(With apologies to Samuel.)
Hi, I must be going. I'm running into more and more issues that stop me being happy posting here.
• Data ownership
My other hosted blog is on Tumblr. Unlike Vox, they let you use a custom domain so that you control the URLs. I realise Six Apart make a nice living off doing this with TypePad, and Vox isn't really aimed at the sort of people who care, but I do, so maybe this isn't the right place for me. Related to that:
• Badly documented, badly supported API
To get my content out of Tumblr, I need use only one API call: /api/read/json, with well-documented paging parameters. In contrast, I've spent several hours grappling with the Atom API that Vox supports, finding it inconsistent, barely-documented, broken, and otherwise infuriating. I dare say eventually I'll manage to liberate all my data, but damnit, it should be easier than this. (If you're lucky, there'll be a follow-up on how I managed to get on, with more technical details, later.)
• Lack of one-click export support
... in fact, it should be that easy. I believe Blogger may recently have added this; certainly Pownce had to when they were acquired and shut down. I don't want to wait until a crisis point, though; I want backups of my content as and when. The recent loss of JournalSpace and AOL Homepages show you can never be too paranoid.
• The HTML editor still doesn't work in Safari
Well, it's better than it was; instead of locking up your browser, it does now allow you to post. Unfortunately, it also inserts loads of random tags that mess up formatting when I come to copy the entry to anywhere else
• Even in Camino, the WYSIWYG editor can mangle things
• There's no raw view, which makes fixing the editor's bad HTML even harder
• The best bits are now in Movable Type's UI
When I started using Vox, I still had Movable Type 2.6 on my personal site. I still do, but I have a version of 4.1 or something on my laptop, and at some point (probably sooner rather than later, now) I'll deploy it to husk.org proper. A lot of the niceties of the interface in Vox are replicated over there.
(Meanwhile, Six Apart still shuffle backwards and forwards on whether MT is free or not. I think for my uses, it's definitely free as in beer, but I can choose between whether I have a copy that's free as in speech or not. Sigh.)
• Lack of control over page design
Editing a header image and choosing from some (admittedly pretty) backgrounds is a bit poor when you compare it to Tumblr. Sorry.
• No stats/analytics
Even Flickr has stats now, and Tumblr lets you add in Google Analytics to your HTML.
• The UI feels too "heavy"
When I started using Vox, it felt nice and simple compared to that MT 2.6 editing screen. Since then, however, we've seen Tumblr, Twitter and ffffound, where the posting interface is a simple text box, bookmarklet, or similarly stripped-down. Editing on Vox feels like it's a battle far too often.
• There's no feeling of community / not a one-stop shop
Vox feels like it was intended to fix some of the issues with LiveJournal and the isolated blogging of MT and TypePad, but sadly it never hit critical mass. Similarly, the idea of allowing users to upload all their stuff was a nice idea, but it doesn't seem to have worked out, for me anyway. (Once again, Tumblr does both of these right, for me anyway.)
• It's not going anywhere
I don't know what Six Apart's focus is, but Vox definitely doesn't feel like it's part of it. While I'll continue to watch them with interest, it feels like a lot of the work that's been going on hasn't really had any useful impact over the last couple of years.
I'm not going to give up posting; as I said above, I do have a Movable Type installation I'll be reverting to, and I'll continue reading what my friends and neighbours have to post. However, I don't feel comfortable posting here any more. Sorry.