The Beat goes on with the Ghost of Kerouac

Scroll on: the Ghost blogging platform is inspired by Jack Kerouac's example in writing On The Road.

Scroll on: the Ghost blogging platform is inspired by Jack Kerouac’s example in writing On The Road.

A new blogging system which aims to put the emphasis on writing has had a great funding success on Kickstarter, raising an amazing £196,000 after setting a goal of just £25,000.

Ghost raised almost eight times its original cash target on Kickstarter.

Ghost raised almost eight times its original cash target on Kickstarter.

Ghost, which was featured recently on this blog, is the idea of former WordPress developer John O’Nolan who wants to set up a streamlined blogging platform. O’Nolan says his inspiration was Jack Kerouac, who wrote the Beat Generation bible On The Road on rolls of paper in his typewriter, which he taped together in a 120ft-long scroll.

Ghost looks like it's going to be clean and clear.

Ghost looks like it’s going to be clean and clear.

O’Nolan is looking to build a platform where writers can write without distraction. To try to achieve this aim, it will be using Markdown formatting language. I’m a fan of Markdown, which is a simplified version of HTML, the basic building block of the internet. Instead of using HTML tags such as <strong> for bold type, you simply type a couple of asterisks ** either side of the word or passage you want to be bold. Paragraphs are very easy as you just add a blank line rather than having to add a <br> tag.

Markdown is a simple language which can be picked up easily and you can try it out at http://markdown-here.com/livedemo.html

Markdown is a simple language which can be picked up easily and you can try it out at markdown-here.com

You can, of course, do all this in the WordPress post box in visual mode and if you really want to use Markdown there’s even a WordPress plug-in for that.

But I do like the concept that O’Nolan is putting forward and think it’s a really interesting project that could be a good addition for writers and bloggers. Ghost is still in development and the team hope to release the system fully towards the end of the summer.

It has moved away from being based on PHP, which is the programming power behind WordPress, and is using JavaScript to build the platform, which should also make the open source project accessible to developers using frameworks such as Ruby on Rails, which is one of the hottest web development tools.