Falling off the Blog – Writing Off BloggerPosted: August 30, 2011
This whole project has resulted in a new identity for me, a daily blogger. I don’t know if I can sustain it, but blogging often has made me more sensitive to the needs of the regular blogger, but I am not an experienced voice or a high volume blogger. I am also not popular so changing my URL instead of remapping was something I could do.
Let me start by explaining what I did not need. I have an account on Dreamwidth that I use for very personal posts. I like the community, the philosophy and I feel comfortable there. So I didn’t need a place to share personal stuff.. well sort of.
I use blogs for things I want to share publicly, and I have wanted to share with some privacy. I have reconciled myself to some loss of personal privacy in this endeavor, but I am still embarrassed to admit that my other blog is about manners. Yea, sorry about that.
I decided to share because I want to show what my two options actually looked like before and after. This is the before. The afters are coming.
But before that these were my requirements:
- Easy to use- that means a rich text editor and set up that doesn’t take long.
- Custom URL- yea I don’t need it but I want it
- Post from phone
- Post from email
As you can see this is not a huge list of requirements, so I had a lot of options. I did not consider Tunblr because danah boyd had a really bad experience with them not respecting her namespace. I did consider posterous and wordpress.
Posterous- the import of the posts was handled automatically but took almost 24 hours, the about pages did not import. I was able to pick a theme and apply a custom stylesheet to remove authorship information. They have an andriod app and email posting works well. I have not tested it but I believe images import with local storage as well. Overall this is a clean, modern site with a lot of options and support. It was pretty easy to get the sort of clean look I like. You can see the results here
Overall posterous might be the better option but the long import time was a huge drawback. I decided to not use it for reasons that mostly have to do with convenience. I did not buy a custom URL but that interface looks clean, a year is $25 but there are reductions for making a longer commitment and it includes 10 email addresses.
WordPress- This is where goodbye google lives so it had a huge advantage in that I did not have to learn something new. The import was much faster with wordpress, but like Posterous it did not import the pages. I was not able to remove authorship information and could not use a different name without having an additional account, a headache I do not want. This normally would have been enough for me to not use wordpress, but I knew I was coming out of the manners closet anyway so I decided to live with it. The look could use more work, but it was easy to get a basic clean look. You can see the results here.
I did buy a URL though wordpress. The URL was reasonable at $4 a year, the mapping was $12 and I would have had to pay that even if I had owned the domain. If I wanted private registration, something most companies offer by default, it was an additional $8 so it would come to about $26, comperable with posterious but without email addresses.
So while posterous was more modern and seemed like a better value I decided to go with wordpress because having all my eggs in once basket is just more convenient. If I do decide to do hosting later I might move things, but this works for me now.