Return of Postmaster, Part III
Postmaster is in serious, full-swing development again. This would bring the system up to version 3 – and still nothing relased to the public yet. Which is bad.
The core is built, the functionality is there, it’s just the interface and the bundling of it, the way it gets to its potential users that’s in question. Right now, you’re using the older interface, and hosting the thing right here, on your Mac.
Because of the way you’ve built the system, Postmaster v3 could easily grow into either a web-application (like a Movable Type) or a desktop application (like Photoshop, Word, or Winzip).
If it were to remain a web-application as it has been since version 1, users would need to find a place to host it themselves — although (unlike many other weblog systems) even a neophyte would be over-qualified for the installation. In fact, because Postmaster requires only PHP and MySQL, you could easily host it on your current webhost. Just expand the archive into a folder, add your MySQL login information, and you’re up-and-running. That’s it.
But there would be support issues, even for a free product. Database stuff to be sure. The occasional operating-system issue that would affect your system, somehow. Webhosts being unsupportive. Worse: someone hosting and selling your system even though the license agreement forbids that.
So, maybe Hiveware hosts it for the world. Which means better control, fewer problems … but then there’s the overhead. Server maintenance. Bandwith costs. Less appealing. Maybe you hook up with one of the ISP’s you know are looking for something just like this. Cut a deal. Sell out.
Or … create a desktop application with a slick interface. Make it complete. Stable. Fast. Embed a super-small database, and hide this from the user. Let them run the thing on their desktop. No server needed. A true desktop application. The only downside is remote accessibility. When users are on the road without their own machines, how do they update their weblog? Hmm … Maybe you enable a basic web-interface over port 8080 and let them do basic posting via the desktop app …
Would people want this? You think so, yes. Would they pay for it, if it was quite a bit better than existing, free systems? Maybe. Maybe make a free version and an inexpensive pro version. Either way, it would be a lot of work, but it would be quite nice. It would be worth it. Even if only one person bought the pro version. Someone would — you know, the unshaven guy with the glasses and the all your base T-shirt in back there. Even if only you and him used it. It would still be cool.