Six Apart and Vox—How Promise Gets Squandered

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Six Apart is shutting down its free blogging service, Vox, and as Mike points out this announcement is really about cleaning up for an upcoming merger with VideoEgg. With 250 million uniques worldwide spread across thousands of blogs and a growing ad business, Six Apart isn’t a failure. But, like Slide and like Digg, it hasn’t lived up to its promise either. And products like Vox are a big reason why: As blogging was getting more open and commenters more mean spirited, Vox was intended as a clean, well-lit place in the blogosphere. It had a great UI and some nice features like a “Question of the Day” to get reluctant new bloggers up-and-writing. But then it just sort of withered.

My takeaway from the shuttering wasn’t so much “Six Apart is cleaning up for a sale” (which they are and Six Apart Japan is next) but “Good God, Six Apart! What took you so long?”

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