Putting Weblogs To Work (Blog Bonanza)

The feature piece on comparative weblog systems I wrote for the July issue of MacWorld is now on newstands (page 76). A version of the article is online, but sans graphics and screenshots, sidebars, and feature comparison charts for blogging systems and for Mac-based posting tools. The article covers pMachine, Movable Type, Radio Userland, GeekLog, iBlog, LiveJournal, and Blogger Pro.

Amazing how much harder it was to do a feature piece with a baby in the house than without. Some of my online friends are “accidentally” screenshotted, and I even managed to squeak a teensy image of Amy, Miles and me in there.

Music: Pink Fairies :: Never Never Land

18 Replies to “Putting Weblogs To Work (Blog Bonanza)”

  1. The column was really helpful, and now I’m trying to challenge the seemingly formidable task of being a blogger.
    In fact, I didn’t know that what’s the problem of using iBlog before. Even though it was easy-to-use, I dropped it immediately I saw your review.

  2. Hey Tyler – Hosting LJ blogs on a private domain is not an actual feature of the LJ service. In other words, it can be done and it’s not particularly difficult, but it’s not part of what LJ sells you. I know it’s a fine point, and there’s going to a be a ton of stuff like that that comes up — a real problem of comparing apples and oranges here, combined with space limitations that prevent spelling things like that out more specifically (the first draft of the piece was twice the length!)

  3. Coincidentally I just happened to be reading this article on the ‘loo’ this morning (try that with an online copy) – plus with a toddler in the house it’s the only quiet place.

    I hadn’t looked at the byline but I saw the blog.birdhouse.org screenshot across the top of one page and thought ‘Hey that’s Scot’s site – who wrote this article ?’ flipped back a page and there was Scot’s name !

    Definately a nice article – I think my wife read it recently too (I’ll have to ask her). I don’t think there’s anything to swing me away from using Moveable Type, I just need to remember to find the time to post more frequently.

  4. andrew – what do you think powerbooks are for?

    [[ (try that with an online copy) ]]

  5. Karen gets MacWorld, and it just arrived today (we moved, so it had to be forwarded). While skimming through, backwards as is my tendency, I saw a screenshot of Safari with a familiar green sidebar… I then recognized who was in the icon photo, and then saw the domain. I _then_ backed up to the first page and saw your name.

    Cool. :-)

    I thought it was curious that “friends pages” were left off the “Seven Weblog Packages Compared” chart… is LJ the only one with this sort of service? I would imagine that most systems would have such a page… just throwing subscribed RSS feeds onto a page by date similar to the LJ friends page.


  6. There’s nothing similar to LJ’s friends concept anywhere that I’ve seen. It’s dependent on everyone sharing the same server, of course, although one can imagine Mt’s TrackBack feature being rewored to do something similar. I tried in seaveral places to describe the feature, but the editor kept cutting it. I think one has to live with it for a while to really grok who cool/powerful it is.

  7. Radio’s built-in RSS aggregator can kind of work like a LiveJournal friends page. In fact I subscribe to the RSS version of my LJ friends page in Radio (though the feed seems to be screwed up right now).

    How do you host an LJ blog? I never figured out how to do that.

  8. Radio-style aggregators (for example, one I’m building: http://www.mcgroarty.net/~markpasc/frod/?time=newest login prr:arf) do work like LJ friends lists. This one actually works more like a friends list than Radio’s, as last I knew Radio stamped items with the time it aggregated them instead of using those RSS pubDates and dc:dates everyone likes to argue about. I expect Amphetadesk would use feeds’ times as well.

    Also, I know lots of people use JavaScript imports and whatnot to put their LiveJournals on their own sites, but it looks like Tyler’s using the Domain Aliasing feature ( http://www.livejournal.com/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=129 ), which is the only such method I *would* call “an actual feature of the LJ service.”

  9. Thank you for the good article ‘Put weblog to work’.Now, it confirmed my decision to use MT.However, I have not decided whether to wait for typepad.com or using MT with my own server and domain name.

    Your comment,please.
    Thank you Mr Scot Hacker

  10. Adib, since TypePad isn’t out officially I can’t comment on it, but it’s going to come down to how much control you want over your installation. If you want it easy, use TypePad. If you want total control, ability to modifiy source code, install plugins etc., use MT on your own server.

  11. Your article in Macworld pretty much got me off the fence and into my current search for the right blogging service/software.

    I’m wondering if you can counsel me here? I have a limited budget for hosting and am currently committed to using Pair networks to host — long story — which charges a pretty penny for cgi and mysql.

    So, I’m looking at using something like blosxom, which would require me to spend less $$ and the software is free. The key here is that it gives me more control than some turnkey system of templates, etc.

    What do you, or the kind people who read your blog, think of blosxom? Pros and cons. And are there any others that you might recommend?

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