Putting People at Ease

By Steve Gillmor  |  Posted 2004-05-20 Print this article Print

Whats Bloggers status with Mac users? Half the Blogger team are Mac users, so our supports better than ever for them.
Can you call out specific ease-of-use features?
Theres the home page. We collaborated with Adaptive Path and Doug Bowman of Stop Design—some really great user experience folks—and I think they just nailed it. What specifically do you like about it? I like the home page, the Create a blog in three easy steps, the iconography—both the visual appeal and the verbiage. Weve yet to see the numbers on this, but we did some studies. There are a tremendous number of people who come to Blogger through links on other blogs perhaps, people who are on the verge, potential users. And when they get their own home page, theres a fairly high barrier to parsing it and figuring out what it might be. I think this one is going to perform a lot better in terms of pulling people in, and once theyre in with the combination of having comments on automatically and the profile right there, getting into the blogging value proposition is much faster. Have you talked to the Orkut team about sharing profile information? We have had thoughts about that; we kind of serve different purposes now. Orkut is still in a beta and by invitation only; its hard to explore that seriously. But certainly lots of people would be interested to see some integration there. The combination of RSS and a blogging engine in some ways obviates the need for a separate social network. Its a more granular social network infrastructure. I agree. Ive read some stuff about that, maybe from you, about how blogs are a more organic way to do essentially the same things they do on a social network. Its mostly about putting yourself out there and finding other people of interest. With blogs you have an ongoing interest. Well see where the social networking sites go. I think theres going to be a lot of convergence potentially, in terms of functionality. In recent weeks, someone did a quick hack on the Technorati API to multiple responses to a blog entry. Interestingly, that approach preserves the brand of the individual Weblog, which is likely related to things like page rank as well. Do you see value in that or the potential of the new Blogger to have some impact in that area? I think that was a great idea. Theres probably a need for various methods. Not everyone who comments on a blog has a blog, It really depends on the nature of the discussion, the nature of the users, whether or not that makes more sense than inline comments. Its great to have that flexibility. If people can use that Technorati hack with Blogger, thats great. If they use it in combination with comments, thats great. Well see how that works. Can you write that hack to your API? I think itd be possible. I havent looked at it in detail. Can you look at it in detail? Sure, when I get a chance. Check out eWEEK.coms Messaging & Collaboration Center at http://messaging.eweek.com for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.

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Steve Gillmor is editor of eWEEK.com's Messaging & Collaboration Center. As a principal reviewer at Byte magazine, Gillmor covered areas including Visual Basic, NT open systems, Lotus Notes and other collaborative software systems. After stints as a contributing editor at InformationWeek Labs, editor in chief at Enterprise Development Magazine, editor in chief and editorial director at XML and Java Pro Magazines, he joined InfoWorld as test center director and columnist.

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