a memo

Web Applications As Content Waypoints

I recently developed an imageblogging website that is part photography community, and part weblog client. You can upload images and share them with friends and family, but you can also publish formatted thumbnail entries to your weblog-- with one click two clicks (you have to choose which blog to publish to).

And you know? I really like the idea of content outflow.

I sort of stumbled on this concept after seeing AudBlog, a service that will record phone messages and then post links to the audio files on your weblog. It's a natural extension of the XML-RPC interfaces that most blogging services provide, but it's also somewhat unintended-- those APIs were first written to enable standalone client applications on a blogger's computer, not content republishing from other webservices.

But here we are.

So I think I want to go two ways with this.

The first way is to add this power to a suite of CHXO web services beyond just Fotola. I can think of at least five different things that I'd like to publish to various weblogs that involve external files and complicated HTML. And if I want to publish them, other people probably do, too.

But I'd also like to add "blog this" links to all Berylium entries. Clicking "blog this" will open a popup that:
  1. asks for username, password, and publishing URL
  2. asks for weblog/category to publish in
  3. publishes the entry using well-formed HTML (better yet XHTML)

Settings from 1 and 2 could be stored, either in an encrypted cookie or on the server (client's choice, perhaps?). I'd be happy to put as much of it into SSL as I can, and encourage other weblog developers to expose their APIs on SSL-enabled ports.

There's something that just feels right about not forcing data to pool in your site with no outlet. Giving people the tools they need to keep the content flowing seems like an important add-on. And talk about trackback! You've got all the info right there, from the very moment they decided to link in the first place.


Update - 2003-06-17

This has all been implemented in Berylium (and again in Berylium2). It's known around here as uplinking and the current implementation is able to speak to three different publishing APIs: Blogger (v1), LiveJournal, and Berylium (an extension of the Blogger API).

Berylium2 is also able to send and receive XML-RPC calls via SSL, so you don't have to expose your password and/or private data to snooping.

By Chris Snyder on April 9, 2003 at 1:11am

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