Dave Winer on Radio vs. Movable Type

· Weblog Concepts

As someone else pointed out in my comments, I left out some Radio features that MT lacks. Radio’s news aggregator provides an easy way to keep up with other blogs and cross-reference them. That’s really just the tip of the iceberg, because of course Radio opens up onto a scripting environment, the OPML shared outlines, and more goodies. These things all tie together in UserLand’s vision of what blogs are and can be.
To me Movable Type, by contrast, is more like a streamlined content management system with many blog-specific features.
Dave’s thoughtful feedback has naturally spiked my visitor count today, so thanks again, and welcome new readers! Here’s what Dave had to say (go to his site for hyperlinked goodness). I’m interspersing some feedback because I think his points are important:

No mention of Radio’s news aggregator. That’s how multi-author weblogs work.

I’m not quite sure I see how that equates to multi-author weblogs. The workflow involves quoting each other, right? Or am I missing something?

Also no mention of shortcuts.

Mea culpa. I guess that’s because I don’t use them! Similarly, I’m also not much of a scripter (yet) in perl or Frontier or PHP, all of which I’ve now been exposed to, so I’m mostly dependent on the smarts and generosity of others for those little niceties that make a blog richer.

The CMS in Radio is the same CMS as in Manila. You don’t have to buy a license for Manila to run a Manila site, you can purchase Manila hosting at Weblogger.Com, and other places.

That’s a really good point. I’m not even sure how UserLand can afford to give so much of Manila’s functionality at such a relatively small price. I gather that Manila would offer the multi-blog functionality in the sense of having more ways to feed content into design? I know I need to learn more about Manila. It sounds like it might be perfect for at least one site I have in the works.

And while I suppose UI is a matter of taste, we worked very hard to get all of Radio’s functionality to flow through the Radio menu, where Movable Type spreads less functionality across several screens.

This is a valid point. The workflow and information architecture of Radio’s interface really works and I have probably taken some of that for granted. The UI aspect of Movable Type that I really like is much more a matter of aesthetics, the look and feel. I haven’t used MT so much yet and don’t yet have a full sense of the process flows through it, but I have been seduced by the subtle grays and beveled drop shadows!

In Radio, all the functionality is arrayed for you in one place at the top of every page. It means less hunting, and quicker navigation. One more thing, while macros are a relatively recent innovation in MT-Land, they’re built in to Radio. Radio is the result of constant development in weblog software since 1996. The depth is there for you to use.

Thanks again, Dave, for adding all that. All of my comparisons so far are a work in progress, and I’ll probably rewrite them as Stories when I have some free time, heh.