Something I'm reminded of every time I reach the bottom of a pg essay, or every time I look back on the writing I'm most proud of, is that time was taken to consider and craft the text. Crucially, the text - and its ideas - was shared with others, feedback was gathered, and the text further refined.
Low-friction composition is important; it's a huge boost to have a simple clean slate with which to begin. But often once that initial effort is over with, good writing becomes a work of careful refinement. Here's some things I haven't found in any platform that would be great;
1. Full revision history. Every keystroke I've made, every tiny little edit should be saved. Everything. In order. Everything. This is a small data problem.
2. Once I create some text, I'd like to be able to share it privately with my trusted testers and feedbackers. They should be able to highlight text and make notes in-place. If I trust them enough - or they are an actual nominated human editor - they should be able to edit the text.
3. Some guidelines for good clear writing are automatable. An editor could tell me when a sentence is getting very long. An editor could detect obscure or imprecise words and suggest alternatives. An editor could detect repetition of mundane words or phrases. You get the idea ... the point is that real work can be done here.
4. It would be nice to be able to make margin notes, and to track goals. It is common to sketch out in advance the purpose or goals of a text; the outline and key points to be included. It'd be neat to be able to check them off as progress is made.
Or in summary; it'd be nice to see a tool that took as its goal that writing itself can be made more effective, rather than merely prettier.
A 'replay' function would be good as well. I have a feeling that what I actually do when editing is different to what I like to think I do. This feeling is based on some screen videos I did a little time back.
I built (and am continuously working on) throwww. Let me know if you have any questions. Also here's kind of a mission statement of sorts http://throwww.com/a/1
ankit84 a few comments below linked to http://throwww.com/a/41k which is also not showing up.
You could have the best UI in the world--nobody's going to use your service if it randomly deletes their work.
If you're not keen on self-hosting, I'd want:
- the ability to export to an importable format (eg, wordpress's WXR). Exporting html/text is all well and good, but I need to be able to migrate
- other stuff I'm sure you've thought about, like custom domains, custom URLs (eg /this-is-the-post-title) etc
- discoverability of other users/"blogs" on the network
Nice work though. I really like it.
* Who owns the content ?
* Are they going to keep there for lifetime?
* How would you make money and let us write? In future they can monetize on my content.
btw, let me admit, I created one for linkback http://throwww.com/a/41k
Also, I usually stick to Wordpress because you can embed code. Any plans to allow syntax highlighting?
I don't know what language you're using, but here's a Ruby library for it: https://github.com/tmm1/pygments.rb
Edit: Scrolled down and saw Django. Pygments is native to Python, so you might be in luck if you want to use that.
My only concern is my ability to get content back for archiving. Is there a way we could export the articles to some simple format? Either markdown or even just a plain text file?
As for your concern. A few users have requested a "download" feature to archive their posts. The features I'm planning on adding in the short term include
* "Download" support. Probably XML or RTF options.
* "Discover" page with curated/voted posts. Kind of like user pages (e.g., throwww.com/u/sfard) except with content from several users
* subdomain user support (i.e., username.throwww.com)
* Potentially "groups"
My only gripe is that when I clicked on my profile it said, "This guy hasn't written anything yet." which was slightly off-putting as I am not actually a "guy."
That said, checkthis is not distraction free. It's more about getting easily a beautiful page on the web, with good social network integrations and a possible instant feedback through the comment pane on the right of your page.
(And regarding some comments not so far, we are supporting Unicode quite well, we have lots of page in Russian for example).
But I was a bit surprised to see a commenting system in it. This isn't what I expected after having read "Why I Made Throwww" . A blog-like commenting system is not what I would associate with simplicity, nor "the purity of just a message".
Also, a little idea for easy improvement (IMHO): display the length of the text, i.e. the number of words and/or the time to read (e.g. based on a naive average of 250 words per minute ).
Screenshot (Chrome, win64): http://www.flickr.com/photos/laacz/8357406754/in/photostream...
Comment if you want anything you don't see. Not promising it'll get built, but it might be something I haven't considered.
I'd suggest instead to use S3. Things like S3Fox make uploading easy.
The problem with all blogging platforms though is that we always focus on making the writing experience better rather than making the audience experience better.
Give me this simplicity, plus a built in way for me to get eyeballs and I'm all yours!
If you implement the things like trending and subdomain user blogs (with things like domain hosting add-ons in the future) I could see it being a very useful blogging alternative.
Curiosity. What have you used technically?
formatting would be a distraction
include "media box" (music/img/url/vimeo)
would be nice to get lost inside of throwww following threads, authors, subjects... or else make twitter serve as the navigation through different "throwww's"
maybe instead of downloading the posts, they "evaporate" within... 2 days? temporality is cool and goes along with the name.