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Blogs Defined

Posted by geeknews at 4:59 AM on October 31, 2005

With Todd shopping for a new blog service, and anyone else, I decided to finish up a article I started a few weeks ago for GeekNewsCentral.

Blogs Defined

When I first heard the word “Blog” it sounded like something that was a waste of time. I could not seem to grasp what exactly a blog was, or what the point was. I tried several times to understand it. Eventually I just gave up. I didn’t see the point.

Then I noticed businesses, and reputable websites using blogs. Then I realized, this is just not a passing phase. These can actually be used for business. This is what real people are saying. Being a web designer and having to update your website, then upload every time you had something new to say, could get very tedious, and also a very 80s way to maintain a website. Also activity increases your stats in google. This was a easy and productive solution to bring interactivity into your website.

I recently did a lot of research and testing on the top blogging services to find a personal blog for myself. I decided to explore several different blog services to see what was right for me.

Here are the services I explored:

[WordPress]
[Mambo Blog]
[Blogger]
[Blog.mac]
[TypePad]
[Moveable Type]


WordPress: I had looked into almost a year ago and decided against it from the start. It didn’t have, at that time, any of the options that I wanted in a personal blog. I installed it on my server, set it up, but editing it was not very user friendly for a first time personal blogger, and I didn’t like the look of it. I am not a CSS expert, but I know how to edit it and get around, and at that time, there was not a lot of templates available to create a look that I could be comfortable with. I am familiar with the basics of WordPress, but am not a expert. I realize this blog is very popular, but for what I was looking for, it just didn’t work for me.

Mambo Blog: For Business, Mamboblog has what you need and you can set what commenting system you use with it from within Mambo. With the comment system you can also set it to add to other parts of your Mambo site, like news, etc. This was the original blog and where I began exploring my creative writing. A perfect blog for updating your already Mambo site, and using for business. If you want blogging as the main part of your site for business, the Mambo Blog is limited in what you can do. I didn’t want to go to the website to blog, I thought their had to be a easier, and faster way.

Blogger: Blogger had everything I wanted for a personal blog, and a lot more.
I could e-mail my blog.
I could send pics when I was away to my blog.
I could right click and send things to my blog.
I can use one of my widgets on my mac to post to my blog. DashBlog.
I can use Picasa on my PC to my blog.
I can do just about everything with blogger, except (so I thought) have my own domain name.
I could not have categories to keep things organized.

Blog.mac: This program is exclusively for osx works with your mac account and all of its services. You can post directly from the software. You can post live isight images, and itunes ‘Now Playing” information from your mac. If you don’t mind posting from your mac, and having your blog on your mac account, this is a pretty good blog to have. I wanted my blog on my other server, so this one wasn’t working out well for me.

Typepad: In looking into Moveable type, I found typepad. I was able to create a account and go, no installing on my server. Well typepad seem to have everything I wanted for my personal blog. It had e-mail my blog, domain mapping, mobile sending, quickpost, you name it, it had it. Problem was, it was costly. For Typepad to do everything i wanted it would cost 150.00 a year. I didn’t want to pay this, for something that at this time, was for personal use. I couldn’t justify the cost, and chose to keep looking.

Moveable Type: This was installed on my server, and set up. I could have my domain name, I could use the quickpost, which I really liked, I could create my own categories. I could do pretty much everything. I heard that Moveable Type was very good for business, so then it was decided. I didn’t really need all of the other things, I would learn how to use Moveable Type and also continue to blog. I set this up, and received a great amount of help from a friend on doing some of the basics. I am still confused lost within Moveable Type, but am figuring it out as I go along. It was a blog that I could quickpost from my tech forum, my personal blog, and could eventually my business blog. I really liked the idea of being able to blog and learn at the same time.

I finally decide to remain with blogger. I located the FTP option within blogger and this allowed my blog is now being published and hosted on my own server, which gave me control, while also providing all the the features I want. I now have my own personal blog, with my own domain name, and for my personal blog, this works for me.

Most of these blog services will give you everything you need. You do need to decide if you want a personal blog, or business. I chose to have two blogs and will most likely, when I get back to taking on new clients with my business, I will have 3. For now I have two. Rainbowfly.com and my photo blog Rainbowfly’s Photo of the Day.

If you are thinking about blogging, I encourage you to try it out first and choose what makes you comfortable.

5 Comments

  1. From Jay at 6:01 am on October 31, 2005

    I feel like AI need to add something here. I use WordPress as my blogging software of choice. It is very user friendly now, and the options are limitless at this point. It supports enclosures natively for easy setup of podcasts. It’s extensible through “hacks,” or rather modules and extensions. The price was right as it’s GPL’d. The user community is helpful also. It’s not perfect, no software is, but it’s a very nice system for any blogger who wishes to host their own blog.

    That being said, back when I was looking for new blogging software to replace my own (homegrown) software. I looked at some of the other CMS’s too. Postnuke, PHPNuke, Geeklog, etc… WordPress just caught my eye. WordPress 1.5 is definatly worth a second look in my honest opinion.

  2. From bogeydope at 6:09 am on October 31, 2005

    I started out using blogger… and then transferred it to my domain name. The templates and the backend were the only things that I didn’t like with blogger. So I took a friend’s advice and switched to WordPress 1.5 . I must say I was a little confused myself while editing the stylesheets because the lack structure. Anyways, it works great now. GeekNewsCentral is actually what got me into blogging. I still have a long way to go though, I need to focus what I want to discuss instead of trying to discuss everything. I love the site, you always seem to provide quality material.

    Take care,
    Brandon
    http://www.geek2us.net/bogeydope

  3. From rainbowfly at 8:24 am on October 31, 2005

    My current template on Blogger is another main reason that I am with the Blogger service. I agree, Blogger templates leave little to be desired, but you do have full control over the code to manipulate it how you would like, which is nice, not all services allow this.

    Wordpress, as I said, was something I looked at a year ago. I have a friend who has a beautiful blog on wordpress and quite a few friends who use it, and I do realize it’s quite popular. For my personal blog, it just didn’t work, I wanted to just go, and blogger allowed that. Since time only allows me to learn one blogging software for business, I chose Moveable Type. That site is down at the moment, which is why I didn’t post it.

    It’s amazing how much blogs have grown in only one year, since I originally starting looking.

    Thanks for your feedback, it’s really appreciated.

  4. From ainanet at 9:53 am on October 31, 2005

    WordPress gets my vote! I installed it on my server about 5-6 months ago and havent looked back. The server install was pretty easy, after I found a Professor’s site that documented the entire process for his students. The hardest thing I have had to figure out is where to put the code to include my google adsense and amazon stuff. I didnt find any how-to’s out on the web, but with some trial and error and a little HTML knowledge i figured it out. MT is good but for me i dont see a difference in the platforms. Well, not a big enough difference to justify paying for MT. In the end blogging software isnt that complex and shouldnt have to be IMHO.

    PS. I think there is another blogging software we are missing from the list. I cant remember the name right off but I believe Leo Leporte uses it. I am pretty sure its open source. I believe the TWIT.tv site uses it.

    ET
    http://www.almostageek.com

  5. From Tack at 2:05 pm on October 31, 2005

    That is Drupal ainanet. I also looked at it. Not my style at all – I don’t find it as user friendly as WP.