While no one fears a Weblogging shortage any time soon, a new platform will tempt even more uninitiated civilians to enter the blogosphere when Six Apart releases its public beta of Project Comet in early 2006.
The new platform, which was shown at Demo Fall today, in Huntington Beach, Calif., boasts streaming video, voice, music and photos combined in a novice-level interface aimed at serving users from all levels and backgrounds.
Six Apart executives envision the blog evolving into a personal communication tool rather than an exclusively public medium.
According to Barak Berkowitz, CEO of Six Apart, “To our mind its a very broad horizontal communications tool. Right now most people think about blogging as a large or moderately large audience tool. But while we think that there are clearly millions of people who would like to have audiences of thousands and share their thoughts with thousands of people, we think there are tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, who would like to have audiences of six, 10, 20—who would like to share their thoughts and ideas solely with their family and their friends.
“We see that in Live Journal, in the youth market, and we believe thats going to be true with the adult market, also. The Project Comet product is designed to provide that type of communications tool to masses of people. Were really worked very hard building tools that make it easy to just share rich communications without having to do a lot of work.”
The rage for blogging undoubtedly influences the companys new initiative.
A study by Pew research showed that blog readership has soared, increasing by 58 percent in the last year, with particularly strong increases in affluent households.
Also, skyrocketing broadband penetration makes rich media a natural addition to any blogging service.
Of course, the blogging population has grown faster than kudzu, with new blogs being created every few seconds according to many accounts.
So its fair to assume that many bloggers will flock to anything that makes their postings more attractive to readers.
Interactivity and community building features will be emphasized in the companys new service, with special focus on the ability to aggregate several separate blogs into a single screen, either in whole or just in sections.
For example, members of a family who all have personal blogs could link their blogs together to create a combined blog that reflects everyones experience both jointly and separately.
Some new privacy controls are also planned for Project Comet.