Blogging tools are easier to use than ever before but still only accessible with some effort by non techies and non power users. Lots of money to be made in making blogging easier and ubiquitous. Lots of innovation to come. Again we are at the VisiCalc stage of blogging tools, to use my over-used spreadsheet analogy. Still have miles to go!
By the way I disagree that there is even such a thing as four core sites. If I had to choose the four core sites for me it would be PubSub, Feedster, Blogware (disclaimer: my company is a Blogware reseller) and TypePad. Blogware and TypePad are the best hosted blogging services at the moment and PubSub and Feedster have the most useful blogging related tools (see my post about PubSub yesterday if you don’t agree).
When, I decided to blog I went to the community's "core four" sites-- Feedster, Technorati, News Gator and TypePad. I spent two days frustrated and confused until a "blogging buddy," Buzz Bruggeman taught me what to do with each of these four sites, but I’m still deciphering the finer points and there are parts of each I still don’t grasp, even though I’ve posted nearly 50 blogs. According to Technorati , there are over 2.1 million active bloggers and the number is rising at the rate of 10,000 per week. That only gets us another 500,000 bloggers a year, and most people seem to think the number will be in the 100s of millions, and instead of just RSS, blogs will be sent as text, photos and eventually rich media. They be broadcast to a few friends or the entire world not just from PCs but handsets as well. As David Weinberger recently speculated: “It won’t even be called blogging.” For that to happen, blogging needs to appeal to the rest of us. It needs to be amazingly easy to learn and use and the companies in position to lead the next communications revolution need to become simpler and more seductive to newcomers. Intimidating language and sending end-users to code-laden pages only set barriers where bridges should be built.