Six Apart Milestones is MT parent company Six Apart’s public announcement of a hosted blogging service based on MT, to be called TypePad..

The very first trackback notes that FOAF will be a part of it.

The new venture also brings Ben and Mena VC money, which translates into bodies, all of which also appear to be bloggers (Joi Ito’s VC fund is the cash, Anil Dash is the new hire).

Interesting. I’ve been nursing the strong suspicion that venture captial is poison to good software. This could be great for MT (it certainly will be for the Trotts) or it could be the beginning of the end. While certain engineering problems centered around communty-building features are certainly most easily addressed by centralizing, the revenue-producing reason to do so is probably audience aggregation and remarketing, an inevitable consequence of large user-bases.

All those email adresses are a natural resource, just waithing for a marketing department to strip-mine ’em. I have to say I anticipate that the polish, craftsmanlike devotion to detail, and strong user orientation that MT – and the Trotts – have demonstrated to date is likely to suffer.

Shifting Six Apart’s focus to the design, development, deployment, and support of a hosting service is also a big change in direction, one that appears to challenge some of the thinking behind the current incarnation of the MT project. I know I adopted MT because I don’t trust hosting providers to do a good job with user support even when the subscription fees are astronomical.

There’s been so much VC-driven instability in the ISP and hosting markets that I just decided i could do a better job, with more accountability, if I bought a junk laptop on ebay and went to work. I’ll tell you this – I sure don’t have to worry about storage space anymore. Backup and bandwidth, well… I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it.

I certainly do hope I’m wrong, and God knows, if the Trotts want to buy some toys and a big old house, they’re entitled – MT is already a far superior product to many, many things that made huge piles back in our days of tulip-mania.