There is a new hosted blogging service in the market called Wibble. I had an opportunity to sit with Laurian from Wibble to chat about their new hosted blogging solution for business. The idea with Wibble is to provide businesses that don’t have blogs of their own a service which they can use to publish a blog for their business on Wibble. The service is intended for people who are not necessarily veteran bloggers, who want a web presence and who don’t mind having their blog hosted on Wibble’s servers. Hosted blogs range from R3 000 and this generally includes an end to end service for their clients ranging from corporate identity to the development of a specially designed blog. Advertisers can also place banner ads on the site range from around R3 000 or so.
Wibble is a cross industry service and will cover tech, business, lifestyle, entertainment, sport, news and politics and reviews. I see it as competing with web hosting/development companies who would usually do all of this work for their clients. Obvious challenges for Wibble will come from services like WordPress.com and Blogger which enable users to quickly and easily set up a blog and customise it within minutes with a range of theming options. Of the two I see Blogger posing a bigger challenge mainly because Blogger allows users to edit the html of the pages whereas WordPress.com is more restrictive.
I do have one suggestion from a branding perspective and that is to allow users to use their own domains rather than the existing domain name structure which is something like http://wibble.co.za/hosted/COMPANYNAME. I think this is an important feature and could dissuade potential clients from using the service. At the very least a domain name like http://COMPANYNAME.blogger.com or http://COMPANYNAME.wordpress.com is somewhat less cumbersome than Wibble’s existing domain name structure. My sense is that the service provider should be as transparent as is possible and should allow the client’s brand and site to be the most, if not only, visible thing.
That being said this is a pretty interesting concept and I am looking forward to seeing how the service works out. One thing for sure is that it focuses attention on developing a social media-based platform for clients rather than the usual web site and it will distinguish Wibble from web designers/developers still rooted in Dreamweaver and the late 1990s.
I am hoping to get together with Laurian and interview her and her partner Craig fairly soon. There is a social media consulting side to Wibble as well and I think it will be beneficial to hear about this from them directly.