Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Blog software probably needs to get simpler and more readily available

I agree wholeheartedly with a sentiment expressed by Business Week Blogspotting's Heather Green in a post entitled "Is There a Blog Conundrum?" that "blog software probably needs to get simpler and more readily available", except that I would state it much more imperatively and emphatically:

Blogging software must become much simpler and much more readily available if we are to entice the average person (or even the average professional) into becoming an avid "blogger."

Since I am a full-time employee of The Evil Empire, you could probably guess that I would suggest that a lot more people will begin to blog when blogging becomes an integrated capability of the Microsoft Windows operating system.

Sure, Microsoft does have Live Spaces, but that is hardly integrated with the operating system as well as email or the office applications, and still too much of a pain. Forget about businesses wth their bottom lines, the "ROI" for blogging simply isn't there for the average user.

I use Google's Blogger -- please do not click on the ads at the top of my blog simply to "pay" me, since that would be a prohibited form of "click fraud" -- and have figured out how to fairly easily post via email without the need to use a standalone "blogging tool", but it still has its quirks and I do have to resort the special tools for other than posting new content. Even correcting a simple spelling error is a time-consuming, multi-step process.

I would venture that blogging needs to be an order of magnitude easier before most people will begin to swarm to it.

As things stand today, you have to be really motivated to be an effective blogger.

Blogging probably has to be transparently and seemlessly integrated with cell phones as well to be truly convenient.

Linking to other blog posts and web pages is relatively easy, but still a pain, very error-prone, and simply not easy enough for the average user.

Ditto for placing pictures in your blog. Very doable, but still a royal pain. I would insert a photo here, but... it's such a pain to "get it right."

And something as simple as properly citing a source from the Web as I did in the first paragraph is way too much of a pain.

Ditto for tagging and categorizing and cataloging.

And I am trying to do only really simple stuff.

We have come a long way during the past seven years or so, but blogging is still only in its infancy.

Today, blogging feels a lot more like filling out an expense report than scribbling a poem on a scrap of paper.

Tools for blogging are evolving, but at too painfully slow a pace.

That's the trouble with Darwin and his evolution: there is far too much waiting for the good stuff to arrive and far too many dead ends and false starts along the way.

-- Jack Krupansky


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