Marquee: A Storytelling Platform That Aims to Reinvent Personal Blogging

Being able to publish something on the web has now become easier than ever. You have a wide variety of publishing platforms that you can post pictures, videos, blogs, and more. The hard part for developers that are looking to create a publishing application is that at this point, they are really running up against some very stiff competition. You have the giants like WordPress, Tumblr, and to some degree Squarespace. Then you have other mediums like Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking tools that you can use. So how does one get into this crowded field and still make some noise?

Well, to start with, you have to be different than the rest. You have to be able to meet a need that these platforms are not. At this point, that is very hard to do, but not impossible. There are developers all the time still trying to meet a need out there for those that want to share things on the web. I say all of this because today I am reviewing Marquee, which is a blogging platform that is just starting out. I have been able to use it for a bit, and I am trying to decide if it really stands out or not so that it can make itself successful. Let’s take a look at it more in depth and see.

Getting Started

Since Marquee is in its early stages, it is invite only at this point. So you can sign up for one on their homepage and wait to get in. When you do get access, the first thing you need to do is set up your profile. There is not much to it other than adding a photo and bio of yourself. Then when you are ready to start, you need to first pick a layout that you want to use. Marquee gives you four different ones to choose from.

Selecting a layout for your story

Selecting a layout for your story

Adding and Publishing a Post

When you are ready to create your first post using Marquee, you first give it a title as well as a background image. When you are writing, you can add images as well as embed videos. There are a few different editing options for your writing that you can use. For example, I can highlight a piece of text and above it will be options to bold, italicize, or to create a hyperlink. There are also other options to create a heading, put a piece of text in quotes, and align it the way you want.

Adding text to Marquee

Adding text to Marquee

When it comes to adding images, you can easily just drag and drop them anywhere into your post. They can be aligned to the left, right, or center, as well as resized into three different sizes. Pictures can also have captions if you feel the need to describe the image you are using in a post.

Adding an image

Adding an image

The last thing you can add to posts are the embedding of links and videos. All you have to do is copy and paste a url of the page or video that you want to add to your post and Marquee will do the rest to get it into your post. You again have options to align them to the left, center, or right side of the page as well as make it small, medium, or large.

Adding a video

Adding a video

When you are done adding what you want to your post, you can now make it public for the world to see. You also have the option to share your post on Twitter, Facebook, or by email. You also are given a unique url which you can choose to share how you want.

Public view of a page made on Marquee

Public view of a page made on Marquee

Got A Ways To Go

I know that Marquee is still in its early stages, but it really has a ways to go if it is going to compete with the “big boys.” Right now it is a simple publishing platform that doesn’t have a whole lot of features. It lacks any type of interaction with readers, and there aren’t a whole lot of features to make your site interactive. It is basically a one page blogging platform at the moment.

The other thing that I think will shy people away is the pricing. You can pay $8/month and get all the features I just talked about, and in the future you will be able to use your own custom domain. They also have other way more expensive packages if you want to really customize Marquee for yourself.

Final Thoughts

I am not exactly sure what target audience Marquee is actually going after in their platform. It sounds like they are aiming at businesses, but also at people who want to tell stories. At least this is what it sounds like as you read their website. I think their biggest hurdle at the moment is that they just don’t have the features to compete with platforms like WordPress or even Tumblr and they are more expensive.

All that to say, it will be interesting to see where they go from here. They really have to do something different or offer more features to even think about making a dent in this space. People are just so used to using other platforms that Marquee is going to have to do something to convince people to come their way. What do you guys think?


Summary

Tell a story using words as well as pictures and videos in an easy to use platform called Marquee

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