Beware the false blog software

With the news of Google's acquisition of Pyra Labs, watch software makers scramble to include a blogging feature in their products. Microsoft-Watch reports that Microsoft Tests the Blogging-Tool Waters with their Community Starter Kit. The article quotes Microsoft developer division product manager Shawn Nandi,

You could use this (Kit) to build a Weblog."

You can also use Microsoft Notepad and an FTP client to build a weblog, but that doesn't mean they were designed for that, or that it's easy to do.

Ask yourself when looking at "blogging" software: Was it designed with weblogging in mind (i.e. easy updating through simple posting interface, archives for posts, permalinks, templating control, comments, RSS output, etc.) or has the label "blogging" been slapped onto an existing publishing system designed around outputing web pages? That is, can your content be chunked up into posts, so that content can live in many places at once (your front page, your archive, your by-category page) or is the tool outputting pages, trapping your words in the page paradigm? (For more on posts vs. pages, see my megnut column, What We're Doing When We Blog.)

The answer to these questions is the difference between a tool designed for weblogging and one that's simply trying to capitalize on blogging's current popularity.