Blogs are great. But blogs are pretty limited in what they're used for.
Primarily, you use a blog to communicate; to disseminate ideas and informations and, of course, receive feedback and responses.
However, I've been arguing for some time that blogs need to be a whole lot more than what they are today. And that's where Wyacracker comes in.
The idea behind Wyacracker is to enable a blogger to build little widgets, or mini-applications that they can use to collect information or collaborate readers. Simply, it makes it dead easy to create a form, paste the HTML into your blog post and then manage the responses.
So for example. Say you launched an event via your blog. Simply create an RSVP widget in which people can leave their name, phone, email address, any questions they might have and their preferred method of payment and stick it at the end of the blog. Your responses will then feed into Wyacracker and you can set up an RSS feed to keep track of them. Export them into Excel once all the RSVPs have rolled in so you can work out if you're going to make a buck.
Basically, the only limitation to the type of data collection Widget one can create is one's imagination. Guestbooks, surveys, reviews, recipes, auctions, you name it. If you choose to do so, you can easily enable your reader to search through all the responses or view all the results. Say you were organising a cocktail party for friends. Get them all to RSVP and fill in what drink they're bringing, then people can see what else is being brought and not double up.
We really do believe that once people start thinking about using their blogs beyond communication, it really will open up their useage and Wyacracker will aim to grow with that interest. At the moment, Wyacracker is focused on Widgets that collect information because we think that's where the first genuine need is but as we roll-down functionality from the full Wyaworks platform, we'll add the ability to create more display-oriented Widgets that take information from elsewhere, like RSS feeds and let you manipulate how that data is displayed and interacted with.
ncidently, for projects like Edgeio to work, people need to start thinking about their blogs as their electronic interface with the outside world and we think these kinds of capabilities are key to that. I'm still big on the edge economics that something like Edgeio is based on, but there does need to be this mindset shift before it takes hold. As such, I'm going to be very interested to see the response to Wyacracker, which for us, is more than anything a proof-of-concept site and a way for us to learn how we can make applicaiton-building as simple as possible.
Wyacracker is currently in private beta. If you're interested in taking a look before we open up the beta let me know (and yes this is a Wyacracker widget). If you previously expressed an interest we'll send you the access code in the next day or so.
BTW, obviously the above Wyacracker widget would work better pasted directly into the blog post however unfortunatley WordPress.com blogs don't allow you to use form functional HTML in your posts. Normal WordPress blogs are fine of course as are Blogger and TypePad blogs.
In the future, we'll look to enable Widgets to be exported to any of the Widget platforms like WordPress, TypePad, Live.com or Google's personalised home page. Oh and Wyacracker Widgets are just as easily e-mailed or can be pasted into your homepage.
P.S. We'd love your feedback too. So if do blog about wyaworks or wyacracker (and please do! 🙂 please tag it with tag wyaworks.