RE: Blogging software-your opinions

Subject: RE: Blogging software-your opinions
From: "Laurel Hickey" <lhickey -at- 2morrow -dot- bc -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 30 Oct 2004 19:18:08 -0700

I'm using Movable Type for a non-profit I volunteer for. We started using
the free standalone software that I installed on our server (php and MySQL)
... Used mostly for general news and regional news. General news was posted
by a few people and the regional reports were each posted by the regional
reps (9 of them at the time). I prepared a short tutorial and -- believe it
or not -- the learning curve was quite good even for the luddites among
them. It was also used for a linear discussion list for invited guest -- an
edited version of the blog appeared in a magazine.

Except for the discussion blog, all blogs were open to the public.

The main problem besides the hassle of it needing an update, was that the
comments function started to get spammed (I've since removed that -- which
is a shame).

We recently subscribed to the "Pro" level of the remotely hosted blog and
have started using it for new projects such as the "writers in school"
program and meetings. The standard templates they have are pretty grim
(IMHO), but they allow you to develop and use your own ... which can then be
reused for other blogs. Oh, the "pro" subscription lets you have as many
blogs as you like. The main reason for switching was the comments spam
problem which they have guards against on the remotely hosted blog.

Other pros: very low cost! As many blogs as you like. And it's easy enough
to use that I'll be able to pass this along to a less technically skilled
person to handle.

Cons: I'd like more flexibility. You can invite other authors (they've added
another level of authoring recently) but I'd like to have another level
that can edit all entries and handle other authors, but not muck with the
guts of the blog or create new blogs. Also, I can't edit all aspects of an
entry like I can with the standalone version. And, I'd like to be able to
set up a guest blog ... with set pw and username that can't be changed.

I think that the advantages of remote hosting outweighs the disadvantages.
Even the domain name just has 'blog' added to it ... otherwise looks the
same. Plus, you get to try it for a month free. You can also export the data
as desired... and import from other blogs. They also appear to be upgrading
it frequently, adding new features.

The main problem we're finding with using a blog for meetings and related
things is that it's hard to get people to got there on a regular basis. I
even forget. I'm looking at desktop blog feed software, but think it might
add an insurmountable level of complexity for users, some of whom have been
overly challenged to follow a simple email-delivered invitation link to join
a blog they know they're getting an invitation to join and have agreed to
give a try to. For an office, it could be the mandatory home page ... Or IT
could install the reader ... One of which I believe works in conjunction
with Outlook. That way, they'd get new posts as email and still be able to
get to the blog to see the whole thing.

Laurel Hickey
2morrow writing & document design
lhickey -at- 2morrow -dot- bc -dot- ca

I've used Blogger (hated it) and Movable Type (loved it, once the
setup frustrations were over).


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RE: Blogging software-your opinions: From: Kat Nagel

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