Hosted Web Apps

July 6th, 2004

I cancelled my TypePad account today. I had signed up just to see what the 6A kids had cooked up, and get some ideas about how to run a hosted web application. (I resist using the term ASP, it sounds so Microsoft).

Frankly my impressions are mixed. I think they’ve done some great work on making a clean, simple UI. Frequent tasks are streamlined, information bubbles up in useful ways to allow for quick overviews, the help and the ticket systems are well integrated, and some of the work on wysiwyg template layout is stunning. And they made it simple, and painless to cancel my account, making the parting pleasant and non-acrimonious, something few companies are smart enough to do.

Performance problems, however, are chronic. The admin interface is often slow, and the public pages have that hiccupy “page sits there and spins” behavior of an overloaded squid accelerator. Also the experience of a guest author is dreadful, (you can’t change the ‘Text Formatting’ option!) severely undermining the usefulness of a Pro subscription. (which is probably intentional otherwise how would you regulate the unlimited blogs and authors available to a pro customer?)

So what am I going to do with all that money I’m no longer spending? I’m going to sign up for a hosted Tasks account at Use Tasks and compare the experience.

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