From an idea in the mind of John O’Nolan, to an extremely successful Kickstarter, along with the help of Hannah Wolfe, Ghost made quite an impression in the writing world, as it’s what WordPress isn’t, just a blogging platform. No extra bells or whistles, Ghost brings content center stage, making sure no unnecessary frills get in the way.
Writing done right
However, as beautiful as the end result is, Ghost is meant for the writer(s) in the world. The result is only the final product of what is created with what is one of the most well thought-out CMS platforms out there. Below are just a few features Ghost provides, which make publishing content as intuitive as possible.
Smart writing screen
The smart writing screen within Ghost’s backend allows you to write in Markdown on the left, while giving you a live-preview on the right. No need to refresh, no need to copy and paste a bunch of text, let alone worry about converting it from Markdown to HTML.
While I’m unsure of your thoughts on analytics, I tend to have a love/hate relationship with them, as with only one exception thus far, analytic platforms never put the information in an easy to digest view, let alone give context to the content being consumed on your site.
Ghost’s dashboard changes this unfortunate paradigm, to present an incredibly well-designed dashboard, giving you all of the information needed in one place. Simple traffic, social media subscribers, article performance, and more covers any of the immediate information needed to see just how many people are enjoying and sharing your blog post about your upcoming Kickstarter for the Medium of erotic literature.
Rather than being presented with a list of articles written, where you must open up a link to view the content, Ghost allows for a bit more efficient method of running through content, by means of letting you browse through your articles and also preview it within a single, two-column view. Very much akin to the idea behind almost every email client in existent today.
This is one of my least favourite parts of the process of creating content, the sharing. While I personally use IFTTT to get a good portion of the work done, it’s somewhat of a psuedo-solution to getting content out across various platforms, effectively.
Ghost solves a great deal of this problem by allowing you to connect Twitter and Facebook accounts “right out of the box,” presumably with more services being added in the future. And as we all know, effective sharing means better SEO results, which is never unappreciated.
Making it yours
Being Ghost isopen source, the options for theming and customizing your content is only limited by your resources, be them creativity, time, or knowledge. However, if you’re anything like myself, with limited front-end dev knowledge, Ghost partnered with WooThemes, who will be creating themes for Ghost.
It goes far beyond just theming though, as everything from custom plug-ins to hosting options is entirely up to you. Not only are you benefiting from any open source shenanigans you get into when customizing your blog, as the more people contribute, the more vibrant the Ghost community will be, leading way for a successful future.
It’s safe to say Ghost is an extremely well thought-out product, with content creators in mind. As a not-for-profit organization, there’s no need to worry about users becoming the product. The money which goes into Ghost will only ever be used to make it better.
For a run-down of the public launch, head on over to their blog – quite obviously run on Ghost, itself – to read through their public launch post. And if you haven’t already, head on over to their site to sign up and get playing with it right away. For the past few weeks the Ghost team has had time to adjust to a plethora of users, as around 6,000 Kickstarter funders received first dibs on the platform, but as is any growing project, it’s an experiment and there’s certainly some things which may not be 100% perfect out of the box.
Once you’ve played around with it a bit, or if you’ve been doing so already, let us know your thoughts in the comments below. What do you see as the most beneficial aspect of Ghost in the writing community, what else would you like to see added, and do you feel it’s going to make a dramatic change in the publishing world?