And weblogging is still too difficult, says Stef “Whitelabel.org/UpMyStreet” Magdalinski.
I love using MT but I can only do so because I have a tech-savvy friend to set up and host it.
Trackback is a hard concept to explain and implement (though I think it is rather useful once you start using it). But there seems to be a larger danger here. With everyone concentrating on enabling and improving on weblogging – the flavour du jour – I haven’t seen any work being done to enable more complex self-publishing like simple web forms for creating online newsletters.
To quote from a recent essay I wrote:
it is now possible to produce simple websites or photo albums without cost by filling in forms online, though sites created in this fashion may be less likely to show up on many search engines, they are limited in the number of visitors that providers will allow over a given period, and the primitive design templates used often make such sites visibly un-professional.
For more sophisticated users, weblogs (regularly updated websites) can also be produced and maintained free of charge… and message boards and chat rooms can also be easily set up for free on personal websites. Moreover both Microsoft and AOL have noted the growth in weblogs and intend to provide improved tools for people to express themselves online.
(What’s the name of that Microsoft “organize my life” R & D programme?) But I’m guessing all the action for MS and AOL is in helping people publish individually. What is needed is free – preferably open source – tools that let people make their own newsletters jointly with others or coordinate online to accomplish something (not just messageboards – though tailored ones could be part of it but shared document creation tools) – even create their own streaming audio radio stations without having to program anything.
Later Is Textpattern part of the solution? It requires, the author says, “Little knowledge of internet technology to install and use it” but having to have “an account with a hosting provider who offers PHP and a MySQL database” to use it doesn’t sound like a good start.
It would be handy to see a sample site with some greeked text using its standard template to see what a Textism site would look like.