Tatter & Company, THE company to watch: Part 1

Web 2.0 | 2006/05/17 00:09 | Web 2.0 Asia

Tatter and Company is best known for its blogging tool, Tattertools, the leading blog tool of Korea. FYI this very blog is running on Tattertools, and so are about 360K other blogs (according to the company).

Key products of Tatter and Company are Tattertools and Eolin (Pronounced "Yee-O-Lean"). Part 1 of this blog will cover Tattertools, while Eolin will be profiled in Part 2.

Eolin is not a front-end service, but is a backend data framework for distributing, syndicating, and monetizing UCC (user created content). Major features include sync to portals and search engines, anti-spam, media syndication and group blogging ("guilds"), commerce API to enable social commerce, etc.

Eolin is still pretty much in the cooking, but I've been introduced to its concept (which I am not allowed to disclose). Eolin is fantastic, but even without Eolin (that leaves only Tattertools blog tool), the Korean media is already endowing the coveted moniker of "Leading Web 2.0 company of Korea" (link in Korean) to this company.


Tattertools is an installed blog tool, comparable to Wordpress or Moveable Type. The company will also offer Tistory.com, a web-based hosted blogging service (like Typepad), starting from late May in partnership with Daum (a Korean web portal giant who also owns Lycos).

If you are an English speaking guy, you might say "What's up with the name?" The guys who initially named this blog tool apparently didn't know the English word "tatter" often carries negative connotation (as in "The poor boy was in tattered clothes") but anyhow the brand is now famous in Asian market. Besides, the word sounds the same as Korean phrase meaning "Big Ground (Plaza)".

So what's so special about Tattertools blog platform? Firstly, Tattertools provides ultimate freedom of customization. The "skin" (ie. the design of your blog's facade) is expressed as independent resource files, meaning you can copy/paste and edit your skin right on Dream Weaver. You can play with the looks of your blog at your will, without touching the functional aspects. As a result, there are many sites that do not look like blog sites at all but have in fact been built with Tattertools.

The dashboard (admin page) is dead easy to use and offers very efficient environment for entry composing and media file uploading (pictures, podcasts and videos, etc). You insert a media file clip, and the blog automatically generates flash viewer on your blog so the visitors can play back the media easily. Pinging blog entries to syndication site is one-click away (There's an AJAXy button on the dashboard.)

Another major advantage of Tattertools is its strong market presence in Asia. The tool is available in major Asian languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) as well as in English. Tattertools blog has also seen its use in some major corporate sites such as Samsung Mobile and Ohmynews, suggesting its high scalability.

Tattertools offers mobile site as well: Adding "/m" at the end of any existing blog URL gives you a mobile blog page, with exactly the same content on the web, only optimized for mobile browser. Tattertools is an open source application (GPL). As of this writing, there are about 180 active members in development community and about 150 plug-ins.

The Company

Tatter and Company has 7 in-house engineers and is being headed up by Chester Roh, who was intelligent enough to not only make it to KAIST (nicknamed MIT of Korea), but also hack the server of a rival school (POSTECH). After spending short period of time behind the bars for this incident, Roh came of age and decided to use his talents for computer security (from hacker to security expert -- what a dramatic turn, sounding like "Catch Me If You Can" the movie). The security company he co-founded, Inzen, went public in 2002.

Tatter and Company has not taken any venture funding yet, and is now seeking an outside investment. Given that comparable US and Chinese companies have all succeeded in funding (Six Apart $12M for 3rd round; Automattic $1M 1st round; Blogchina $10M 2nd round; Toodou $8.5M 2nd round), I would expect Tatter and Company should be able to get some VC money if they can present their company right.


Is a blog company eligible for being a Web 2.0 venture? I believe so, the main reason being that blogs are the main tool for edge creation of content. As Mena Trott of Six Apart (which itself is largely undisputed as a Web 2.0 company) said in a recent interview, when it comes to the tool for caching 20 years of life records, nothing comes closer than blogs.

As I already said, Tatter and Company is a two-headed monster, with the second head being the Eolin. I can't wait to profile Eolin platform. But even only with Tattertools, this company is a winner and well worth a look for investors.

TAG , tattertools,
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