Updated from Akismet and b5media.
Jeremy Wright, President of b5media, recently contacted me to let me know the inside scoop on their purchase of Akismet. Continuing b5media’s tradition of being very transparent about their business moves, Jeremy has given me the answers to all of my questions.
The reason b5media went and purchased a full commercial license (and yes, they are paying for it, this is not an advertising deal or partnership) is because they were unable to find an anti-spam plugin for WordPress that was able to deal with all of their spam issues. Recently, they were barraged with a spam outbreak that was taking their writers too much time and hassle to deal with and they decided that enough was enough, they needed something better. With all the positive reviews of Akismet floating around and the lack of other viable choices, they decided that it was worth the money to buy the license.
Having over 125 active blogs meant that financially it was only a few dollars a month per blog, making it very viable. Jeremy went as far as saying that it is a great “peace of mind” investment as long as Akismet keeps evolving and working. Which of course is part of the symbiotic relationship that Akismet is hoping to get with many commercial and enterprise groups.
Jeremy also lets me know that the adoption of Akismet was not a marketing tactic or a show of power, but just that it filled a need that they had and they were lucky enough that during this ad payment cycle they were able to afford it. Now they are working on the long process of getting it set up on each of the blogs, and it has so far taken them around four days to get to a 50% install base. They are hoping to have 95% of their transition away from other anti-spam plugins over to Akismet by Monday.
I still really feel that being able to purchase the license shows how far b5media has come as a blog network, and I am glad to see them giving back to the community, as further financial aid for Automattic and their products, will hopefully mean further development of Akismet, and thus even better spam prevention.