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CityDesk, Blogger and Joel's business model

I've just created my blog on something struck me: most people can't afford to pay for a dedicated server to host their blogs or host them at home. Heck, people who are suppose to have their lives made easier by CityDesk can't write HTML, let alone understand or administer the server.

So, please guys, explain this to me. We got an excelent tool that was created to allow me to easily create my blog. But... where do I put it?
If there was a way to develop plugins to allow CD to publish to and all the other blogging services, CityDesk would be attractive to much more people.
It'a a far superior tool to w.bloggar ( ) which I'm using now to edit my blog on

I think this is valid. When will we be able to use CityDesk to publish our blogs on

Saturday, December 6, 2003

You can afford CityDesk and you can't afford a $5 a month hosting account?

The free version of CityDesk is *not* a blogging tool, in 2 months of daily blogging you'll run into the 50 item limit.
Saturday, December 6, 2003

Somehow, I don't think CityDesk was created to help anyone with their blogs, per se.  (It's a great way to deal with regularly-updated content, which is not the same thing as a blog.)  Managing your blog can be a nice side effect of having CityDesk, but I really doubt that anyone will pony up $300 for something that is, in effect, a LiveJournal desktop client.  (And then there's the pain of having to access multiple APIs for every blogging service out there.)

And speaking of cost, I have a hosting account for $40 per *year*, which, even in my weakened economic state, is not difficult to come by.  (=

Sam Livingston-Gray
Saturday, December 6, 2003

I'd say that by setting the entry point for CityDesk at $300, Joel is going after the corporate content management market (i.e. - large company intranets, online magazines / newspapers, etc) and not the personal weblog market.

It seems that he is happy to let Blogger / Google, Moveable Type / TypePad and the others slug it out.  I believe he sited tech support issues as one of the reasons for this...

Tim Lara
Sunday, December 7, 2003

Tim Lara >> I'd say that by setting the entry point for CityDesk at $300, Joel is going after the corporate content management market (i.e. - large company intranets, online magazines / newspapers, etc) and not the personal weblog market.

But then, are coporation happy with static pages, and having to go through the edit > generate > upload to FTP cycle every time an item changes in the database?

Seems to be that corporations really need a server-based CMS with a good dedicated app like CityDesk. Speaking of which, I wonder if someone looked into using Outlook, and edit items as e-mails. Mmm...

Frederic Faure
Sunday, December 7, 2003

Speaking of which, I wonder if someone looked into using Outlook, and edit items as e-mails.

Too much chance for error, with not enough gain in functionality in my opinion.  The problem with using emails, is that you need to encode control information into the email, and users are just too used to changing anything about the email.

For instance, check FogBugz method for matching emails to cases, by putting the case number in the subject line.  For this to work with a CMS (assuming all the other information about the article to be posted was stored with that case number in the main database), you'd either need to have the application generate a case and email the user, to reply back, or you need to have the user login to the system on the web or another dedicated app, save the settings, and have it email the user.  Too much work.

Or you could have control words in the email, like @post-on, @author, etc.  Then a user could save a template of this posting email, and then fill it out and post it to the site.  The problem with this as I see it, is no preview.  You could get a horribly formatted article posted to the front page.  Also your parser would have to be very intelligent, as what if they put the date in MM/DD/YYYY format, instead of MM-DD-YYYY format?

Sorry for the long reply, I'm itching for some design work lately (job getting boring).  But thats my thought about email enabled CMSs.  I still think it can be done correctly, but only for edge cases.

Andrew Hurst
Sunday, December 7, 2003

CityDesk seems to be going after a mid range market. Not bloggers, not giant corporations. In between and Solaris server farms there's a middle ground of small businesses who only want to pay a few thousand and want to be able to update their site on a regular basis. Shave some money off of that and you can get rid of any server side processing whatsoever and create a static "brochureware" site.
Sunday, December 7, 2003

My father purchased City Desk.  He uses it to update a small articles section on a discussion site we run.  I started him on the free version.  He hadn't hit the 50 item limit, but it was easy for him to use and worked well, so he paid the $300.  He builds custom rifles for a living so is willing to buy a specialized tool if it saves him time or just plain does the job better than other things.

I'm a computer geek, so have no problem with hierarchical file systems, ftp etc.  To have a tool where someone that knows how to run a piece of software, but doesn't have to think about the hairy bits like finding the particular local file that needs to go to the web server, then opening an ftp tool, and then trying to find out where on the web server the file goes and then remembering that you need to move the image and the html file, because the html file only contains a reference to the image not the image (yeah, but the image is in that page in my browser) etc, etc....  I understand these things, my father does not, and really should not have to.

Thank you Joel, for creating City Desk.  I'm not sure who's happier, my father because he can update his site himself, or me because he can update his site himself.

Sunday, December 7, 2003

I agree with the others. CityDesk and a $40/yr hosting plan from someone like is the way to go.

Why build a CityDesk interface to when people who want that could just use Blogger to begin with?

Darren Collins
Sunday, December 7, 2003

CityDesk's core concepts don't fit the model.

Why would you want to create a site in CityDesk and host on anyway? Wouldn't you rather want to create a site in Blogger and then host it somewhere that doesn't show ad banners?
Sunday, December 7, 2003

You can get hosting for less than $20/year now pretty easily.

Posting from outlook? NewsGator supports this. Note that it's not posting from email, but specifically outlook.

SMTP to blog gateways have also been around for a while. I used MSN Communities (free with lots of ads) for that purpose a few years ago.

Monday, December 8, 2003

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