Time to blow up blogs

Blogs have already become prisoners of their format. Time to light some dynamite.

The problem isn’t the tools, it’s the templates. Blogging tools are merely content management systems without the million-dollar consultants and bills; that’s what I’m telling newspaper folks who complain that it’s hard to put content online. Templates let you format or unformat your stuff however you like and also include stuff of any medium. I’d love to see more clever examples of templates.

Probably the best or at least cleverest use of blogging templates I’ve seen in the San Francisco State student paper, the Xpress, which uses categories or separate Movable Type blog feeds (I’m not sure which) to maintain separate sections on its front page. It also includes photo players and other multimedia.

Do you have other examples of interesting, different, creative, clever blog templates that use the form to break the form?

Michael Parekh wishes athat blogs had tabs/pages/sections/parallel lives:

But the basic format of a blog has remained unchanged.

For instance, why can’t we have a blog template with the ability to have multiple tabbed pages? Then Om could have a page 1,2 and 3.

I mean if newspapers and magazines can have multiple pages, why can’t blogs?

And then, how about offering different ways to present content within those pages than the standard headline, sub-headline, post approach? Why can’t we have headline-less short bits of text if we wanted or a streaming ticker tape for content we want to high-light? What if we wanted to feature specific posts that readers particularly liked on a separate page, thus giving those pieces an extended “Shelf-life”?

One of the reasons services like MySpace have taken off is that they gave users a ton of flexibility in the ways that each user could customize the presentation of their content.

Anybody want to design Michael his template? As I see it, different categories could feed different pages and different design behaviors, no?

See also Magnoto, which I blogged about a few days ago; it turns media elements into chunks that can be moved anywhere on a page.

This is all fine for me to say but I wouldn’t be able to design or adjust a template to save my soul. That’s why I have a son.