Would you like a blog with your phone?

You may have read this article: Can Bloggers Make Money? If you haven't then take a moment to scan it and get the feeling of their question and their answers.

In reply Dave Winer wrote:

… It's as if they asked how many miles per gallon of oats a car gets, a few years after horseless carriages came along. The question doesn't even make sense. A person with a blog is analogous to a source in the old publishing world. Sources don't get paid directly …

Dave's software approaches blogging from a slightly different perspective. For example if you look at his page, his thoughts are just that – thoughts. His blog is his own personal expression. Every day is simply a series of short self-expressions.

The reason he doesn't think of blogging as a source of revenue is simply… his revenue doesn't NEED to come from his blogs (advertising), he has a business on the side doing that.

Let's pop over to wikipedia for a moment and find out a bit about where "blogs" came from.

The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz. He broke the word weblog into the phrase "we blog" in the sidebar of his weblog in April or May of 1999.

Dave Winer is one of the pioneers of the tools that make blogs, he has also been involved in podcasting and RSS. I am interested in Dave's perspective because he has been involved for so long and has such a mature and long term view on things.

It says a lot about Dave that he doesn't plug his business (much) and doesn't even have adverts on his wildly popular blog to promo his business. Why? Because Dave seems to see a blog as personal expression. That makes sense of his comment that companies are masquerading magazines as blogs. He seems to think that the whole self-expression thing will only continue mushrooming until the way people express themselves and the interaction between people is remarkably different… which is his point about the uselessness of asking how many gallon of oats a car gets.

Will there be a huge increase? Yes, for sure. I look forward to when WordPress is on my XDA II Mini and I can blog thoughts throughout the day – at random and on a whim. That's when Dave's vision really happens – when we (2 billion phone users) can blog at any time, in a movie or on a date. Blogs will then be used as dashboards, whiteboards, note takers, reminders and who knows what else. With the microcontent and structured blogging things happening, the data I blog can be shown in different and more suitable visual formats. If I blog a calendar event, it displays in a calendar. If I blog a note, it looks and behaves like a note.

And meantime a lot of blogs will be for-money (magazines masquerading as blogs). That will always be the case.But when you get a blog with your phone (pre-installed) then there will be ENORMOUS economies of scale and I have no idea where that will go and what will happen at that time. But it's certainly an interesting development. 

NOTE: When this happens WordPress will need to change the blog format. We can't have a huge heading and new page and trackbacks for each and every thought. This is another difference between Dave's design and the rest of the blog software out there.

UPDATE: Matt, the co-creator and co-owner of WordPress has a blog and he has the exact feature I noticed on scripting.com – the ability to hide the heading text and all the "extra" information that readers really don't want to see. On his blog you just see the content. If you want the extra info, you open the permalink and then you get to see the full layout.

(More) things I’d like to see on WordPress.com

This is a follow up to my previous post: WordPress(.com) suggestions

5 April 2006

What emoticons does this support? I see 🙂 😀 😦 😉 but what else? What if I just insert all the Yahoo ones here and see which show up and which don't?!

😛 :)) :-/ :-O 😡 :"> :-> B-) ;;) :-* :-S >:D< =(( #:-S =)) /:) 😐 :(( O:-) :-B =; I-) 8-| L-) :-& :-$ [-( :o) 8-} <:-P (:| =P~ 😕 #-o =D> :-SS @-) :^O :-w :-< >:P <):) :)] :-c ~x( :-h :-t 8->

Why oh why does the editor insert BR's where there should be /P and why oh why do I keep having to re-edit what I have already edited to remove the whitespace between paragraphs. Ugh.

Why oh why do some themes strip my italics, others strip bold. I can then go back in an add it again and it's not stripped. Maybe it sees me adding it for a second time and realizes that I really want it in there and then leaves it. Or maybe the saving and editing are different scripts, the one strips and the other doesn't? Nah. It realizes.

The editor won't let me insert HR or H2. Where is the emoticon for pulling hair out. 🙂

(I love WordPress.com BTW. Really! I chose to host here. I like it. This is empassioned feedback. I love the handheld/PDA layout, I love the themes, I love the way it handles things like pinging technorati etc., I love how it handles images and thumbnails. Go WordPress!)

Make the comments for posts differentiate between readers comment, my comments to readers and pingback. Kinda like this, take a look at the visual layout of their comments. Nice. 😀

Forward, backward, first and last navigation on the post pages please. Do you know how hard it is for a reader to move to the first post?

WordPress(.com) suggestions

5 April 2006

Make the comments for posts differentiate between readers comment, my comments to readers and pingback. Kinda like this, take a look at the visual layout of their comments. Nice. 😀

Let me make a single signiature file (like in email) that is included at the end of every post in which I can insert all my bookmarking and other JS bits and pieces.

RSS stats please. How many people are consuming my RSS feeds?

One login with admin privs on my other blogs is great. But please make it easy for me to temporarily change identity so I can post into the various blogs in the "local" identity – but then return me to my uber-login identity. I hope that makes sense? If you need more info just click the "email me" widget in the sidebar with your question. Oh, wait… drat, you guys haven't built that one yet. 😉

UPDATE: 10 April 2006 – They improved the login, I don't know if it posts in the local identity though.

31-ish April 2006
An "email me" widget that lets people email me securely (without exposing my email address).

20-ish April 2006

Make all widgets available in all themes. It's annoying that some themes have three columns, but are dark gray (yuck). The really nice light/happy looking themes look good but lack functionality – they don't have the widgets and don't have wide columns. I get the feeling some themes have become abandoned areas and won't be updated by the creators. So please please make all widget work everywhere right away without the involvement of the creators.

-ish means approximate date when I submitted it to wordpress. But I'm recording it here now so I don't forget.