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Don’t get spooked. Instead, think of this blogging platform as a friendly Casper-like phantasm. Ghost is an open ...
Don’t get spooked. Instead, think of this blogging platform as a friendly Casper-like phantasm. Ghost is an open source technology designed to facilitate the primary needs of bloggers, and as the airy ethereal title would suggest, this platform breaks things back down to basics.
Following a “less is more” ethos, Ghost presents a streamlined alternative to WordPress that focuses more on writing, editing, and broadcasting actual blog content than it does dealing with unnecessary and overly complicated bells and whistles.
When, as a writer, you are limited to a tiny box in which to write your content, and the rest of your page’s real estate is taken up by toolbars filled with buttons you’ve never used, it’s easy to see how these criticisms can hit home quickly.
Ghost also promises all of the functionality available with the more established WordPress, giving credit to their plugin architecture, which they claim will make the platform expansion friendly.
The most beneficial feature for bloggers, though, is probably the split screen editing view. By writing in Markup (an incredibly simple language) on the left side of your screen, you can simultaneously see the formatted preview that’s been converted to HTML on the right.
Check out the screenshot below from the Ghost website to get a better idea of how this might work:
This feature allows for instantaneous editing, and an easy view of the changes you make as you’re making them. It’s only after experimenting with this new platform that the lack of utility in the WordPress “preview” button becomes really apparent.
Even more exciting is the as of yet in development dashboard for the platform. Unlike most analytic programs, Ghost’s dashboard presents all of your relevant metrics in an uncomplicated design that’s ready for immediate comprehension.
You can check out how your articles perform, whether or not they’re being shared, and the overall traffic your pages are getting. Basically, you can examine any of the numbers directly associated with your audience’s consumption and sharing of your content.
Finally, it’s interesting to note that this company is set up as a non-profit. The code for Ghost is free for anyone to use, and the only income that the company makes comes from running servers for bloggers without the capability to do so themselves. Additionally, any of the revenue gained from there is reinvested into the development of the site itself.
It’s an impressive and strikingly ethical stance for the company to take. Especially considering company owner and founder, John O’Nolan, has said outright that he wouldn’t sell the company if Mark Zuckerberg offered him a billion dollars to do so. In a profit-driven world, it’s certainly refreshing to see technologists producing products for communities of artists, placing user experience on a higher pedestal than the lining of their own pockets. This point alone sets Ghost up as a medium worth exploration.