Dave Winer is at it again. The creator of some of the original blogging software back in the early 2000s and one of the creators of RSS released last week his "radically silo-free" blogging editor MyWord Editor (MWE) with this purpose:
Think of it as bringing the ease and beauty of writing of Medium... without being locked into Medium's platform. (Or at least... I would say that is the aspiration... Dave's MWE is still in development.)
The MyWord Editor code is available as open source on Github at:
Dave calls it "radical" for this reason:
These days blogging tools try to lock you into their business model, and lock other developers out. I have the freedom to do what I want, so I decided to take the exact opposite approach. I don't want to lock people in and make them dependent on me. Instead, I want to learn from thinkers and writers and developers. I want to engage with other minds. Making money, at this stage of my career, is not so interesting to me. I'd much rather make ideas, and new working relationships, and friends.
He goes on to explain why MWE is “silo-free”:
There's an open API that connects the in-browser app to the server. So you can replace the app. Or the server. Or both.
Because there's an open API, you can build anything you want at either end. You're not limited by my vision of what's possible. Let a thousand flowers bloom.
The app is provided in source, MIT license. So there are no secrets. And you can use my source as the starting point for your own editor.
The server is provided in source, MIT license. No secrets, etc./p>
The app has a command that downloads all your content in JSON, so you can move your data from one server to another, at any time. If any instance removes this command, alarms should ring out all over the land. It's your content, ladies and gentlemen, not theirs.
He followed this with another post explaining more:
and then he further expressed his view that WordPress is also silo-free... but there is also a need for a better and simpler user experience:
where he made this statement:
Blogging is frozen
There haven't been new features in blogging in a long time. Where's the excitement? It looks to me like there's been no effort made to factor the user interface, to simplify and group functionality so the first-time user isn't confronted with the full feature set, left on his or her own to figure out where to go to create a new post or edit an existing one. Blogging platforms can be both easier and more powerful, I know because I've made blogging platforms that were
You can read more about this at http://myword.io/ ... and you can play with a hosted version yourself at:
(Yes, of course, I had to try it out.) It uses Twitter as an identity provider right now... but of course the code is open source so someone could hack away and look to use a different identity provider.
As someone who has been gravely concerned about "lock in" and the need for us to have control over our own content (think back to my posts about Known And The Indie Web), I am pleased to see this entry into the range of tools we can use for sites. Yes, I do most of my own work in WordPress these days... but I also very much understand Dave's notion that we need simpler tools with an easy user experience.
As I have the time I definitely intend to check out MWE and set up my own instance of it. I'm glad Dave is out there building tools like this... let's see where it goes!
What do you think?
Image credit: Doc Searls on Flickr