I want to commission reviews of the following blog publishing systems:
UPDATE: Based on your feedback, I’ll also include the following platforms for review (what the heck, it’s only my money, right?):
That is, of course, presuming I can find folks out there willing to write about all of these. (NOTE: Movable Type, TypePad and Blogger aren’t on this list because I am prepared to write those reviews myself.)
I am ready to pay the princely sum of $25 per review in real cash money (of the PayPal variety, anyway) for a worthy review according to specs outlined below. Sure, it’s crap money, but how much do you get paid to blog now? Besides, if you’re interested in getting paid to help anyone set up a business blog on your chosen platform, this may be a decent lead generator.
If you’re interested, here are the conditions of the deal:
- You should NOT send me a review unsolicited. This is an important test of your ability to follow directions. You should instead send me an email describing why you are the best person to for the job of writing such a review
- You should have at least a few months’ of experience blogging on the platform you intend to review
- You should have no close affiliation with the company that produces the software in question or other potential conflicts of interest
- You must adequately address all of the review points I note in the review guide below.
- You should be at least technically literate enough to address all of the questions below.
- You can also post the review to your site, but for my palty $25 I can repurpose the review however I see fit, including packaging all these reviews together in a report for sale or other creative uses.
- If I accept your review for publication on this site, I won’t edit it except to correct spelling, grammar, etc. though I may add bracketed editorial comments, if I’m so inclined.
- You need to have a PayPal account, as that’s how I plan to send reviewers payment.
There may be other qualifications I haven’t thought of yet that I’ll explain in private correspondence if we get that far.
If you’re interested, keep reading below the review guide:
Reviewers should address all of the following points in their software review:
- General performance. What makes this different/better than other blog publishing platforms?
- What are some of the best advantages about this platform?
- What are some of its disadvantages?
- What’s the killer feature, if there is one?
- What features does it lack or need fixing?
- Where does the publishing engine reside? On its own hosted servers, like Blogger or TypePad? On your own web server, like Movable Type? On your desktop, like Userland Radio? Other? (Outerspace?) What advantages/disadvantages do you see in this approach?
- What’s the geek factor on this? How comfortable can non-technical people be with it?
- What’s the learning curve? Totally intuitive? Lots of features, thus requiring more time to familiarize yourself with all of it?
- What’s involved in setting it up? If you’re not technical, do you need help?
- Are there platform restrictions? (E.g., PC/Mac, APS vs. Linux servers, SQL Server, etc.)
- Who produces it? Is it an open-source community, a labor-of-love by some programmer, a company with financial backing? What is the likelihood this development team is going to still be at it a year or two from now, providing new features, etc.?
- Where is the software developed? How is language support in English (the web site, the manual, the support communities, etc.)? Other languages?
- What’s the pricing of it?
- Is there tech support?
- Is there a good user manual?
- Is there a third-party developer community? If so, how active?
- Is there a vibrant user/support/forum community? If so, what are the URLs of such?
- Is there support for photos galleries?
- Is there a built-in Blogroll/Link List kind of feature to manage blogrolls?
- Can you post via email? Mobile phone/moblog?
- Does it email posts to subscribers who so choose?
- Anything notable in the archive features?
- Does it support comments? Comment-spam filtering? If so (the latter), what’s the approach?
- Does it support trackback?
- Any idea how well it works on a Mac, with Mozilla or other non-W2K IE platforms?
- Does it pioneer any other new blog features that other platforms don’t have?
- Does it support multiple authors? If so, does it have decent permission controls? (E.g., can you limit authors to publish only to draft?)
- Does it support a simple modular design for page elements? (E.g., when editing templates, are things like blogroll lists, sidebar elements, headers, etc., managed as separate entities, or are they all just in the HTML of a single template?)
- Is it well suited for public corporate blogging? Why or why not?
- Is it well suited for internal corporate blogging? Why or why not?
- What other blog platforms have you used that you can compare this to?
- What else do we need to know about this system?
These additional questions have since occurred to me:
- Does it let you publish in XML syndication? If so, in which formats? RSS 1.0? RSS 2.0? Atom? Others?
- Does it have a spell checker?
- Does it have a wiki-publishing component?
- Can you easily set up multiple weblogs from one account or instalation of the blog publishing software, or must you create multiple accounts or installations?
- Does it support categories? If so, how about hiearchical categories (e.g., Movies / Horror, Movies / Comedies, Movies / Thriller, Books / Fiction, Books / Biographies, and so on)? What about surpressed categories? (That is, in the monthly archive, publish all except the “Breaking News” category)?
- Does it let you easily create a “remaindered links” blog-within-a-blog, a la Anil Dash‘s Links Blog? (Obviously, you can kludge this in most systems, but I’m wondering if some blog software has it off the shelf.)
If you have other points you think I should include in this review guide, please recommend them in the comments field. Also, if there are other blog publishing platforms you think I should add to this list (excluding TypePad, Movable Type and Blogger, which I plan to review myself), please also note in the comments section. If you are interested in writing such a review for me, please send me an email making a case for why you’d be the best person to do so.