Instagram vs. Vox   Leave a comment

I know many of you are “Vox Refugees,” as the folder in my RSS reader is titled. What started as a great blogging site in 2006 slowly died from neglect, until the plug was ultimately pulled last year. A few months prior, I wrote Vox support, to ask if it was still being maintained. I cited several areas where Vox was stuck in 2006:

  • Limited browser support The capabilities were limited for browsers other than Firefox and Internet Explorer (pretty much the only game at launch)
  • Limited Support for Mobile Devices At launch, the key way to post from a mobile device was via e-mail. Though adequate at the time, once SmartPhones and Apps were common, most blogging sites, other than Vox, launched an app.
  • Third Party Applications All along there was a Windows photo uploader. Why not an OS X one? Why not ways to post from other editors?

One thing I suggested was that an API be published. Third parties could extend Vox to include these capabilities, and Vox wouldn’t have to expend the effort to do so. Further, new ways to use Vox might come about organically.

I think of this because earlier this month, a new Web 2.0 server, Instagram, released an API. Previously, you would interact with the service primarily through an iPhone app, though it had links to other services (Twitter, Facebook, etc.). There was extremely limited web access (basically, clicking on a link to a single photo from Twitter).

As a result, several existing applications have been extended to support Instagram. Web clients for viewing your feed, such as Gramfeed, have appeared. While I have not examined the API, I would not be surprised if clients for other platforms came about as a result.

I doubt an API would have resulted in Vox still being here today–it sounds like there were larger economic factors in play. However, it may have been been less frustrating for users as technology progressed.

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Posted 2011-03-10 by Mr. Guilt in computers, Internet, IT Opinion

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