18 months ago, we made the blog publishing switch from WordPress.com to Movable Type. Once we were only Urban Semiotic and now we publish 11 blogs under the Boles Blogs Network banner and nine of those blogs are published with Movable Type. Yesterday, we upgraded our Movable Type installation to version 4.3 and the first thing we noticed was the expanded options for signing in to comment on all our blogs. You can now use your Google account to comment as well as Hatena, Yahoo! JAPAN and livedoor. We’ve already seen a spike in user comments across the blogs network because of this expanded opportunity to sign in and verify your identity.

However, we are disappointed that the Facebook option isn’t simpler and more transparent to set up and use. Movable Type now offers a Facebook sign in with the release of version 4.3, but the instructions for getting it working are not explicitly clear. It appears you have to “create” an application on the Facebook side of the login dyad — but there’s no clear explanation if you have to create a Facebook application for every single blog or not — or if “write once, use everywhere” is possible.

Motion is also a big part of the 4.3 upgrade — but I still have no clue what Motion is, what it does, and why I would want to use it. Yes, I watched the LOUD instructional Motion video and I’m left dull and unmoved. If I have Twitter and FriendFeed and Facebook — why do I need Motion as part of my blogs network? I write my own updates, so I am certainly “in control” of my own branding.

There are speed enhancements with Movable Type 4.3 and search results do seem to get returned faster, but publishing comments and new articles is still dog slow as ever and we pay a lot of money a month for a dedicated server.

Six Apart still appears to have no desire to give us better bundled Movable Type templates. As you can see, we’re using the “Cartoon City” series of template Styles to give many of our blogs a unique, but unified look — but, boy, the bundled Movable Type designs are ugly and outdated. I have no idea why Six Apart refuses to provide us some Style beauty to put the sheen on their machine-like upgrades.

Let us know what you think of the 4.3 upgrade. Are things running faster for you? Are you able to login using the added verification services?

We look forward to continuing to serve you long into our future past.

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