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Blog design predictions for 2006

Having designed blogs now for three years, I’ve seen a tonne of changes in the blogosphere – not only in software improvements, but also in the scope that blogs cover – from blogs for businesses and non-profit organisations and professional bloggers to blogging software being used as an inexpensive way to manage website content.

Here’s a few of my predictions for blog design work in 2006:

  1. More businesses will jump on board with blogging, now that major players such as Yahoo! have hosted WordPress and MovableType business blogging hosted plans. They’ll need to be able to integrate their current branding into their blog, without losing the blog’s edge. Many current traditional web developers will need to get up to speed with these platforms, or they will begin to outsource to blog design specialists. There’s always a lag time between a massive amount of hype and general business uptake – 2006 will see more and more businesses dip their toes into blogging. (And not just the tech companies.)
  2. More and more non-profit organisations will also find topical blogging and podcasting a way to quickly disseminate information in times of crisis or appeal campaigns. Many will turn to specialised products such as CivicSpace (which is based on Drupal) to get them up and running. Specialists who work with Drupal will be in demand.
  3. Plugin development – more commerical plugins will be written for WordPress and MovableType, based on specialist requirements as people push the envelope with blogging software usage. Tools integrating blogging software with other systems such as Basecamp’s TaDa list will emerge.
  4. Design trends: people will want blogs that “don’t look like blogs
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