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Author Topic: wanted: thoughts and ideas about blogs - bloggers join in!  (Read 4627 times)
brotherS
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« on: April 20, 2006, 12:04:49 PM »

I know we have a few bloggers here, so let me ask you these questions:

- if one wants to start a blog, should one be using one of the free services or is there some huge disadvantage?

- if yes: which free services is the best?

- is there a way to easily move blog entries (including containing images) from one blog service to another? (for example when starting with a free service and then moving it to one's own homepage)
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mouser
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2006, 12:15:02 PM »

great questions.

i don't have much experience with the free hosting sites so i won't comment on them.  i know vrgirl uses blogger.com a lot and knows some others, perhaps she can comment on them.

i have used moveabletype for a while and was happy with how well it supported multiple independent blogs with one system, but it's not open source and i've gradually turned from it to thinking Wordpress is the way to go.

each software has their own importing and exporting, some easier than others.  I think zaine recently moved from blogger.com to wordpress (or some other free hosting to wordpress) and it was pretty painless.

look forward to hearing more comments.

ps.
we'd be happy to set up some blogging accounts at donationcoder.com for members if that's something people want.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2006, 12:21:41 PM »

I don't know about which is best but www.blogger.com looks pretty straightforward to use and is free.

For moving stuff how about downloading w.bloggar (see here http://www.donationcoder....um/index.php?topic=3163.0). That allows you to upload and download articles from your blog for a variety of services including blogger.com and some self hosting packages such as Drupal.
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brotherS
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2006, 03:05:02 PM »

Thanks mouser and Carol, I'll take a closer look at w.bloggar and hope more DC users will share their thoughts here smiley
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Deozaan
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2006, 04:12:28 PM »

Hi BrotherS,

I tried to post this hours ago but I lost my internet connection and just got it restored.

I've done a little blogging in the past and I've always used the free services. My experience is limited only to http://www.LiveJournal.com/ and http://www.blogger.com/. I started with LJ and eventually paid some money for the service (which is completely optional) but when I found out Google had their own blogging site I decided to check it out.

Each has its own pros and cons. My biggest complaint with LiveJournal is that after using it for years it's hard to track down your entries so that you can archive them or move them. It works pretty well for the most recent posts, with a button that shows the 20 previous entries etc. but after you got back far enough it starts to go by day rather than entries, which makes no sense to me and is very frustrating because I tend to only post once every two weeks. I liked that I could have multiple usericons to use a picture that defined my mood at the time while I was posting without having to resort to those silly little Mood: statements with emoticons. I also liked that I could download a little client program on my computer that would run in the tray and pop up a little typing area and I could write and edit posts directly from my desktop without going to the site. You could also customize the layout pretty much any way you wanted, though I didn't get into the advanced features of that myself. I just chose a template and adjusted the colors, mostly.

Blogger (blogspot) on the other hand addressed the issue of having easy access to past posts. You can view every one of your posts in rows with the subject and the date they were posted.



Plus you can just click on it and it will show you the entire message:



But with a Google product I did expect some more features. For instance, I have fallen victim to writing a long entry and then losing it for one reason or another. I expected Blogger to autosave drafts like Gmail does, but it doesn't. It does have a save draft feature, but you have to manually press it to activate it. That is a little annoying that Google provides such an awesome feature in one product but not the other. Another thing that I just can't figure out with Blogger is that when I uploaded my usericon (using Allen's .image or maybe even imagiine engine) it makes the image "widescreen" even though it's a square picture, thus making the text put on it unreadable. There is one more thing that is somewhat confusing but I kind of ignore it now. After you make a post or update to the Blogger blog you have an option to Publish just the index or Republish the entire blog.

Basically publishing the index is meant to allow you to quickly view changes and things like that (especially if you're redesigning the layout) and republishing the entire blog will update the entire thing, which it says can take a few minutes if you have a lot of entries. I don't have a lot of entries yet so that's never been a problem and I just republish the entire thing every time.

Blogger is straightforward and easy to use. It suits my needs (which are small) very well. It just has a couple of quirks which are definitely annoyances but not enough to get me frustrated enough with the system to leave it altogether. The good of Blogger far outweighs the bad from my experience.
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2006, 04:35:47 PM »

yeah, i've tried livejournal, blogger, myspace, xanga, moveable type...the whole works and the only thing that i've stuck with is blogger (for five years now!). i'm not sure if it's more of a matter of "oh, well, this was the first one i used so it's not worth investing in learning another system" or what. but i just find blogger super easy to add something to, it works really well with flickr, and, yeah, i've gotten used to copying my text before i hit "publish" to avoid the long blog post loss that sometimes happens (i know that frustration all too well!).

