On the Demise of Editorially

While I was on leave Editorially announced that they were shutting down. As Pat mentioned, this is a service that was used heavily on this site, and was quickly becoming universal among the editor-freelancer workflows. It was and is the best of the lot of services like it.

I was granted early access to the service, and loved the idea immediately, but I noted to the team at the time that it really should be a platform, not an app. In a longer post about the service I said:

But most of all I want it to act more like a service — for example, the way Github does. Wouldn’t it be great if writing apps could integrate Editorially support like they do with Dropbox? You pull down the latest version and it is checked out until you are done editing — then it is pushed back up for others to edit and review changes. You could write in your favorite app, but have the full power of collaboration. In my mind that is where these tools need to be heading and I’d post with exclamation points upon this vision being realized.

I think the web based nature is what killed Editorially, because I don’t know many writers who actually liked writing in Editorially. Almost everyone I knew wrote in their favorite app and copy and pasted in to Editorially — or just didn’t use Editorially because of that extra step.

Editorially should have been a platform.

We should have been able to open up Writer Pro, Byword, Ulysses, TextMate, whatever, and pulled down our documents, seen the changes, and edited the writing and sent it back to Editorially. The web view should have been there, but that should have been about as well used as Dropbox’s website is. In my opinion the focus of Editorially was too heavy on the app side, and not enough on the platform side.

Users should have been finding out about the service because all the good writing apps were suddenly including support for it. It’s a real shame the service is shutting down, but here, at The Brooks Review, we have already received recommendations for six other like services and I still hold out hope I will get the platform like service I desire.