Content Management Systems are becoming mass-market, according to this story by Ben Hammersley about TypePad after an exclusive peak:
The features are remarkable: there is a very powerful, but extremely simple, template builder. Users can redesign their weblogs and create fully compliant XHTML pages, with out knowing what that last phrase means. There is a built-in photo album, built-in server stats, so you can see who is coming to visit you and from where, built-in blogrolling (listing the sites you like to read), and built-in listing for your music, books and friends, producing a complete friend-of-a-friend file for every user.
In short, with Typepad, SixApart has embraced almost every advance in weblogging over the past year, and wrapped it into a product my dad could use. It raises the bar for the personal publishing world in a way that the Blogger/ Google buyout promised but has yet to deliver.
TypePad is the first new consumer-grade weblogging product in more than a year, but it shows a change in the marketplace: grabbing the new middle ground of users who want all the advanced features of a self-hosted weblog, but none of the tears of having to learn about Linux or Perl or FTP. This should elevate the standard of weblogs in general, as it does away with any correlation between technical skill and artistic merit. We will no longer be reliant on geeks for top quality weblog reading. It takes the seething masses and pulls them up to the same technical level as the best Movable Type tweakers and hackers.
By creating content management systems with professional features, for around one thousandth of the price of the systems the large sites of the dotcom era were forced to use, the weblogging industry is rapidly creating new possibilities for people to make a living writing for the web.
[E M E R G I C . o r g]