i've also used it in classes i teach -- i've used it as a collaborative blog where everyone in the class has access with their own account and they put their homework on the blog. that's worked "ok" -- mainly because all sorts of online forums only tend to work "ok" for any class because students just don't want to check back to see what others wrote and comment on it.

michelle
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Gothi[c]
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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2006, 04:40:56 PM »

http://mama.indstate.edu/users/bones/WhyIHateWebLogs.html

Wink
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mouser
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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2006, 04:41:45 PM »

gothic  Grin Grin Grin
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Rover
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« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2006, 05:05:51 PM »

gothic - nice find.  This was pretty much my thought when I first heard about 'blogs.  Once again, I figured I was just missing something.  Sort of like when peple put a ring in their nose; I don't understand the motivation, but maybe I'm out of the loop. 

At any rate, I must say I pretty much agree with the whole "I think 'blogs are stupid" are stupid, but I would have written it without all of the f-bombs.  To me it's a sign of a weak mind... can't think of a better adjective?  cheesy
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mouser
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« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2006, 05:13:08 PM »

i think blogs are great..
you just have to find the good ones.

in the future everyone will be required by law to have a blog.
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Rover
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« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2006, 05:30:43 PM »

in the future everyone will be required by law to have a blog.
In the future all restaurants are Taco Bell  Grin Grin Grin
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brotherS
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« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2006, 09:02:39 PM »

Thanks Deozaan and vrgrrl! Blogger will get a closer inspection then smiley

gothic - nice find.  This was pretty much my thought when I first heard about 'blogs.  Once again, I figured I was just missing something.  Sort of like when peple put a ring in their nose; I don't understand the motivation, but maybe I'm out of the loop. 
Let me just say this: I wouldn't want to read ~99% of the existing blogs - but something similar could be said about available books and music on the market... so? smiley
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Rover
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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2006, 09:10:00 PM »

I should probably clairify my position, lest I be cast down  Wink

Personal web logs where people talk about their feelings and if they had oatmeal for breakfast make me want to puke.  ohmy

I can see the benefit of the web log format for some people who have an audience... sort of a more frequently updated, less formal newsletter.  That makes sense.

I hate the short speak name 'blog.  Are we too lazy to speak full words now?

Since these are personal opinions they don't add much value to the thread, so I'll stop now   Wink
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brotherS
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« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2006, 09:16:51 PM »

Personal web logs where people talk about their feelings and if they had oatmeal for breakfast make me want to puke.  ohmy

I can see the benefit of the web log format for some people who have an audience... sort of a more frequently updated, less formal newsletter.  That makes sense.
True smiley

Quote
I hate the short speak name 'blog.  Are we too lazy to speak full words now?
Don't be sad, people just want it short and handy: blog, torrent, mobile, PC, CNN, HIV, USA, DC smiley
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tinyvillager
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« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2006, 09:44:33 PM »

 

  You can get a lot done with free solutions,it's all how you use your imagination.
For instance,even though blogger doesn't give you file space you can park your
files on a google pages account and hotlink from there.

If you want to remove the navbar
http://blogger-templates....005/01/remove-navbar.html


A quick solution to menus...
http://www.donationcoder....um/index.php?topic=2960.0

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thomthowolf
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« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2006, 10:05:22 PM »

I just think someone should say something nice about livejournal.  I have used both livejournal and blogspot, and I have to say that the free version of Livejournal offers more features than blogger.  If you are a firefox user (and if not, why not?) you might look at the Performancing extension, which basically gives you a down and dirty tool to post to multiple blogs from within your browser.  I use that a lot to make short notes on cool things I run across while surfing.
There is no law that says you must choose one tool and exclude the others.  You might try to maintain a couple of blogs on different topics in different tools and see which one you like better. 
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Deozaan
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« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2006, 12:11:47 AM »

I hate the short speak name 'blog.  Are we too lazy to speak full words now?

ya dont u no taht on teh intarweb u dont haf 2 uze ful sentinsiz or evin reel werdz?
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housetier
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« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2006, 02:08:30 AM »

I like blogs, I blog more or less frequently.

However, I would not use a blog thingy on donationcoder as I have my own. But I wouldn't mind dc syndicating my blog; I kinda like the idea of building up networks this way, although I have yet to grasp the concept of trackback urls. These syndicated blogs are quite nice, for example I read planet.debian.org where a lot of debian folks (and ubuntu too it seems) post: they post to their own blog services and planet just aggregates them in one big blog which I read. Comments are to be left at the original site... ok this is getting off track smiley

Blogs have been hyped a lot lately and thus didn't live up to the marketing buzz. Blogs are not for everyone, but I know I would blog much more if I would receive more feedback. To me it's a neat way of interaction: asynchronous like email, easy to use like email, interactive like a forum, public like any website.
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