We had the inaugural meeting of the jrnl project yesterday and we decided to write a blog post each of what sucks about blogging, with hopefully some useful issues coming out of that for us to work to improve. We could of course also list suggested improvements in the process.
For me the single biggest issue is the lack of view flexibility. Even such a simple thing as viewing all the posts by a specific set of people in one timeline is only possible if they are on the same blog, it’s not possible cross-domains.
Also, something as simple as saying I want to see all the paragraphs where Chris mentioned in a meeting Houria is not possible.
Furthermore, with the view that what we are doing should augment our ability to work together, the treatment of comments as separate entities from articles makes it harder to thread conversations.
I think we need a way where we can comment on specific sections of a blog with another blog where we use a paragraph level link and the comment post makes the original post aware of the comment through a pingback and has the option to display some sort of visual indicator that there is a comment in a blog post about this section.
These types of improvements should make it possible to visually follow threads of conversations and what certain people have written about certain things and so on.
A further issue is the lack of versioning. It should be possible to somehow update an article without removing the original, by adding a new article and the naming scheme increments and the old article is made aware of the new article and gives the reader the option to read an order or newer version. This could help with issue tracking.
Micro posts which act as to-do items could also be powerful with a powerful view system.
Stephan mentioned that a TimeBrowser feature would be useful. I agree, it should be another possible view.
That’s all for now, we are moving house today, from our flat in Fulham to our house in West Wimbledon. It’s a big day, a strange day, and an emotional day, no more so when I watched my mother take my son Edgar out for a walk for the very first time. This was a ramble, this is an illustration of the issues we have to deal with. How can we build a system to encourage an author, in this case me, to author more readable articles and how can we provide a reader, you, with better ways to view and interact with this article and any and all articles on this blogs and beyond?