Exploring new blogging tools, editors and trends

Mar 9, 2013

It’s been interesting, over the last year or so, to watch the latest trends in blogging. I’ve mentioned Medium and Svbtle before. Those two networks are influencing many other efforts, or at least riding the early waves, of new blogging tools that distill the blogging experience down to the writing, with clean and simple themes that offer big or small images and nice typography.

For example, the So Simple WordPress Theme literally strips out all images, the ZH2 theme is similarly minimalist, and the wp-svbtle editor plugin allows you to make Wordpress look and work like Svbtle.

Then, there are new CMS offerings: Craft, Anchor CMS, Letterpress, Statamic and Dropplets (v1.0 available now), and I’m sure dozens of others, as a lot of programmers are rolling their own (reminiscent of the early days of blogging — Dave Johnson, a blogger friend in Raleigh, developed Roller for himself, and the CMS I’m using to write this post is Textpattern, developed by Dean Allen for his own use and then offered to a global community).

Another interesting development is the emergence of online text editors that use Markdown syntax and/or HTML5 local storage (automatically saves the text on your computer and is magically there the next time you open the page in a browser), including ecrit.es, ZenPen and Dave Winer’s Local storage demo.

So, lots of interesting new tools for writing online. I’m exploring these because I’m still working on relaunching mistersugar.com and zuiker.com as well as starting a couple of other projects this year.

ADDENDUM
Might as well keep adding to the list, so here’s where I’ll note additional tools.

  • Editorially — “a new collaborative writing and editing platform.”
  • Koken — “designed for photographers, designers, and creative DIYs to publish independent websites of their work.”
  • Draft — “Easy version control and collaboration for writers.”
  • Onword — “Tired of only being able to access my iA Writer documents on my iOS devices, [Dan Eden] created Onword, a simple web application for writing documents.”
  • Little Outliner — A new outliner from Dave Winer and Kyle Shank. I blogged about using it.. And now the next tool from Small Picture, a bigger and more powerful outliner, is live at Fargo
  • Substance — “an open platform for collaborative creation and sharing of digital documents.”
  • I got an invite to use Medium, and so I posted my first essay there. See this post to find a link and see what I thought about the writing tools.
  • Hackpad — another collaborate document tool.
  • Scriptogram — “Put simply, Scriptogr.am is a tool for generating simple, elegant, static weblogs by reading Markdown files stored in your Dropbox folder.”
  • Barley — “a this-generation content editor.”
  • Jason Schuller has a nice list of Promising Solutions for Simple Websites and Blogs
  • Marquee – “easy to use, flexible platform that’s perfect for telling stories.”
  • Scrollkit – “a new type of content editor that allows you to own the page in one click.”
  • Siteleaf – “A smart, lightweight, considered platform for creating and maintaining websites.”
  • Hi – “Realtime storytelling and publishing.”
  • Ghost – “Just a blogging platform.”

Anton Zuiker

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