Sunday, May 20, 2007

Thinking about The Mercy Site

I've been thinking about The Mercy Site. It's been around a while, in Web terms, probably nearly seven years now. While it is still attracting a share of visitors, and while it is still hosted for free by the remarkably steadfast Milestonenet people, who seem to tolerate its consuming (according to Alexa) some 90-odd% of their traffic, I've been wondering.

I've been watching the steady flowering of what some people call Web 2.0 - online applications like Blogger, Netvibes, Google Docs & Spreadsheets, not to mention all the Flickr, eBay, thingies there are around. I've also been thoroughly enjoying the experience of keeping this blog. Not the least important things about that are the extraordinary ease of updating stuff with this Whizzy-WYG blog editor they provide, compared with even the simple, simple HTML of The Mercy Site; and the possibilities raised by the collaborative nature of comments.

I've also noticed one or two odd things in the blogosphere recently: things that aren't blogs per se, but aren't quite old school websites either. This tendency appears among experimental musicians, I find: the EMC Blog would be a fair example. Blog novels would be another example, but I'll let you Google those for yourself. There's some weird stuff out there: don't say I didn't warn you... Contrariwise, I've been impressed with sites like A Church Near You, which incorporate blog-like elements, with preformatted pages which can be modified using some kind of online editor application.

A blog-site (or site-blog) like that would be flexible and responsive, could be almost an online extension of what one was thinking about at the time, and could have a degree of collaborative input through (moderated) comments. It would be a separate entity to The Mercy Blog, and would borrow the blog novel idea of posts-as-chapters. It would, in other words, be an online, continually evolving - or perpetual Beta, for you Web 2.0 geeks - book about prayer.

I could give it a try - some of the best bits from The Mercy Site would provide a framework, and the endless generosity of Blogger a platform...

If any of you folks reading this have any thoughts, do post a comment!