There are several new blog services coming around, and I predict that many of the existing ones will incorporate these features soon. The main features that these new services offer is the ability to designate who is able to read certain entries that you make.
The advantage to this is the ability to limit readership for certain subjects. For instance, say you want to post about your overactive hemorrhoids. You can do so and then only the people that you’ve given permission to view that type of post can access it.
John Unger over at typepadhacks.com was kind enough to give me a standard membership to Vox, which is one of the new services of SixApart (the folks who bring you Typepad and Moveable Type). I’m experimenting with it now for entries of a more personal nature. My address there is journeyguy.vox.com.
In addition to that, there is multiply.com, which rivals the services offered by Vox. Both services allow you to create groups for your readers, dropping them into categories like Friends, Family, etc. As you create an entry, you then designate what group can read that entry (or just leave it "Public" which allows everyone to see it). My test site there is journeyguy.multiply.com.
For those of you wondering if these features are worth the effort, stop and consider for a moment. Do you really want the entire net to be able to read your most personal posts? It becomes a great asset to be able to limit readership for some posts. It also allows you to create some dynamic networks of friends, family, and other social groups. Consider the ability to even post an "announcement" to your group. Rather than taking up space on your main blog, it simply becomes a news item for that particular group. The possibilities are rich.
Another interesting new service is Tim Bednar’s e-church. It is a free service seeking to assimilate as many "spiritual" blogs as it can. Nice features, easy interface.
If any of you decide to hop over to these services, please let me know! I’d love to track your experience there and be a part of your growing network.