to what he says. Here’s the gist of it:

[T]he most obvious trend is that the enterprise software market is being eaten away from below. My favorite case in point is Movable Type, the software which enables me to publish this blog. With a few modifications, it enabled Adaptive Path to publish it’s site. And then, as this post makes clear, with a fair bit of modification, it powers the site for SEED Magazine. What this demonstrates is what we’ve known all along — Movable Type isn’t a blog publishing tool — it’s a lightweight content management system. Blog publishing was essentially a trojan horse toward rethinking how to enable publishing on the Web.

In my world, content management systems (CMSes) have long been the enterprise software that has been the biggest pain in the ass to deal with. Typically modified from document management systems, these tools were big, bloated, unwieldy, expensive, and, most importantly, ill-suited to the task of publishing on the Web. What Movable Type did was start with the simple, and focus on supporting a true web-native genre, and then build up from there as need be.

There’s a lot more smart thinking in Peter’s post, including some parts that are less self-serving for us here at Six Apart, as well as some great challenging comments, so it’s well worth a read. You can check out more of Peter’s thinking at Adaptive Path’s site, which of course is powered by Movable Type. It’s ideas like these that have really helped us shape and evolve our thinking in developing Movable Type Enterprise. [Six Apart News]

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