Thursday, December 02, 2004

A blogging window opens...

The third-worst-kept secret going – right behind Ken Jennings’s all-night bender in Las Vegas and the impending cancellation of the televised car wreck known as Survivor – revolves around Microsoft’s entry into the blogging space.

Because Microblog, Blogosoft, Winblog, Blogdows, and Blog XP were all apparently taken, the Biggest Software Company Ever went with the Microsoft Spaces moniker. is reporting on it here. Other neat first-reaction links can be found at The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer (blog posting), Wired, eWEEK, and TechNewsWorld. You might also be pleased to know that Chief MS Pitch Man Steve Ballmer has decreed, “Blogging is huge.” Wow, I wouldn’t have known this factoid otherwise. Thanks, Steve.

But back to the blog thing.

Since I’m one of the coveted billion or so users with a Hotmail account, I used my privileged level of access to set up one of the precious and expensive sites. (I lie: anyone can have one, and they’re free. I’m being sarcastic. That’s what playing office political bingo for years on end will do to your brain. Don’t do rugs, okay?)

I’m digressing again, Occupational hazard.

So the long and the short of this new MS blogging service is as follows: it’s blogging for folks who can’t be bothered to learn about blogging. It offers little-to-no control over the finer aspects of cascading stylesheets and XML. It doesn’t let you use your own domain name. It won’t make a three-cheese omelette for Sunday morning breakfast.

It’s sure pretty enough, with lovely screen artifacts that make any Mac-addict salivate. But most MS properties look pretty at first blush. It’s when you dig into them a little deeper that you realize they’re being held up by duct tape and poly filla.

Wait, that’s not true. Duct tape would muck up the insides of your computer. Anyone knows that!

Which is a really convoluted way of saying it offers little compelling reason to skip off of Blogger. At some point, I’ll do the my-own-domain thing (yes, Wheelson, I’ll be watching your experience, then shamelessly absorbing every last iota of knowledge I possibly can.) That’ll likely happen when I have time to manage the transition, and when my lovely wife lets me.

Turning serious for but a moment, Microsoft’s arrival in the blogosphere (why it isn’t simply the blogsphere, without the superfluous O, is beyond me) is, to a certain extent, a milestone in the evolution of the medium. It legitimizes the field, and raises its profile within markets that might previously have considered blogging to be populated by lonely denizens of society’s fringe. In doing so, it opens the door to a more mainstream, commercialized future for blogging. (I know, uh oh.)

If you head over there for a look-sie, please come on back to this humble little non-MS site and let us know what you think.

Batten down the hatches, folks.


Mellie Helen said...

"(why it isn’t simply the blogsphere, without the superfluous O, is beyond me)"

Didn't ya know, Carmi Boy? The Blog O'Sphere is Irish!! Erin go Braugh!! (whatever that means)

- Mellie Helen

Wheelson said...

Here's my first responses upon visiting a "Spaces" site.

Nasty...a three column layout for the home page?


OMG...Tables! You're kidding right?

No, they're not kidding. Microsoft has not created Blog software, they have created lame ass online content management software with the lamest of lame blog components built in. It so barely satisfies the minimum requirements for a blog that it's laughable. No archives that I can see, no recent posts feature that I saw looking at other pages.

Rambling Rene said...

"Blogging is huge." That's a good one. Somebody please tell me then why I had never heard of it until this year. And I don't live under a rock. I practically live on the internet. My clothes are slowly but surely getting ether all over them.
I even this summer got an email from my Pop that said "What's a blog? I asked Eileen (his wife) and all she could tell me was that it was something to do with computers that us old f***s wouldn't know about."

Mike Wood said...

Good analysis of the MS Spaces. Thought as much when I created a test blog - as one of the chosen billion - and talked about it on my blog. And besides, the permalinks are a mess:!1ph841wQSPRhhi7vK7xDi52w!105.entry They are even longer than blogger. Not easy to pass on. Even the main domain is too long to quickly get someone to jot it down!

Oh, and I like the writing and photography on your blog . I'm glad *Red* pointed it out to me earlier in the year.


Mike Works-4-bandwidth