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Are You Using the Right Blogging Tool – Over the Long Term

In July of 2005, Susannah Gardner offered us “Time to check: Are you using the right blogging tool?”. I ran across it recently and while it is a great review of all the blogging tools out there, I thought I’d throw a little fuel on the fire.

Yes, it is good to judge a book by its cover and blogging tools by how easy or hard they are to use, how fast they are to install, but I think that some other criteria needs to get into the mix. These include:

  • How long you will use it before you get bored?
  • How much it will grow and expand with your topics and expertise?
  • Will you be still using it one year later?

A good blogging tool is one that will grow with you and your needs. The more room for expansion and change, the more likely you will retain interest in the process and the blog.

After several months of using , a totally untweakable blogging tool, while the ease of posting is amazing, and the focus being totally on content and not on design, I can see the boredom creeping in after the first blush of excitement from many users, and from me.

At first it was the thrill of getting your WordPress invite. Then there was thrill of giving a WordPress invite away to someone else and waiting and watching to see what they would do with it. But then you had to go back to your own wordpress.com blog and figure out what you were going to do with it.

You dig into wordpress.com and check out the new features and pretty packaging. How does it work? What does that do? What happens when I poke this? Can I make it do that? What about this? You quickly find the treats and treasures, and slowly, you find the limitations. There is only so much you can do with wordpresss.com.

Once you’ve pushed the limit, then the enthusiasm for blogging goes in two directions which criss and cross from time to time. First is the tweak factor.

The tweak factor is all the tweaking you can do if you are used to using the full version of WordPress. With the full WordPress, you can tweak, mess up, push and pull your blog into as many parts and pieces as you want with CSS, HTML/XHMTL, PHP, and WordPress Plugins. The wonderous magic is all the multitude of things you can tweak and change. But in wordpress.com, the tweak factor is practically non-existent – though some tweaking might be available soon, right now, there is none.

So that leaves the blogging factor. The blogging factor is when the enthusiasm for the topic you are blogging about keeps your interest up so you keep blogging no matter what blogging tool you are using. You could be using wordpress.com, the full version of WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, MT, or LiveJournal. It isn’t about the blogging tool, it’s about the content within the blog.

For many WordPress users, it’s about the content, but it’s also about the tweaking factor. So there is a lot more to hold your interest when using WordPress over ‘s wordpress.com or LiveJournal.

So as you evaluate your blogging tools, determining which one is best for your needs, please take into account the tweak factor as well as the blogging factor as you plan for the blogging tool of your choice over the long haul, not the short-lived thrill.


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8 Comments

  1. Posted November 19, 2005 at 3:22 am | Permalink

    I moved from Blogger to my own wordpress blog in the middle of last year. I’ve changed themes so many times, destroyed several databases and now tonight I’m testing version 2.0 beta.

    It’s good fun!

  2. Posted November 19, 2005 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    And hopefullly you learned a thing or two along the way. ;-)

    It is fun!

  3. Posted November 20, 2005 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    I too moved from blogger…..and was quite excited to get a wordpress invite…but its ephemeral
    as u mentioned..now boredom is taking over…
    i just cant live without tinkering… ;)

  4. Issy Reyes
    Posted November 22, 2005 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    Hi – You’ve got such an excellent & informative blog. :)

    I recently got a wordpress invite and the first thing I wanted to do was tweak the template. Then I tried to see if I could import my LJ entries into it, and I couldn’t do that either. I don’t think I’ll be moving to wordpress.com. But I am dying to move out of LJ and I’m considering blogsome. Any thoughts on blogsome? :)

  5. Posted November 24, 2005 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Just because you can’t tweak the themes in WordPress.com blogs, which are designed to be free and easy and aimed towards bloggers not tweakers, you can still get your own host server set up and then install the free WordPress version that will allow you to tweak to your heart’s content. Nice to have options.

    As for blogsome, I have not worked with it but I’m not happy with sites I view featured on it. As a user, I find it cumbersome, which is something to seriously consider when choosing a blogging tool.

    As for importing, I believe that an importing utility is in the works for wordpress.com. Remember, this is still beta test programming and things are being added and subtracted daily as the developers work on it. You are getting cutting edge stuff here but it is still a controlled environment for testing purposes, which is why there are so few themes to choose from.

  6. Posted November 28, 2005 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Hi, Thanks for the reply! I’ve been testing blogsome and you’re right — it’s cumbersome. It’s also slow, so I’m not quite happy with it.

  7. Posted February 7, 2006 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Just in relation to Issy’s comment. We’ve launched a distributed version of Blogsome now which is much faster.

  8. Posted August 17, 2006 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Hello Lorelle,

    I used Blogger at first and then moved to WordPress quickly. Now I’m using both as both of them has advantages and limitations. Here is my story about usage of both of them with comparison of pros and cons:

    http://rightweb.wordpress.com/2006/08/17/comparison-of-sites-for-blogging-blogger-and-wordpress/


4 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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