In another off-line conversation with Allen Searls I was discussing the “release” of ReBlg (among other things). Allen quite correctly gently smacked me down for having these conversations in email and not blogging my thoughts, and that reminder and his recent post spurred me into action today.
I think that the ReBlg critics have been accurate when they’ve said that the ReBlg release is a little baffling. Amongst Allen’s post, Marc’s response, and the docs at ReBlg. I was able to find the right information, but it wasn’t easy.
Bottom line: you can’t use it. Yet. It just took me a while to figure that out (and I’m probably being a whiny jerk about it).
As a ReBlg user you’ll need to have a url to send the ReBlg-ified content to for it to open the nice window that’ll start your post. Right now those tools don’t exist. The ReBlg docs, and Marc’s announcment both indicate that the tools don’t exist yet, but neither gives a good idea of when they’ll be available. Unfortunately both locations have this information at the very end of the respective pages.
The whole exercise puts me a little in mind of the current intermittent flurries of activity around attention.xml; a potentially really cool application of technology with no current working examples. Keeping the structure of re-posted content will open up worlds of additional possible uses, from potentially region/type/category specific lists of content to keeping my content in its own form, wherever it goes. As aggregation possibilities deepen, it’s going to become ever harder to get back to the original source of a bit of information, and as blogging scales out to many more (and less careful) users, the trail of where this tidbit of information came from is going to be harder and harder to keep, even for those of us with a vested interest in that trail. And while I’m not a big fan of centralized warehouses of user data (which ReBlg won’t be, according to Marc) or centralized hubs of user tools (ironic, since Rojo is stilll my aggregator of choice), I think ReBlg will do a lot more for bloggers than making it easy to repost content; although as Allen suggests, that’s a strong benefit as well.
In all fairness, it’s not the ReBlg people’s fault. Marc says the tools don’t exist in his intro post, and Lucas’s comments on Allen’s commentary that he’ll have something in a day or two, but it’d sure be nice to know when they were looking to release the WordPress plug-in – if it’s going to be a long time then I might poke at it myself.