Joshua Schachter of Del.icio.us fame on how the different parts of a blogging system could be decoupled and run off specialized web applications: authoring by desktop apps, storage of raw posts and hosting on Amazon S3, templates by WordPress, feeds by FeedBurner and comments by Disqus/others.
If you run a self-hosted WordPress/Movable Type blog, you’re already there. Instead of S3, you’re hosting it on your hosting provider’s space (which could well be S3). In fact, this is how rahulgaitonde dot org works.
Now Joshua only alludes to this, but these pieces aren’t coupled loosely enough to move to plug out one component and fit another in. For example, I can’t take the Feedburner RSS component out and replace with another – my RSS feed URL is tied to Feedburner. I can’t move my template transparently between Blogger and Movable Type.
Back in May 2008, I had similar thoughts about separating the email interface from email storage:
There is a market for start-ups that provide only an interface for existing email. For people who are willing to pay for (cheap) storage of their email and for bandwidth. Users will be able to migrate from and to such services without needing to copy huge amounts of email to their new email provider.
I wonder whether in the future we’ll eventually build such a decoupled email system, or find an alternative to email altogether.