Five Across challenges Six Apart

Six Apart are being challenged by Five Across (sorry, that one was too funny to miss) with bubbler, another blogging platform. At first glance, Five Across' team doesn't look as young and snappy as its competitor, but they're not exactly novice either. Its CEO is Glenn C. Reid, who "conceived, designed, and implemented" iMovie 1.0 and iPhoto 1.0 at Apple. Surely someone who understands style and ease of use.

Setting up a new blog is done in no time (download the blog editor application for Mac OS X or Windows XP and fill-in a few fields). I've not yet played enough with it to form an opinion, but here are my first look at it.

What I like very much at a first glance is:

  • You have a true desktop application to author, with drag-n-drop and everything you can expect from a modern OS. No web interface, in the blogging space, currently matches that comfort
  • There seems to be an embedded wiki for registered users, I'm looking forward to see how they integrated a blog with wiki

What I don't like or find strange:

  • It says "This is my new home page". Mmmh'kay, clearly mainstream, at least it's not my "personal page" ;-)
  • This thing pretends that I posted the first post that boast the unequivocal endorsement that this is "Very cool." Sorry guys, but that's cheap marketing ploy, not welcome on this side of the blogosphere. (P.S. See Glenn's comment below)
  • Wait until I read the huge fine prints of the license ;-)
  • Where are the permalinks? When I click on Home Page I get a link that sports "pages" in it, when I click on the sole link that sits in the first post, I read "home" in it. Confusing

To summarize my first impression, this tool further confirms what I've been crying out loud for years: a better user interface than web forms, without FUC! And it looks like it wants to be part of iLife, which considering its parents, would not be a big surprise. Meanwhile, posting web pages on .Mac is still so 1999 :-).

See you for another review.


I'm not in the mood to test yet another platform specific client. I don't understand their URL logic. Is there a bubble blog from an employee ?

Seen on the CEO blog made with Blogger (sic)
- Wikis are a fad (but he retracts)
- A banner "Marc Canter is NOT paying me to blog this..." - easy target but bad move : Canter loooooves to speak about rich clients.

So in 2005, what are the features that need to be in a "rich client"?
- RSS (soon he said) + Aggregator
- Spellcheck
- Atom API
- FlickR API
- Export Capabilities (where's the lock?)

And why make platform specific client when you have Firefox? And where on hell is Dave Hyatt when we need to read him? And will Ian Hixie and his midgets make something relevant on the WHAT WG?
On n'est pas rendus.

And why does their logo evoke a bong?

What I find entertaining is that Glenn doesn't use his own software: his blog is driven by Blogger.

Ok, so I'm after checking again, and he's just after starting to.

Hi guys. We weren't allowed to pre-announce Bubbler before the DEMO rollout (rules for the conference) so I was using Blogger. It's pretty good, for text blogging. I'm switching to Bubbler, obviously. If only I had some time, I'd be all set.

We argued a lot about whether to post a fake entry. It has its pros and cons. It's trivial to delete or edit it, and it seems like a better initial user experience than a blank page. Good feedback, though. Maybe we'll change it. What would you suggest? Just leave it blank?

Hi Glenn,

thanks for your comment. I'm not bothered by the fake entry, I agree it can be better than a blank page, it's its text that bothers me. Actually, if you leave out the "Very cool." part of it, it would be much better from my perspective.

URLs are as ugly as 20six's first version.

Who would like a blog with no comments?

Still a long way to go before real release.

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