Personal Publishing System

A very thorough and insightful text on what blogs are, written to explain what they are as opposed to what they are perceived to be in the recent media coverage.

I like the way it’s presented and agree with almost everything. Two small problems. One, the list of key benefits is presented as if all systems listed in the article offer all of those features. Not true, stats (8) arent offered in Movable Type (for one), RSS (5) isn’t available with Blogger. Those are just the ones that jumped at me, there might be others. Items 14 to 17 are mostly true but require some extensive customization, contradicting some of the points made in his summary.

Which is my second small problem. Yes, it is now easy to set up a content management system and you are mostly free from having a webmaster or knowing html (items 2 and 5 of the summary). But, if you want something more adapted to your need, if you want to have a properly installed platform to do everything he mentions you will need at least a basic knowledge of html and be able to understand and work with tags. Not that hard but definitly more complex than just writing posts.

Anyway, just thought I’d mentionned these details but I feel they are just a bit of over enthousiasm for the potential of blogging in what is otherwise one of the best blogging overviews I’ve read.

Unexpressed writing souls finally finding a channel to funnel their rants and ideas with no reference to communication strategy, marketing, networking. It was a natural, spontaneous and beautiful cultural phenomenon signalling finally the planetary “conversation” had indeed begun.

(Found through another good article: Universal Nature of Blog Organization)


Robin Good June 17, 2003

Thanks for commenting and criticizing my post.
Here are some further clarifications to your points:

8) Stats are indeed offered through MT. Please check the AWStats plug-in available under the MT brand new Plug-in directory at:

5) RSS may not be available with Blogger, but please head off to and with ONE CLICK you have solved that problem Forever.

14-17) For traffic it is not an issue and what we really only need is a small script that allows any type of tracker javascript code to be automatically inserted in every new page created. I am actively looking for this.

15) Page titles are automatically set to reflect your content titles for best indexing by major search engines. – This is in place. Yes it is a customization of the system but it is not a secret. Solution integrated in my Coomunication Agents initiative offer. Stay tuned.

16) An RSS feed is integrated in the site allowing individuals to receive your content through newsreader and aggregators. – Answer already given: this is there, just use it.

17) The content you publish can be automatically syndicated to major news syndication services like Syndic8 and Newsisfree which in turn will redistribute to hundreds of sites home pages’ news section. – If 2-4 hours spent at submitting your RSS URL and description to the major news syndication services (Syndic8, Newsisfree, Moreover, etc:) is considered “extensive customization” then yes.

Regarding items 2 to 5 you can check with my three first Communication Agents and ask them if they have had to use any webmaster to achieve what you see on their 2-weeks old sites. There is indeed no HTML code to learn to achieve those kind of results.

Re my possible overly extending “enthusiasm” about the advantages of using a personal publishing system (CMS), like the one of MovableType, Plone or others, I must confirm it all. The opportunities it offers are outstanding.

MT’s upcoming Typepad will shortly prove that I am only telling you what is quite obvious.

All of the above ideas are not just in my mind.

Four Web sites showcase live all of the above to whoever remains not convinced about my claims.

Please see:
plus my own two main sites at:

See to believe.

Robin Good
Ideas, Tools and Resources For Communication Agents

Patrick June 17, 2003

Thanks for the quick and detailed answer Robin.

I didn’t know about the stats plugin for MT but did know the resource, I also know about but the point remains the same, they dont do that “out of the box” which, I think, would have warranted a small note mentioning that some features needed further installations and/or not all platforms provide all listed features. Like I said, just a detail.

When referring to items 14-17 I was talking about the ones from the key benefits list, not the summary and I probably should have said 14, 16 and 17. I agree with the points made there but again, I think a quick install of MT (for example) wouldn’t do the trick, you would need some customizing beyond simple configs to achieve that. Not that hard, just a bit more complicated than implied.

Thanks for the list of communications agent and I agree, to maintain them they dont need to know html but they were provided with customized templates (that you created I guess?). Someone starting from scratch would need some html knowledge and to understand the MT tags to get to that level. Again, not that hard, just a bit more complicated than implied.

“Re my possible overly extending “enthusiasm” about the advantages of using a personal publishing system (CMS), like the one of MovableType, Plone or others, I must confirm it all. The opportunities it offers are outstanding.”

On that I agree wholeheartedly, there are exciting and far reaching opportunities with those publishing systems. In fact, I agree with everything you said and will follow your site now that I’ve found it. I was just imagining various people I know with no technical knowledge and thought their expectations of ease of use vs results would have been raised a bit too high. Yes they could achieve that far more easily than just a couple of years ago but the effort would be somewhat more complex.

If I sent this article to someone with absolutely no coding experience of any kind who was looking to build an intranet cms where his employees could cooperate he would get a very detailed and perfectly valid overview of what is available and potentially achievable… but in the end it would prove harder to achieve than he would think right after reading it.

Robin Good June 17, 2003


it doesn’t have to be so.
You can be their guide or others can take that intermediating role to buffer out those few technicalities left.

New services and tools are coming out that will make even this recommendation useless.

I must apologize for not having catched up correctly with your numbers in the feedback, but I overall agree with your points.

We are at two extremes of the same continuum and I am pushing the optimistic aspects of this technology as I am also about to offer such “buffered” solution through the Communication Agents initiative.

Keep up the great work Patrick!


Patrick June 18, 2003

“You can be their guide or others can take that intermediating role to buffer out those few technicalities left.” I agree and am actually doing so on a couple of projects, which is exactly how I know it’s good to have people get into blogging with all relevent facts.

But you’re right, we’re in the same contimuum. ;)

Note: The plugin for AW stats doesnt gather stats, it just display referrers from an open source package that needs to be installed on the server.

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