Monday, March 08, 2004

Is Squarespace what bloggers want?

Blogging used to be all about innovation. That's why it's always nice to see someone trying to take the basic blogging scenario and make it, well, more innovative. Here's what was innovative four years ago: you have a thought; you jot it down; you click a button and it is published to the Web for everyone to see.

Has much changed since then? Not really. Anthony Casalena will maybe be the one to move things forward. In December he started Squarespace while he was a student at the University of Maryland. Casalena believes that people want to be able to handle their blogging without programming but also be able to 1) have discussion boards included; 2) have hosting included; 3) track visitors and search engine requests without third party services; 4) have multiple pages with different topics for different audiences; and 5) be able to syndicate to the world without having to know anything about RSS vs. Atom.

Simplicity is also a key to where Casalena wants to go with blogging. Blogging is essentially simple, and Blogger really makes it almost as simple as it can get with what is available right now. But if blogging is so simple, why do people have to come to Blogger Forum to get answers to the how, why and what of blogging. How does this sound:

"Publishing a photo online should be as easy as dragging a picture onto your browser window," said Casalena. "Squarespace makes this possible."

Ok, now we're talking. Why shouldn't it be just that simple to get a photo into a blog? If that doesn't get you, how about this:

Casalena threw HTML editors and file transfer protocol (FTP) software out the window. "You can change the look, the organization, or the order of your site, and still -- the system keeps track of all your content and puts everything in its proper place," Casalena explained. "It remembers this blog entry goes into this category, this photo goes with that Web album, or that text goes with this discussion."--cms~wire

You might want to take a look at what Casalena is doing with Squarespace. I have a feeling this is the direction blogging needs to go. Will a college student with some good, no, some great ideas be successful against all the big competition? That's another question.