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The Nikon camera of blogging tools?
By Dave Winer on Wednesday, July 07, 2010 at 8:44 AM.

With Scripting2 I'm aiming for the high-end of web writing tools. permalink

Visualize a horizontal line, a spectrum of blogging tools. permalink

A picture named spectrumOfBloggingTools.gif permalink

At the extreme left is Twitter, with its 140-character limit, and simple River of News reader. A a blogging tool, it stresses simplicity. There really isn't a camera as simple as Twitter -- but there should be.  permalink

Immediately to the right of Twitter are low-mid-range blogging tools. Tumblr and Posterous are the leaders. They don't have 140-character limits, and they can handle pictures and media objects natively. They allow comments, and/or cross-linking. They want to provide a blogging-like experience without overwhelming the user with complexity. permalink

Smack in the middle are WordPress and Movable Type. Both are super-rich in features, and unlike the others, offer free versions you can download and install on your own server. They also try to be easy to use, but don't sacrifice power. permalink

Question: Maybe there should be an open source blogging tool that strives for the simplicity of Tumblr and Posterous? permalink

A picture named nikon.jpgLike the others, I strive for simplicity with Scripting2, but go further with features, and am willing to trade-off simplicity. It's not in the same league as Twitter because there's no limit to the length of posts, or link-blog entries. The posts have structure, a feature none of the others have. It comes with an integrated writing tool, but will have an API so browser-based interfaces are possible (and at least one is in development). I believe the API will be cloned on the server side, the same way earlier blogging APIs were.  permalink

The tool will be released under the GPL, as WordPress is, so it will be possible to integrate the two at a source level, though I don't see that being very popular. Instead, we will be able to post to WordPress, and to Twitter, and to Tumblr and Posterous, and to and Typepad, and on and on. We do APIs better than anyone else. (As Stan Krute says, I'm a plumber in my heart, I believe that's true. But I'm also an outliner. And I like to make easy-to-use servers.) permalink

Scripting2 has its own River of News reader, called (of course) River2. It's not as fully developed as Scripting2. It will get another big push before too long. I think eventually all blogging tools will have companion RSS aggregators. permalink

When you add it all up, I think we come in at the right edge of the spectrum. Our tool is for serious web writers, the same way Photoshop is for serious graphics people, or a Nikon camera is for serious photographers. It's a truck, you have to learn how to drive it. But there are loads you'll be able to haul with this tool that you can't haul with the others.  permalink

Beginning to figure it out, in other words. :-) permalink

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