There has been a bit of talk in the last few days about the need for new ways of formatting blogs.
Michael Parekh talks On Blogs Stuck in a Rut:
‘I’ve long wondered how great it would be if my current blogging platform Typepad (a part of Six Apart) or someone else like Google’s Blogger, WordPress etc., offered more flexible and alternative ways to present content in different forms within the same blog. In many ways, the blogging platforms companies have offered blogging templates that have essentially been frozen in time since blogs were first conceived…. For instance, why can’t we have a blog template with the ability to have multiple tabbed pages?’
Jeff at BuzzMachine suggests that it is Time to blow up blogs:
‘Blogs have already become prisoners of their format. Time to light some dynamite…. The problem isn’t the tools, it’s the templates. Blogging tools are merely content management systems without the million-dollar consultants and bills; that’s what I’m telling newspaper folks who complain that it’s hard to put content online. Templates let you format or unformat your stuff however you like and also include stuff of any medium. I’d love to see more clever examples of templates.’
My own reaction is that while most blogs seem to be doing much the same thing as each other there are many blogs doing interesting things with their templates. Most of them are on non hosted options like WordPress, MovableType and Drupal but really the sky is the limit when it comes to creative formats for blogs.
Yaro has tied these blogs together with the use of tabs to the left of this header (screen cap below).
I’ve always found that when I take an idea for a new way to present information in a blog to a blog designer that they are almost always able to find a way to do it, often using a plugin or by writing some custom code.