This blog shares my experience, tips, and advice about running blogs and my website Blogcrowds.com. I'll explore what I think works well, if it worked or not through trial, error and everything in between. More...
It would be every blogger's dream to just start writing and never worry about anything else. While that would certainly be wonderful, most of the time we have to manage everything in running a blog. Fortunately, there are blogging service & blogging software/scripts/blogware out there that take the most tedious and technical out of running a blog. In fact, sometimes you might just be able to setup your blog with a few clicks and start writing (rest of the time is where blogcrowds comes in :D). Since blogging service/blogware can make your job incredibly easier, it is crucial to choose the one right for you.
There are some distinction between different types of blogging, one of the being social blogging. That is if you are blogging about and sharing your personal life like your cat, your calendar etc with friends and family. As you can see, this is very close related to Social Networks and most major social networks have a blogging section. The largest social networks MySpace, Facebook dominate this side of blogging while MSN Space, Yahoo 360 also draw a crowd with their email, IM service etc. Signing up these services is very simple usually you just need an email address.
For those who does not need as much social element, you can sign up for blogging service such as Blogger, Live Journal.
One of the first weblog publishing system on the internet, Blogger was initially launched in August 1999 by Pyra Labs, but unfortunately at that time it requires a subscription fee. As blogging become more and more popular, Google bought Blogger in 2004 and made it possible for many more people to use blogger by eliminating the premium!
Google subsequently improved Blogger by integrating its photo-sharing software Picasa and Hello. Another popular feature of Blogger is the FTP and SFTP for more advanced users to directly update their blogs. For less tech oriented users there is even a Microsoft Word add-in that allow users to use word to edit their blogs on and offline.
Today, Blogger is characterized by a variety of clean cut validated CSS templates, ease to sign up and publish and one of the best blog publishing service on the web.
One of the earliest blog communities, LiveJournal was founded in 1999 by Brad Fitzpatrick. In early 2005 it was purchased by Six Apart which also owns Movable Type. LiveJournal is largely free with additional features for paid users or advertised sponsorship. Despite some social network features including user info, contact information, user avatars, LiveJournal is still heavily blogocentric. Users have a list of friends or flist who are allowed to comment on blog in message board style threads and view private entries effectively hidden from most search engines and viewers. In addition, LiveJournal provides group journals consisting of members who are allowed to post in the journal and moderators. LiveJournal is written in PERL by volunteer programmers and therefore it is opensource. Because of this, many other sites also runs LiveJournal software including DeadJournal, GreatestJournal, InsaneJournal, Blurty and numerous other more shortlived communities.
For even more control in blogging, you can host a blog on your own server with a blogging script/software. If Blogger is the most popular blogging services, than WordPress would be the most popular blogware. Other blogware includes Drupal, MovableType. While setuping WordPress can be a tad more complicated than signing up for Blogger, its not that much more complicated and the enhanced feature/control is certainly worth the few extra clicks.
WordPress is the blog publishing system written under PHP & MySql, released under GNU General Public License for all to use. Many current stand alone blogs use WordPress. Along witht the cost, WordPress attract bloggers with its multiple features:
- Manage multiple blogs on one server.
- Manage static html pages
- Manage users/groups
- Moderate comments
- Simple template system with excellent skins
- Integrated link management
- Extensible plugin support to take advantage of opensource communities.
- Subcategory, multiple category entry
- Ease of formatting and styling
Drupal is the content management/blogging system written in PHP by Dries Buytaert and named in Dutch for drop.
It is initially written as a bulletin board system or forum. Drupal suuports pluggable extension for advance functions such as Amazon Item module, workflow, mailing list, photo galleries, CVS integration. Drupal also offers unique content classification system and tighten security. However, because of the additional features Drupal is comparison to other blogware is more difficult to install. In addition, Drupal is known to have a less attractive appearance compared to other blogware but its clean code allows advance users to add their own features combined with pluggins to take Drupal from a blog to a full fledge community. Because of this, Drupal is used in company intranets, online classrooms, and other online projects. Special versions of Drupal includes, DrupalED, DrupalArt, vbDrupal.
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