Dave Winer is asking for visions of what the future of Weblogging tools and services might look like.
I've already seen the future. How can I say that? Because it's already here. The problem is that no one tool has wrapped up what's cool. Let's look:
First, TypePad has the business model down. And they have great looking templates that are standards-based (many comply with XHTML spec and validator and use CSS to separate design from content). $4.95 a month for basic and $14.95 a month for pro.
Second, Radio UserLand is cool cause it is a SmartClient. What do I mean by that? Well, if my wireless went down right now I'd still be able to work with all my weblog data. Radio is a locally-run app. No server really needed until you want to post your data to the public Internet. This means I can weblog in an airplane. And, all my data is backed up. If UserLand's servers were hit by terrorists, for instance, I would be able to get all my data back up and running within hours on a different server. I bet your weblog tool can't do that.
My coworker Jeff has been playing with Das Blog. It has the most useful referer information I've ever seen in a weblog tool. His weblog even emails him everytime I point to his weblog and send him a new referer. I wish my tool had a referer log like Das Blog has.
Another person I know, Lauri Evans, has started an interesting conservative site (yeah, I don't agree with their point of view most of the time either) but she's really done something interesting. She has mixed the weblog format with a forum/web board format. Here, visit one of her posts and scroll down to “Discuss it here with us…” Click on that and instead of getting flat weblog-style comments you're thrown into a nice web-based forum. I really wish I had that too.
Scott Watermasyk's “.TEXT” tool is the best way to create group weblogs. MSDN used his technology, for instance, to create http://blogs.msdn.com which is where most of the Microsoft employees hang out. I want to create group blogs for other things and his system really is the best.
Some other things I want, but haven't found?
1) An Outlook plugin. I read 1296 feeds. When I find something cool I want to drag it to a folder and have it AUTOMAGICALLY put it up on a weblog. I don't even want to click post. So, I want to have a “really public folder.” Greg, is this something you can do?
2) I want an XHTML WYSIWYG editor that writes nice and consistent code. You might not know this, but I hand code all the HTML on my blog (I'm typing into the HTML editor in Radio UserLand). Why do I do that? Because it's the only way that I can ensure that my page complies with the validator and gives consistent HTML markup so that my CSS style sheets (ugly as they are) can work properly.
Anyway, I'm still waiting for a blogging tool that wraps it all up. [Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger]