Tomorrow, the Day One iPhone app (US$4.99) is going to get a big update and today Paul Mayne and the Day One team unveiled a critical part of that update -- Publish. Update: Actually, the Day One update to version 1.13 is already live today, March 11. Note that Publish is still only available for the iPhone version of the app.
What Publish enables Day One users do is take selected journal entries and publish them to a private website. That website is hosted at http://dayone.me and the web address for a published entry is provided only to the Day One user and people that the user wishes to share it with. That distinction is important to me as a Day One user: I use the app on an almost daily basis to keep a private journal, and there are many of my entries that I do not want to share publicly.
For those of you who are familiar with the Day One iPhone app, you'll find a new item in the list that traditionally shows a count of posts, photos, tags, etc... That new item? Published. A tap on that button shows just the items that you have chosen to share to the Publish website. The first time you use Day One to send an entry to Publish, you'll be asked to set up a free account.
Those entries are tagged with whatever data you have chosen to add to your usual Day One entries -- things like the time and date, "gold star" for special occasions, weather, and activity. Yes, Day One makes use of the activity data stored on your iPhone 5s and can be used as a private -- or now public -- activity tracker.
Once you've logged into the Publish website, you see a rather plain website (see image above) that focuses on your content. There's a place for a profile displaying your name, email address (I'm not fond of that feature...), a short bio, and a link to any other website you're associated with. Another menu link on the website points to a list of your published entries, while a third shows your linked social network accounts. At this time, Publish supports Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, with more to come.
What's nice is that with a single tap, you can publish your entries not only to your Day One account and the Publish website, but to all of your social networks as well. The social network entries include a link to the specific Publish website page so your followers can read a full post. At the bottom of those Publish pages are stats on how many people have viewed the page, retweeted or favorited your tweet, and so on.
The update will be available for iPhone tomorrow, and turns Day One from a personal journal into an incredibly easy-to-use blogging tool as well. For me, that may mean that I'll finally start up a personal blog again.