Talking tech since 2003

Many blog platforms start out simple — think WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr — and progressively become more complicated. That’s just what happens when a platform competes to be the most fully featured solution; it gets into an arms race of sorts with its competition and expands significantly, making it more difficult for novice users to jump on board.

A look at Silvrback's extremely simple post publishing page.
A look at Silvrback’s stripped down publishing page.

A new blogging solution called Silvrback aims to serve that market, offering a minimalist platform that tries to stay out of the way and let a user go from idea to blog post as quickly as possible.

In an introductory blog post, Damian Sowers (the developer behind Silvrback) explained his reason for building the product and why he thinks it can stand out from the competition.

“I built Silvrback because none of the existing blogging platforms satisfied me completely,” he said. Sowers also took a swipe at some of the newer platforms for bloggers, saying that Medium “is great for readers but bad for writers” and Svbtle is “taking the elitism approach.”

Looking over Silvrback’s feature set, you can get an idea of where Sower’s priorities lie with the service. If you’re a minimalist, you’ll instantly be drawn to the simple design. There aren’t a lot of frills here, but if you’re looking to write without distractions, that’s a good thing. Ease of use is also a goal of Silvrback, and the fact that the platform doesn’t present you with a myriad of options at every turn and hosts the site for you (rather than asking you to install a copy on your own server) helps it toward achieving that.

The platform also supports Markdown, which means your plain-text input is automatically converted into proper HTML, and you can use simple markings like “# Heading” to create a heading.

One of the really interesting things Silverback does is allow the site’s owner to control the presentation of the archive page. Instead of presenting a list of past blog posts in chronological order, an author can tag some posts as “read this first,” and posts that are “most popular” can also be highlighted. This lets the author steer a brand new reader toward certain content that might be “required reading” of sorts.

Another feature that might catch your eye is the bio page, which can show off your favorite posts, places you’ve worked, projects you’re working on and more. Silvrback places a lot of importance on this page, and Sowers even admits that his focus on how both the content and the author are presented is a shift from other platforms. “Silvrback, as you can see, is more than a blogging platform. It’s more like a branding platform,” he said.

Silvrback is still being worked on, though Sowers has launched a pre-order page for those who want to pay ahead of time. The service is expected to cost $29 per year, which is a decent price when you consider that the cost of hosting a website for a year, even on the cheapest plans, will still approach $50.

We’ll be in line waiting for the final version of Silvrback to be pushed out to the world, and we’ll let you know when it’s ready to go.

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