I’ve been ‘umming and ahhing’ about it for a while but yesterday I finally got around to backing Ghost on Kickstarter. For those of you that aren’t aware of it Ghost is aiming to be;
An open source blogging platform which makes writing pleasurable and publishing simple.
The basic premise is that WordPress has become something much more than a blogging engine (which all the evidence backs up) and that there is a gap for a 100% blogging tool. I haven’t seen much mention of Tumblr in relation to Ghost and maybe that is because for all its strengths Tumblr has never really been about *writing* – its always been more about sharing (and animated GIFs!).
I still love WordPress and that is one reason I didn’t jump to support Ghost straight away but I have started to see it as more of a Swiss Army knife for web projects (of a certain scale) and even .com has felt like it is becoming something bigger recently. Writing this blog is probably the little piece of the web I take most pleasure in – I know I have hardly have anyone reading it but for someone who dreamed of being a writer pretty much all the way up to university the fact that I can publish my words and at least a couple of people read them still seems amazing to me. That is what blogging is to me and anything that can make it easier (and lets be honest – a bit prettier) seems worth a shot.
The Ghost team seem pretty switched on – John O’Nolan is leading things and he was actually formerly Deputy Head of The WordPress UI Group, Hannah Wolfe is the main developer and her day job is at MOO.COM (still supplying me beautiful business cards I never use after all these years) and people like Rob Hawkes, formerly of Mozilla are involved so its an impressive team.
The other thing I approve of is the move to make the project open source (MIT licence) backed by a non profit. Now I have no issue with for profit companies (Ryan made some sense here) but I am tired of ‘hitching my wagon’ to startups who get swallowed up and vanish. I don’t blame people for taking the money – everyone has rent/mortgages but in the same way I won’t commit to watching TV shows if I know they are going to get cancelled I will no longer put any effort in to web products whose business plan is to flutter their eyelids at Facebook 🙂
As is often the case I think Mozilla is a nice model for Ghost here (and of course WordPress itself). In fact in another reality this seems like the kind of project that could have arisen from Mozilla WebFWD ‘accelerator’ and found a home within the Moz portfolio (its a lovely fit somewhere between Webmakers and Open News I reckon!).
The one thing I wasn’t so sure on was all the talk of ‘journalism’ in the pitch. I am not a journalist. Have no delusions of being one. I am a blogger. Blogs are more than journalism just like journalism is (a lot) more than blogging.
Anyway I look forward to giving it a try once it starts getting released to backers – the screen shots I’ve seen of it look stunning (see below) and as I now draft all my blogposts in iA Writer I am warming to the idea of Markdown more and more.