I’m trying out Vox, the new hosted weblog service by Six Apart (makers of Movable Type and Typepad, and acquisitors of Livejournal). So far I’ve been mostly disappointed, but that’s probably because my expectations of a weblog service are rather different from what people usually want. Apparently most of you out there want an easy WYSIWYG editor with one-click posting of photos and other media — while I want full control over my HTML, with just line and paragraph breaks handled by the weblog app. Vox gives you tons of the former, with easy options for image size and alignment displayed in a slick multilayered javascript-based UI, but there’s nary an “Edit HTML” button in sight.

Matt Haughey takes a different perspective, however:

It’s funny how things come full circle — when I started out I hand coded blog entries, then I wrote my own CMS, then eventually I moved to a commercial CMS package and now I would prefer to never have to maintain a server or backups and I don’t really feel like designing my own blog templates anymore

I’m starting to understand how he feels about that tension between writing and coding, but while it’s nice to have ways to quickly insert preformatted multimedia into our websites without worrying about the validity of the code, sometimes you still want to get into the guts of an entry to mix things up a bit. That’s where Vox has so far failed me. Still, for the much wider market of MS Word-accustomed non-HTML users out there, this will likely be a much easier alternative to creating rich media weblogs, and in that I wish Vox the best. While it may not be a primary solution for me, I will still make good use of my Vox page as a repository to gather the drippings of my hidden obsession.

The service is still in build-up-hype-mode beta, so registration is closed to a precious few users who signed up to try it out, but each one of those users gets a few invitations to share with others — two, in my case. Want them? Come and get them.