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Crozier visions

I suppose that to many Samizdata readers the quotes below will be old news. But it was newsworthy news to Patrick Crozier when he wrote it, and it was news to me when I read it about two days ago. I realise that two days in blog time is a lifetime, but I think this double titbit may still have enough pep left in it to be worth recycling here in full. I hope so.

Two bits of news today (or at least news to me today) suggest that there’s going to be a hell of a battle between rival blog management systems.

First up is Movable Type who are introducing a new system called TypePad. This will be a sort of Movable Type Lite with the additional features of a template design facility and inclusive hosting. The idea is to appeal to the casual ie not very technical blogger and bearing in mind that the lack of templates and fact you have to find your own host are the very things that put people off switching to Movable Type it would appear that they could be on to something.

Meanwhile, not to be outdone, Blogger is hitting back with Dano, the Blogger that works ie a Blogger where the archives don’t do a runner every five minutes. I assume that they will lick their archives problem which should prevent a haemorraging of customers but that still leaves the problem of lack of flexibility which the introduction of no more than about five new tags will do little to alleviate.

So, to sum up, MT are going to compete on Blogger’s ground of being easy to use and Blogger are going to compete on MT’s ground of actually working. Things are about to get very interesting in the Blogosphere

And the morals of that are, I suppose, (a) that if you are still with Blogger and you are a technophobe, give them a few more months to fix their archiving nonsense; and (b) that blogging as a whole is about to conquer the known universe, or they wouldn’t be fighting over it like this.

Patrick has been quietly writing things at CrozierVision, but hasn’t been telling anybody. What I’ve been telling him is: stick with your two blogs, CrozierVision and Transport Blog, and help the rest of us sort ourselves out. Transport Blog is slowly improving its regularity and broadening its scope, now that Patrick is being assisted by a handful of Transport Blog occasionals: me, Michael Jennings, David Farrer, with more to come I expect. It is slowly becoming a group blog. I wonder where he got that idea from.

Patrick and I have been collaborating on the look of my two blogs, starting with the Education one. It has taken me months to persuade some blog-techno-savvy person to sit next to me in my kitchen and press buttons for me while I strode about making aesthetic judgements, because it has taken months for Patrick to decide that being blog-techno-savvy is what he does, but finally it has happened.

The verdict so far is: a few like it and the antis have stayed quiet. Which is as it should be. I made it clear that I was only in the market for compliments and would be ignoring all complaints.

The London-and-surrounding-areas blogosphere is showing no signs of running of out steam.

6 comments to Crozier visions

  • David Shaw

    Of course, MT could just be lining themselves up to be bought out like Blogger so they can make a heap of cash!
    Grab it while you can ;o)

  • I’m not convinced that the fact that MT and Blogger are vying to improve their products necessarily means that blogs are a huge growth area; in fact, intensified competition is sometimes a sign that a slowdown in growth is in sight and the competitors are starting to think about market share.

    I’m also not sure you need to be that tech-savvy to operate a MT blog, as long as you can get someone to install the thing in the first place. My understanding of technology is purely trial and error, and I’ve had no problem fiddling with my templates, up to a point.

  • I have to agree with Crank. The pain with MT is all in the setup. Once it’s running you don’t need any technical expertise. You can get the MT people to do the set up for you for $20 which isn’t a bad deal. It’s the archives that are the problem but there are solutions even to that.

  • Thanks but no thanks, to both. I’ll stick with pMachine.

  • cydonia

    You might want to take a look at this Anglo-German outfit who have just started up (I should declare an interest as one of the guys running it is a good friend of mine).

    It’s a sort of blog site for dummies. You just sign up, choose your layout from a menu and start blogging straight away. Takes 2 minutes from scratch and no software to fiddle with. It’s obviously not as fully featured as stuff like Moveable Type, but, like webmail versus outlook, it fills a need.


  • i think i will stick with my text editor, thank you very much.