Launching Pika in Alpha

Today we’re putting a few light polishes on the current version of Pika in order to allow some folks to sign up as alpha members. It’s still alpha software, so don’t expect it to be too polished!

Right now Pika is mostly a text box on the internet. It’s a place to write blog posts with nice typography and five simple themes to choose from. The editor is pretty good at the moment, but there are lots of improvements that we want to make – it’ll be a little shifty for a while as we tweak away.

For this simple software, you might ask why you’d bother signing up? Perhaps the other blogging options out there haven’t been great for you? Perhaps you like to jump into software early and have some influence on its evolution? Perhaps you’ve been wanting to write online, and Pika just happened to fall in your lap at the right time?

Barry recently wrote up why we’re building Pika. That’s a little light on vision and this minimal vision is on purpose. We expect to build the basics and then grow Pika from there based on what we want as we use it. The basics will be blogging, some page-management features so that you can feasibly run your whole personal website with Pika, and some features to allow you to customize the look of your Pika page. To the latter, most certainly our existing theme offerings will depart at some point. We’re thinking font selection, color selection, and probably custom CSS for those wanting to get more advanced. We don’t currently have plans to offer a WYSIWYG editor or a complicated templating engine. Our goal is to provide you with a very pretty blog while not tempting you to spend all of your time customizing it. Rather we’d like you to spend your time writing, and we hope that eventually our editor will be a writing experience that you love!

Pika alpha is now in the wild. We plan to let it sit for a couple of weeks, potentially spending some time the week before Christmas to make a few tweaks and improvements. In the first quarter of next year we expect to make another Pika push, which could add features such as incorporating pages on your site, managing draft posts, adding more design options, and more. We also have some ideas that we think are novel in the writing experience, so hopefully we can start touching on those. And of course we’ll be considering what a paid version of Pika looks like. We believe that software isn’t free, but we’ll be sure to charge as fair of a price as we can for the paid tier of Pika.

So give Pika a chance! And if you have any thoughts, feedback, or words of encouragement, do get in touch.

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