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Where are the Blogger clones?

by Giles Turnbull -- 2001/01/12

Browser-based content management system Organizine was only live for a few days before its owner decided to withdraw the service for personal reasons - but it may yet have a role to play in the story of web publishing for the people.

Organizine was a simple, and very effective, service. Like Blogger, it allowed you to manage and edit your site through a simple browser window.

Like Blogger, it did the work of editing HTML templates and FTPing files to your webspace. Like Blogger, it was very customisable and very easy to use.

But it wasn't like Blogger. Organizine's name was well chosen. It was intended for use with web-based magazines - sites with essays and articles.

That's not to say you cannot use Blogger for essays, of course you can. But where Blogger is good for up-to-the-minute, time sensitive content, Organizine was good for less deadline-specific, story-based content.

Sadly, after just days in the public eye (and a scattering of mentions on various weblogs), Organizine shut down. The site said simply "for personal reasons", and in an explanatory message, owner Adam Mathes said he simply didn't want the responsibility of running it.

While the disappearance of the site was a sad event, and clearly a decision Mathes did not make lightly, the brief life of Organizine raises another issue - why does Blogger remain the only site of its kind?

You could be forgiven for thinking that such a popular application would be a prime target for creators of something similar, which perhaps offered a slightly different service - something like Organizine.

Providers of free web space like Yahoo Geocities and Homestead could also hardly be blamed for developing their own Blogger-like (Bloggish?) system.

So the question is: why hasn't anyone done just that? Or more to the point, how long before someone does?

Blogger has a loyal following, demonstrated clearly by the enthusiastic response to its plea for contributions to pay for a new server.

But a long time ago, Mosaic was the only cool browser to use, and then came the browser wars.

A year from now, could we be seeing the Blogger wars, as a gaggle of newer (but not necessarily better) content management / web publishing services come along to grab their share?