By Eric Auchard
Yahoo Inc. and Six Apart Ltd., creator of Movable Type -- the most
popular software used to create professional blogs -- said on Sunday
Yahoo will be the preferred supplier of Movable Type for small
The partnership is the latest in a string of deals by the world's
largest Internet media company as it seeks to embrace so-called
"social media," the new generation of Web sites that encourage
Internet users to share written text, photos and videos.
On Friday, Yahoo acquired Del.icio.us, a site for users to share their
favorite Web links. Earlier this year, it acquired Flickr, which
offers a way to annotate and share photos.
Yahoo will effectively act as the preferred provider of Movable Type
for small business users, taking advantage of its scale and
efficiency, Anil Dash, vice president of professional products for San
Francisco-based Six Apart, said in a phone interview.
"This is going to be our recommended (sales) channel for small
business," he said.
Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo said it will offer commercial blogs
based on Movable Type as part of its existing small business Web-site
Yahoo provides customers with a unique Web address, blogging tools and
business-class e-mail services with spam and virus protections for
less than $12 a month.
Movable Type is commonly used by businesses, Web designers and
professional bloggers to create easily updated Web sites. Other blog
software such as Google Inc.'s Blogger, WordPress, Xanga and Six
Apart's own Live Journal, are more often used to create blogs for
Yahoo hosts roughly 30 million individual Web sites, including
hundreds of thousands of small business sites, said Rich Riley,
general manager of Yahoo's small business unit. One in eight
U.S. online stores are hosted by Yahoo, he said.
Yahoo is one of the world's largest suppliers of hosted Web sites,
which refers to Web sites set and maintained for customers by Yahoo
for a monthly subscription fee.
Six Apart said it had optimized the underlying software in Movable
Type so that it responds twice as fast as the same software offered by
Six Apart's own Web site.
Six Apart continues to develop versions of Movable Type designed to
run inside big businesses, along with its consumer-oriented Live
Journal software and a quick set-up version of Movable Type known as
Separately, Dash said Six Apart's Japanese unit is developing a
version of Movable Type to run on Oracle database software, in a bid
to encourage wider use of blogs among big businesses. Six Apart was
developed to run on open source database software originally.
Privately-held Six Apart, founded four years ago by husband-and-wife
team Ben and Mena Trott, counts 100 employees worldwide. It has
received nearly $12 million in funding from backers Neoteny
Co. Ltd. and August Capital, Dash said.
Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.
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