When blogging first hit the mainstream media consciousness (and by that I mean “articles appeared in the nationals”, not “individual journalists started experimenting with blogs”), the image they portrayed of blogging was usually of the bedroom journalist, posting his online diary in his underwear. That image has stuck in some journalists’ minds, even as their more enlightened colleagues embrace this new publishing medium and do great things with it.
Strangely, though, things are starting to come full circle, with new tools developing to support the “bedroom blogger”, the person who is using a blog only to talk to a small group of friends and family. That’s why I find this interview with Ben & Mena Trott of Six Apart good reading:
This is a good and growing business that supports 150 employees, but it is not the break-out phenomenon that justified the fancy price paid for YouTube.
For that reason the Trotts recently launched Vox, a free personal blogging and social-networking service – and Six Apart’s shot at the big time.
One of the important advances with Vox is the privacy controls that allow users to choose just who can see “every post, every picture, every sound clip, every video”. Not every blog, and not every post, needs to be wholly public. There are many times when people want to share information and photos only with their family or friends.
“Just because you’re a blogger, it does not mean you’re publishing to the world,” said Mena. “Without this privacy, blogging won’t grow in the way that it should grow.”
Certainly, there’s no good reason why the tools for mainstream publishing should look the same as those for private publishing. Indeed, it’s a sign of the growing sophistication of blogging as an idea that a company like Six Apart can happily support five different blog platforms.
Personally, while I happily use Movable Type here and its Enterprise version at work, I just love playing around with Vox. My blog there is full of multimedia gubbins that it’s actually quite tricky to get posted on this blog, but which is dead easy to do on Tincan Alley.
But then, why should posting photos or movies to a “serious” blog be any harder than to a “fun” one? Vox is a great service, but I hope to see some of that fantastic interface innovation hit Movable Type in the near future, too.
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