FROZEN IN TIME
As he explains it, the second blog is for shorter, daily musings that don't fit the tenor and focus of his primary blog, which is primarily about broadband, wireless, and VOIP-related matters.
As Om puts it, others have felt a similar need:
Om then makes a comment that most resonated with me:
"I feel sooner or later, many of us who are addicted to blogging, will have to set up the equivalent of Page 3 on their blogs."
This statement compelled me to write this post.
In the year that I've been blogging in a daily basis, I've also felt the need for an alternative page where I could have shorter, pithier posts, focused perhaps on a broader range of subjects.
But I didn't want to do it with a separate blog. It felt like a greater burden both on me in terms of maintaining a separate blog, and for readers to have to track yet another blog in their feeds.
Instead, I've long wondered how great it would be if my current blogging platform Typepad (a part of Six Apart) or someone else like Google's Blogger, Wordpress etc., offered more flexible and alternative ways to present content in different forms within the same blog.
In many ways, the blogging platforms companies have offered blogging templates that have essentially been frozen in time since blogs were first conceived.
Sure, there's been a ton of innovation in adding bells and whistles like RSS feeds, tags, integrated paid-search systems and the like. And every one of the companies offers different colors and themes in setting up a blog. But the basic format of a blog has remained unchanged.
For instance, why can't we have a blog template with the ability to have multiple tabbed pages? Then Om could have a page 1,2 and 3.
I mean if newspapers and magazines can have multiple pages, why can't blogs?
And then, how about offering different ways to present content within those pages than the standard headline, sub-headline, post approach? Why can't we have headline-less short bits of text if we wanted or a streaming ticker tape for content we want to high-light? What if we wanted to feature specific posts that readers particularly liked on a separate page, thus giving those pieces an extended "Shelf-life"?
One of the reasons services like MySpace have taken off is that they gave users a ton of flexibility in the ways that each user could customize the presentation of their content.
On the blogging side, we seem to be stuck in a rut in the way we think about what a blog should look like. Perhaps we're stuck by the word "Blog" itself.
We need to break out of the strait-jacketed approach to blogs to date and think more out of the Blog box. It feels like we're overdue for some change.
UPDATE 2.17.06: There have been several creative suggestions on
how today's blog infrastructure can be tweaked and morphed into doing
some of the things I talk about in this post, both in the comments
below and on other blogs like Zoli Erdos' blog here.
And these are valid approaches to accomplishing some of these goals. I still believe that there needs to be easier, mainstream solutions that non-geeky users can use without much of a learning ramp.
Also, Anil Dash of Six Apart/Typepad has some additional input on their software's capabilities in the comment below.