Ben Bleikamp posts that SixApart, and in particular, Vox sucks.
He has a go at some of SixApart’s other products, and sure, there’s been some mistakes in the past, decisions that certainly I’ve been very vocally against, but their products (MT, TypePad, LiveJournal) work for the people who use them, and I would presume have worked for SixApart in a business sense as well.
But on Vox, I think Ben’s totally wrong, and I think Anil Dash totally hit it on the head in the comments:
I think the key thing that informs your frustration /dismissal /whatever for a lot of our work comes from your assumptions that everyone who blogs is like you, or blogs for similar reasons that you do. And, well, they don?É¬¢?¢‚Äö¬¨?¢‚Äû¬¢t.
It’s easy enough to do. I deal with some one every day who suffers from the same affliction. Some where along the line I learnt that I don’t know everything, that I’m not always right, and that everything out there isn’t meant to work the way I want it to, or in the case of products, play the way I want them to. I wish I could remember when that day was, I’m not sure if it was a year or two ago, but knowing that I’m not always right and there are different ways to look at things would be the single most important step in my life so far. It changed my life, and now, particularly with b5media, I listen, and listen, and listen. Not just pretend listening, but real listening. When I ask for feedback, I take in what I’m told. Don’t always agree, but if the person giving me the feedback knows more about their channel or niche, unless it’s outrageously bad, I act and do as they wish, not as others who think they know everything and seek to impose their will on every decision, every small detail, and indeed even my freedom to speak my mind, do. Web 2.0 is about empowering the individual and the wisdom of crowds. Old world one person is right about everything because they can be structures are business models that are doomed to failure.
But I digress, because I don’t believe Vox sucks. Sure, it doesn’t do everything, it’s not the smartest and most whizbang social networking package there is, but I’ve found it a great allround package that brings in some of the experience SixApart has in blogging, and has blended that with social networking. It’s clean, it stable, it’s fairly easy to use… I don’t know whether it will be a massive hit or not, crowded marketplace and all, but I would have thought that SixApart would have done it’s homework here on unmet niche’s in social networking communities and catered for one/ some as a result of that.