It took me 2 hours to write up the meeting notes, half an hour to fix the bullets that weren’t working because of the lousy text editor in Writely (where my friends and I were collaborating on the notes), 1 minute to find out that Writely can not actually post the article to my blog, 1 hour to copy/paste the document into Word and mess with the formatting to fix the font problems that were mystifying me, and then another hour of frustration trying to get Writely, Word, and Blogware to play nicely and let me create bulleted lists.
Writely has a bullet formatting tool that has all sorts of bugs in it. Blogware doesn’t even HAVE a bullet item list button. And Word has bulleting which has bugs that go back ten years. And pasting any of the Word bulleted lists into Writely or Blogware modified the bullets from little blocks to dashes or to some other character, the likes of which I have never even seen and don’t know the name of. I finally settled on the dashes since they were the least confusing.
Content creation time: 2 hours
Formatting/futzing/cursing time: 32 hours
(That was a typo but it’s funny enough that I’m going to leave it there because that’s how I feel right now. So I was either 50% efficient or 5% efficient. It felt more like 5%. Imagine having random letters come out of your keyboard and trying to type anything.)
It’s definitely a web 2.0 perpetual beta type of world. PLEASE will somebody do the planet a favour and write the worlds, bestest, fastest, simplest text editor and give it away free to everybody (or for a nominal licensing fee) and keep it updated? I for one would vote for you as having the largest pivotal impact on communication in 2006. Nobel prize? Yours. Grammy? Yep, that too.
If you can build it, and need funding tell me. I’ll find it.
And here’s the kicker by the way. I use Writely every day and love it. I can create a document, share it with people quickly and easily for collaborative editing, and then (theoretically) blog about it. It’s a great concept, simple, easy-to-use, and I like the team building it. But there are days when one wants to step away from the bleeding edge and just get their work done, which will be less and less possible as more software as service stays in perpetual beta. Welcome to our new world.