Are Six Apart losing it?

Six Apart are the US based company who make blog software TypePad, Movable Type, and Vox.

Loic Le Meur, is the Eurppean head of Six Apart. Loic was also the organiser of the recent Le Web 3 mess and has written a blog post (and emailed attendees) his side of what happened in Paris last week.

The post is one long non-apology and a textbook example of negationism.

For instance, in the post Loic mentions that there was a standing ovation for the politicians – there was, for Shimon Peres, when Loic himself asked the delegates to stand to show their appreciation. There was no standing ovation for either of the French presidential candidates. Why?

  1. They were foist on the audience at the last minute (at least we had 24 hours notice that Shimon Peres was coming)
  2. They addressed the audience in French (Shimon Peres addressed the audience in English)
  3. Unlike Shimon Peres, they demonstrated a clear lack of understanding of the Internet (Sarkozy, yet again demonstrating the mental acuity of a brain damaged slug, even went so far as to say he wants to “control it”!)
  4. Unlike Peres, Sarkozy even refused to take questions from the audience

But it is not just Loic, Mena Trott was at Le Web 3 as well. Mena is the president of Six Apart and, as such she addressed the audience at Le Web.

Mena’s presentation was one of the shortest of all the talks. She got on stage, spoke for about five minutes, and rushed off again taking no questions.

Now, if blogging is supposed to be about conversations, here we have two principals of Six Apart doing old-school, top down, I know better than you and damned if I am going to listen to you or take your opinion into account.

Guys, if you want to seriously damage the reputation of your company, keep this up.
Shel hit the nail on the head when he said:

But if I went to a rock concert to discover the lead off group was a string octet playing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. I would be confused and disappointed. As so many of Le Web 3 attendee seem to have felt.

On the other hand, if you want people to continue to take you and your products seriously, learn (or re-learn) what blogging is all about. Engage, have conversations, ask people’s opinions instead of ramming your ideas down their unsuspecting throats. Then you will start to earn back all the trust you lost in Paris.

See also Ewan Spence’s excellent response to Loic’s post.

4 thoughts on “Are Six Apart losing it?”

  1. Thank you Tom, this is for me is an accurate picture of the event and the follow up from Loic.

    In my opinion the response by Loic also uses “over content” to overwhelm readers. There is no apology, except to say he is “misunderstood”, “it was for the best of the audience” or “he wouldn’t change anything if it happened again”. In a strange way I feel bullied by his response.

    He has done a good job increasing visibility of the social web but for sure his judgement at the event was questionable. He must have been under a lot of pressure.

    On Sixapart as a company, you can’t take a 5 minute presentation from Mena Trott seriously or representative of the services they provide. Perhaps this is a case of a founder staying too long… God, I was cringing when Loic was pecking her, saying “She is my boss after all” 🙂

  2. For the longest time, Mena has acted like Bambi in the headlamps. Because 6A has stronger marketing personalities the audience has to question why the company’s best suits aren’t on stage. Founders need to promote but once the product is out the door, founders often find their brands do better with another’s hand on the rudder.

  3. I did wonder whether Trott’s quickfire presentation/zero questiontime approach was a reaction to 2005’s issues with Ben Metcalfe and/or a reaction to Loic’s politicisation of Le Web. Regardless of what it was, it was unprofessional. At best, it looked bad which for the main sponsor and organiser is just plain wierd.

  4. Tom, I atteneded last year as well and wasn’t impressed by her speak there either. However, I have a feeling that Mena is just very nervous about speaking in public…

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