10 tools from 2005 that tapped the power of blogs - where are they now?

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In 2005, fresh out of the Online Deliberation 2005 conference, Social Signal CEO Alexandra Samuel wrote about 10 tools that tap the power of blogs. As we were working on relaunching our website, we had a chance to take a second look at this post and thought it'd be fun to do a bit of a retrospective: what's happened to these 10 tools in the past 4 years, as blogging has become more popular and mainstream?

  1. RSS. It's absolutely everywhere - in your Mail.app, in your Twitter, and it's even keeping you up-to-date on your friends' Facebook activity. Atom hasn't quite replaced RSS as Michael had predicted it would in our 2005 post, but it's certainly still making a valiant effort.
  2. Bloglines: Still around and kicking; it is optimized for display on the iPhone/iPod Touch at i.bloglines.com.
  3. Technorati: Wordpress quietly stopped using Technorati searches for the incoming links widget on its module in version 2.3 in 2008. In spite of the snub, Technorati is continuing to roll out new features. Will they be a hit with bloggers? Only time will tell. Here at Social Signal, we still use Technorati from time to time, but would love it even more if certain aspects of the site were less grating to use.
  4. PubSub: Some business missteps meant that PubSub's promising technology is still waiting to see the light of day again. According to its Wikipedia page, the folks at PubSub are planning to re-launch it as something akin to Yahoo Pipes... eventually.
  5. Blogrolls: Doc Searls declared them dead in 2007, calling it "a stale relic of blogging's origins in the Static Web era." More recently, blogroll behaviour has been traced as a predecessor to reciprocal following and friending on services like Twitter, which are much more explicitly social and people/connection-focused than blogs may have been in the past.
  6. OPML: Still awesome and the format of choice for porting around one's feeds. 'Nuff said.
  7. Feedster: Feedster kicked the bucket back in November 2007 and hasn't been seen since.
  8. delicious.com: Aside from losing the punctuation, delicious (formerly del.icio.us) has remained largely unchanged since it entered the Yahoo fold at the end of 2005. It works - and perhaps more remarkably, looks - pretty much exactly the same way it did in 2005, aside from some nice quirks, subtle features (like URL lookup) and integration with Firefox through the Delicious plugin.
  9. Blogger - Since its acquisition by Google, there hasn't been a lot of glitz - but there have been some developments behind the scenes, such as migrating their servers to Google and the application itself going out of beta. For the most part, Blogger appears to live a different life from other Google applications - which is a bit of a disappointment, seeing how Google has, in other areas, become quite central to blogging practice.
  10. Wordpress - Wordpress is still the tool of choice for many wanting to combine a great blogging interface with fine-grain control over the geekier aspects of an online presence. Since 2005, Wordpress has added an easy-to-use draggable interface for managing widgets that do any number of things on your site, and they've also introduced Wordpress.com, a turn-key hosted solution that competes directly with Blogger's offering for out-of-the-box ease.

Next week, I'll take a look at the new tools that we're using for blogging now to replace the ones that went under, and round up 10 tools that tap the power of blogs in 2009.

Meanwhile, have any of these tools proven the test of time for you? Do you have any other must-haves that make your blogging niftier, easier or more enjoyable? Leave a comment with your fave!


Alexandra Samuel says

May 30, 2009 - 11:35pm

I just wrote up my own thoughts on 10 tools, 4 years later.

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