Blogging Platform Ghost Could Start A Revolution

Ghost Motto: Free. Open. Simple.

Blogging Platform Ghost Could Start A Revolution

If you've been blogging for a while, you can understand the frustration of wanting to make a small edit. Yet, in order to make a small edit you have to endure the process of going back and forth between the edit screen and the preview screen.

What if you could edit your post on the left side of the screen and have the preview on the right side of the screen?

Of course, this idea was inspired by more recent e-mail interfaces that include a preview reading pain. However, It seems as if the Ghost experience encourages bloggers to take it one step further.

What's The Big Deal About Ghost?

It's not just one big deal, apparently. You have several advantages of using the new Ghost blogging platform.

Some of the most important benefits are mentioned below:

  • As you write your post on the left, you can see the preview on the right.
  • You have no buttons to press while writing.
  • You don't have to fumble around with time-consuming HTML markup.
  • It's ideal for mobile blogging.
  • You can apply numerous formatting options much more easily.

It seems necessarily in this world of mobile computing to use Ghost. This new platform was designed for greater user friendliness on the go. That way, people can be anywhere and (almost) accomplish what they can on a home computer.

The Real Deal: Testing of The Ghost Platform

You don't have to use any HTML if you don't want. However, you may want to still if you want to bold items. Regardless, you will still need to know some code. For instance, if you want to italicize without using HTML, you need to know that typing text between two asterisk signs (*) is what creates this.

However, you don't have to worry about putting paragraph or break markers after every block or line of text. Still, you will have to know how to include code to create links.

Some Back-end Details About Ghost

This blogging platform is powered by the Express framework. It is a Node.js application. It utilizes both SQLite and Juggling DB ORM technologies. The theming is done via Handlebars, and writing WordPress Ghost themes can be written in five minutes.

Ghost is a free open-source program. You can release it or distribute it anywhere to anyone for any reason.

About The Ghost Creator

John Nolan, the creator of Ghost, has built websites since 2005—only a year after WordPress was launched. He has designed and implemented many different blogs for high-profile companies including Microsoft, Nokia, Virgin Atlantic, MTV, W3 Edge, and more.

However, this effort was not carried by himself alone. Hannah Wolfe, Senior Developer at Moo.com, also has been a major instrumental force behind this project. She has developed WordPress sites for over 10 years.

Word is Spreading

If the Ghost platform is not yet known everywhere, it soon will be. Bloggers who want to advance into the future faster than others may require at least trying this new platform.

Ralf Skirr Ralf's comment: Thanks, Amit, for sending us this incredible info. This is the first time I heard of the Ghost blogging platform. At first it seems like a wonderful idea.

I checked out their web site, the feature page actually allows you to test the Ghost editor. It's easy to overlook: you can type right inside the feature page – pretty amazing for a page supposedly only listing the features.

That the editing area on the feature page isn't recognizable as such is a weakness, though. At first sight it looks like a screenshot of the platform, with no indication that it's indeed fully functional.

I hope the actual platform doesn't rely on 'discovering' its features by accident.

One thing that I really don't get:

Ghost is supposed to make blogging easier. But I have to learn a new markup specific to this platform to format my text.

Huh? Wouldn't it be much easier to click a 'Headline' button to add formatting instead of having to learn new markup? I don't see the simplification in this for the average non-programmer user. Non-programmers don't think in markup, they find up markup annoying and uncomfortable.

What I love is being able to switch between articles for preview and editing on the fly.

From the current feature page we can't really see how powerful this will be (or not), but it tackles a major pain point of the existing platforms.

It's really a pain how time consuming editing and switching between articles is in WordPress. I probably spend more time waiting for pages to load and re-load in WordPress than with the actual editing.

Will Ghost be a success?

The support they got at Kickstarter is overwhelming. I'm curious who the supporters are.

  1. Actual everyday bloggers who would love a simple platform?
  2. Or are they hard core geeks who have a gripe with WordPress and the rest?

The answer to this question might decide the long term fate of Ghost. If it's only a geek favorite, it's probably not going very far.

The concept of Ghost is awesome, and the site looks beautiful. I doubt, though, that it will really make a dent in the blogging world.

  • People having their blogs on WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, or whatever, aren't likely to make the switch easily. They have invested too much time and money in their current platform to move everything to a new one.
    It's one thing for bloggers to now enthusiastically blog about how beautiful Ghost is (like TechCrunch did), but it's another thing to actually make the switch. I doubt TechCrunch will.
  • The majority of future first time bloggers will probably favor the 'market leaders' over a new contender, whose future is uncertain.

My 2 cents: I honestly wouldn't put my work and writing into a platform that might or might not survive. I started InternetBusinessMastermind 2007 on a minor platform, which had some awesome features at the time. But it quickly became obcious they just weren't developing their platform as fast as the big guys did. One year later I moved to WordPress.

I'd rather expect that the established platforms will steal an idea, or two, from the newcomer Ghost and make their platform easier to use.

 

Category: Blogging For Money |



3 Comments

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  1. Erin Walsh June 27, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    Thanks for allowing us to guest post here. I think that the points that you followed up with are very good. I would have a hard time switching from WordPress myself. There just make it too easy to do anything that I want to–free. And if that developer doesn't have a patch, another will. Getting WooThemes behind it was a big deal though. It does kind of support your idea that it will be integrated into something bigger.

    • Ralf Skirr June 27, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

      I was impressed, too, by the professional support they already have. Being featured by several of the largest theme providers will certainly help.

  2. Akshat Jiwan Sharma August 6, 2013 at 3:09 am #

    There is another small blogging platfor that I built called specter (http://brislink.github.io/specter/) . It tries to do away with many frustrations of blogging. Editing articles can be done on the fly. There is no need to switch to admin panels.

    Having used many markdown editors I can tell you that live preview is not that good. Why?

    1. Once you get to really know markdwon you would not need preview at all. It will be second nature.

    2. If you use images in your post the preview will grow bigger than the acutal writing. In that case you would have to deal with nultiple scroll bars will be frustrating. 

    3. Live preview performance can degrade for text heavy posts. Because conversion is done for every character that you type. 

    Which is why I built a preview on demand minimaist markdown editor that saves your drafts locally try it (http://brislink.github.io/Abstract/). 

    Specter uses the same editor. It has a few other features like full text search for your articles, tagging and feeds. But it is very simple to use.

    It is free, opensource and ready to use. Try it. Maybe you will like it.

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