Kontain launches a new, pretty blogging service

It's like the iPod of blogging: Super-easy to use and very good-looking, but limited.

Rafe Needleman Former Editor at Large
Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.
Rafe Needleman
2 min read

There's yet another new blogging platform out there: Kontain. It's designed for non-technical users, and it's easy to use and very good-looking. I don't think I've seen an easier platform for beginning bloggers, in fact. Everything on the site is clear and simple. But there's a downside.

The negative of Kontain is that while it's easy to use, it's very limited on the presentation side. You get no blog templates to choose from. While the default layout of Kontain blogs is attractive enough, the lack of customizability is surprising in a product that is so strong on the authoring side. Also, the blog pages display slowly.

Creating a Kontain blog is simple. Adding media to blog posts is simple. Even viewing and organizing the media files you've uploaded to previous posts is simple--something that's not true in almost all other blog platforms.

It's the little things that make Kontain a delight. From the start, it gets out of your way. While it requires a valid e-mail address from new authors, you can start posting right away, since you have 15 days to confirm registration. If you're writing a post and want to share it with friends, you can enter in their e-mail addresses from the posting screen.

Quite possibly the simplest blogging interface ever.

All entry fields are nice and big. I would not feel uncomfortable recommending Kontain to people with poor eyesight, or those simply afraid of technology or the blogosphere. It's really that easy.

You can't choose your display template or even colors.

However, pretty and simple is not enough, unless you're Apple and have an Apple-like advertising budget. There are other super-simple, quick-to-use blog platforms, like Tumblr. And there are certainly services that already have the community angle dialed in (like Vox). And for anyone halfway serious about blogging, there's nothing wrong with expending a few brain cycles to learn how to use free mainstream services like Blogger or Wordpress.com.

There are ambitious plans for Kontain, including social features (friend following, for example), privacy options, Web-based audio, image, and video editors, SEO options, and reader analytics. I don't know if Kontain will still be as simple when it gets these features. I also don't think there is a big untapped market for new bloggers, since it's a safe bet that most everyone who wants to blog now is already doing so. Kontain isn't a bad platform for teaching about blogging, but I don't see it supplanting any current platforms.