Having individually gone through almost all kinds of blogging services on the web (as of writing), I’m still unsatisfied with various aspects of their features, or at least, their method of execution. From large-scale content management systems (CMS) to basic micro-blogs, I was able to compare the extent of their strengths with their shortcomings to conjure up what could be, the ultimate blogging platform. At least in my opinion.
Now I’m fully aware that building such a platform would take a tremendous amount of work and require a substantial effort (API and all…), but I’m hoping that one day, some developer will finally “get it” and go about doing it right. If there was one thing we’ve learned from the success of Kevin Rose, the founder of Digg, it’s that implementing a few simple ideas can go a long way and even change the way we get things done.
So without further ado, here are some highlights of what would constitute in making the ultimate blogging platform:
- Slow blogs are frustrating. AJAX can minimize page reloads and give the user a snappy-interface feel.
- This applies to posts, comments, polls, navigation and anything else possible.
- Allow for offline blogging/drafting/updating because not everyone can be connected all the times!
- Use Google Gears perhaps?
- If failure/disconnection occurs during a submission, the client can automatically queue it and attempt to publish later.
- Search should be standard for all blogging services; there’s no value to information if it cannot be retrieved when needed.
- For this, a blog must be properly indexed, incorporating tags, categories, labels, SEO, sitemaps, metadata, or whatever it will take to sort out information.
- It should be easy to post text, links, lists, images, and videos to any blogging platform.
- Include subtle multiple file-uploading capabilities because people will not send one file at a time.
- Provide some kind of Mail-To-Blog support for convenience.
- Add a gallery-based file/asset manager.
- Blogs should be aware of the other popular web-apps and therefore inherently auto-detect Youtube, Flickr, Delicious, etc… links and format them appropriately.
- Users should also be able to import/export data easily from one service to another services via standards such as RSS feeds.
- Implement a privacy feature where users can show/hide certain posts/catagories/tags from a predefined group or public.
- Add friends list/blogrolls
- Allow public comments (no registration required), email notifications, activity newsletters, comment tracking, the ability to show updates since last login.
- Enable team/group blogs.
- A simple drag-n-drop widget layout interface is a must.
- Customizable themes are great but not necessary for most users as long as the header can be changed.
- The ability to create pages, generate tag clouds and related posts automatically.
- All XHTML/CSS themes and content must validate.
- So far, only WordPress has bult-in web stats!
- Why not fuse Google Analytics into its Blogger’s dashboard?
- RSS/Feedburner stats?
So there you have it: all the bullet points of what it takes to make the ultimate weblogging platform. Is it doable? Certainly! What’s taking them so long? Your guess is about as good as mine; all that has been mentioned has already been created and applied; what is left is for all of them to come together and produce an unbeatable combination. Google’s Blogger is by far the most disappointing since the majority of its improvements could come from its own other Google products. I’m not asking for the reinvention of the wheel here, all it takes is for somebody organized enough to put it all together.