Six Apart, which makes the Movable Type blogging platform and hosts blog services TypePad and Vox, on Monday is launching Blogs.com, a new site designed to help readers find the best blogs on the Web.
Normally we wouldn't cover the launch of a blog here at Webware. Technically, Blogs.com is simply a content site built on the new Movable Type Pro platform. But this blog lives in an interesting space, and has an important background.
Before coming to Six Apart, CEO Chris Alden (disclosure: once my boss at Red Herring) created a company, Rojo, around an RSS reader. Rojo is no more. Rojo.com has become Six Apart's curated guide to the Web. Blogs.com will replace Rojo.com.
It's clear that driving people to blog content is a good thing for a blog platform company to do. But one might also assume that Six Apart, which is in competition with Automattic's WordPress, might tilt its recommendations to blogs running on its platform and not the other guy's. Alden say that will not be case. He told me that Blogs.com editor Wendy Taylor (another former co-worker of mine), who will run a staff of about five people, will have editorial independence.
Blogs.com will also be running top 10 lists of favorite blogs from "celebrities" like Wired editor in chief Chris Anderson and Ning's Marc Andreessen. I put "celebrities" in quotes here because they also asked me to do one. So the bar can't be that high.
One thing you won't see in Blogs.com, at least at launch, is the capability for users to vote items up or down on the system, Digg-like. And although Movable Type Pro has, they won't be turned on at launch.
Knowing the people involved and after reading Blogs.com's precusror, Rojo.com, I expect that Blogs.com will be a very good read. But I don't quite get how this is a strategic win for Six Apart. Considering the company's push into social content, launching yet another editorially driven (in other words, expensive) directory of blogs and sites seems to be a bit retrograde.