Blogspace

Blogspace: About: a powerful, hyperlinked system for building websites

This document, the specification of Blogspace, will change and expand as we begin build and design Blogspace. This page is an overview, but follow the links to more detailed information about each feature. More links will continue to be added as time goes on. To receive updates on Blogspace, please subscribe.

Content

The key to a Blogspace site, as with most sites, is the content. However, Blogspace sites are slightly different than most. First, Blogspace sites can be easily edited over the Web, through any web browser. (We're also thinking about adding support for WebDAV and other formats.) Second, Blogspace sites can hold not only text, but also structured and semi-structured forms of data. Third, Blogspace sites use a powerful linking system to let you categorize and manage all of your information in a permanent and useful way.

But it's not only your content that Blogspace handles. Blogspace allows you to take comments from your readers on any item. And you're not only limited to things on your site -- Blogspace lets you point to things on other web sites too. But, because the web changes so rapidly, Blogspace watches every page you link to to see if it's moved and downloads a copy in case it ever goes off-line. It also makes it really easy to update your site when a page has moved or disappeared.

We're also working on ways to import your email into Blogspace, so that it too can be linked and categorized with all the power that Blogspace provides. You don't need to worry about security. You get to decide who can view, edit and administer every item in your Blogspace so that you can keep your private information private.

Presentation

Unlike most websites, Blogspace keeps all your content in a database, where it can easily track and update it. This also allows you to customize the look of your site. Blogspace provides an HTML-like templating language that lets anyone who knows HTML to change the look of your entire site, all at once.

Also, this lets you output your website in any number of formats: HTML, RSS, plain text (for use in email), XHTML, XML and perhaps more!

Knowledge

Through the use of special links, Blogspace can keep track of everything in your Blogspace, without tying you down to the problems of a hierarchy. For example, if you add an item to your Blogspace about your visit to the dentist on 2000-03-12, you'd link it in to the page for your Dentist and the day of 2000-03-12. Then, Blogspace would automatically add it to the list of all your dentist trips and everything you did on 2000-03-12.

This can also be exported as an RDF file of all your activities. RDF is a data format being worked on by the World Wide Web Consortium and is the corner stone of their Semantic Web. Blogspace tries to realize the Semantic Web by appealing to enlightened self-interest.

We'll also take the RDF produced by every Blogspace site, as well as any other site or system that produces it, and combine it into a massive site. Hopefully, this will allow us to provide a powerful search engine, giving you only the best, hand-picked results and information. We'll also provide a service that will allow you to contribute to the database, even if you don't want to go through the trouble of setting up an entire Blogspace site.

Still in Development

All this is still being fleshed out, and we'll learn and grow as we begin to build this site. This page will be updated when more information is available and as our plans change. If you like this idea, or you have comments or questions, please don't hesitate to email your thoughts. Enjoy and, as always, thanks!

aaron@blogspace.com

An Aaron Swartz Project