Typepad Screenshots

The creators of the blogging application MoveableType are launching a hosted service called Typepad. There's now screenshots of the new UI, and it looks much cleaner than MoveableType's interface. Definitely a hotly contested race to see who can make blogging easy for the masses, with Blogger Pro being the other visible contender.

However much I like MoveableType though, I can't help thinking that Microsoft or AOL will be the one to take blogging mainstream.

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AOL and Weblogs

They are coming. See this interview at Good Experience. The VP of Community products at AOL is interviewed and mentions blogs although he equates them with message boards - huh?. Despite that, members of my UI team are actually doing the UI design work so they should turn out ok.

Educate the masses...

You have to admit all these tools can be really confusing for folks new to the web. Where I work, things like this can be slow to adopt. I think what would be most effective is to offer suggestions for how one tool is better than another. For example, most folks especially folks who were early users of the Internet used Usenet Newsgroups and dial-up bulletin boards...so the blog is just another tool similar to that...community building 2-way communication tools...rather than dismiss folks interpretation of what a blog is, we need to find ways to help educate and inform of what value that tool has over another...in terms of mass adoption like email & instant messaging...well I think access and value are key...MS & AOL definitely have wide audiences especially on the novice user end, so I wouldn't be surprised if it takes on a wider range there...but the trick is...what is the next big thing?