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Blogs

PostPosted: September 1st, 2010, 11:12 am
by mpbrockman
Not sure if this belongs here or in Gen. Discussion (where it would get more traffic) and I'm sure I asked this question once a long time ago but I can't find it and anyway, times have changed.

I had so much fun keeping that little Edinburgh journal here on the forum that I am again debating jumping into the world of blogging, so...

Who keeps a blog? What site do you use/recommend and why?

Thanks all.

PostPosted: September 1st, 2010, 11:25 am
by kbadr
I've had a Livejournal account for years. You can create custom groups and limit visibility of posts to certain people if you need to. It's decent, though seems to be dying out since Facebook became so ubiquitous.

You can also just sign up for a free Blogger or Blogspot account. They're all basically the same.

If you don't care about who reads what, and have a Facebook account, you can just use its Notes feature to essentially keep a blog.

Though I should also mention that I have recently moved to writing in a physical journal, because I realized I don't have much interest in getting feedback, or censoring what I really need to say about a given topic.

PostPosted: September 1st, 2010, 11:46 am
by Roy Janik
A simple WordPress blog might work for what you're doing: http://wordpress.com/

PostPosted: September 1st, 2010, 1:55 pm
by Spots
I second Wordpress. I'd use the word flexible. With just a couple downloads you can turn a wordpress website into a complex, user driven website kind of like facebook.

Blog? Sure. But it can expanded upon very easily.

PostPosted: September 1st, 2010, 2:59 pm
by hujhax
I use LiveJournal myself, but that's largely a matter of inertia.  If you *do* use LiveJournal, be sure to pick up ljArchive and Semagic(Uncle Peter sez:  "A web browser is not a text editor!")

I use Wordpress for another project, and it looks fine to me.  I agree with Spots' talk about flexibility, and imagine it's much better-maintained than LJ.

:mrgreen:

--
peter rogers @ work | http://hujhax.livejournal.com

And if there is one thing the Internet is good for, it’s bringing together like-minded people, then convincing them that their opinion is the only valid one in existence.
      -- Adam Sternbergh

PostPosted: September 1st, 2010, 3:43 pm
by mpbrockman
kbadr wrote:If you don't care about who reads what...


Hadn't thought about this. I probably don't care, but I suppose I should take that into account. Especially if I suspect someone of tender years (oh, say, my daughter) should peruse it.

Although I occasionally write for a few more controversial sites and have been known to relish generating dissension and getting into some smashmouth textual sparring, perhaps this putative blog would not be the place for that.

kbadr wrote:...and have a Facebook account...


Don't and doubt in the extreme I ever will. The very name and concept behind it repel me.

kbadr wrote:Though I should also mention that I have recently moved to writing in a physical journal, because I realized I don't have much interest in getting feedback, or censoring what I really need to say about a given topic.


I, too, keep a physical journal. The Edinburgh posts were often excerpts from it (with the occasional spontaneous flights of fancy). My physical journal though, tends to be a mess of random thoughts, essays, lyrics, poems, diagrams, cartoons and hastily scribbled musical sequences. I think a blog would provide me with an outlet for a more organized presentation.

Seriously, a typical page in my journal can often consist of a lyric fragment, a few brief ideas on inexpensive steps we could be taking now in order to terraform Mars, a couple of half-worked jokes, a way to smoothly change keys from Dm to Ab, a short story about the first time I saw a stag as a five year-old, an expression of outrage over the S. African practice of "corrective rape", poor attempts at sketching Kepler's interlocking Platonic solids, a reminiscence about something funny my mom said once and the word "blouse" written 20 times because the more you write (or say) it the sillier it looks (or sounds).

See my problem? Organization...

Hmmm. Wordpress seems like the consensus so far. I'll check it out, and I continue to welcome input.

PostPosted: September 1st, 2010, 3:50 pm
by Spaztique
My blog is linked on my signature. Or you can click here.

As my sig says, I wanted to make the blog for my short stories, but I've been writing more non-fiction articles about fiction writing advice than actual fiction. It's just easier to me, I guess.

PostPosted: September 1st, 2010, 7:43 pm
by Spots
Here are a few Wordpress test sites:

http://jessespots.com/smiles

www.actorhood.com

www.cuteuglycute.com

Wordpress can easily look like a blog or a normal site. The main thing is the ease of use and organizational aspects. If you buy hosting I'd recommend iPage since it comes with free wordpress support (mysql databases and whatnot) and I have a web coupon where you can buy hosting for $30/year.

PostPosted: September 2nd, 2010, 7:37 am
by mpbrockman
Nice shots of Rio, Jesse!

PostPosted: September 2nd, 2010, 7:52 am
by mpbrockman
Ooo, I just looked at the blog of a friend of mine over on blogspot. Organized, no clutter, easy navigation, simple, streamlined - quite nice looking to my eye. Some of the wordpress blogs (and I don't mean any of yours!) look too busy to me.

He apparently hasn't done much with it in a while, but I like this look.

P.S. Why do I like this guy? He manages to pretend to be p*ssed off at everything and everyone all the time, is Dutch yet has better command of the English language than I will ever have and is funnier than I will ever be. Plus, he posts sh*t like this under the heading of "Tasty Word Salads":

"The inversion of any hyper-inflated model for social co-dependence will inevitably lead to either the erosion of the agreed upon meta-equilibrium or the crypto-fascist coercion by the Alpha males in the core group of Kekkonian “in-out-out-in” enablers who will then inevitably drift to the outer perimeters of said system where they become the primary violators of the very social mores they had dedicated themselves to in the first place.

I have no idea why people find this so hard to comprehend."

PostPosted: September 2nd, 2010, 8:58 am
by mpbrockman
OK - sorry to be so garrulous this morning.

I just watched videos and read up on both Wordpress and Blogger (formerly Blogspot). Blogger seemed like a a piece of cake, Wordpress seemed confusing as hell. Is this just me being a bit technically challenged (sorry, I was born about 5 years too early to get the computer-savvy gene), or is the Wordpress intro just a bit overwhelming and perhaps geared more towards those with a little know-how?

The only reason I'm really opposed to Blogger is that I already feel a bit like I'm being eaten whole by the Google beast. This would be just another step in that direction.

From all the reviews I read, though, these two sites seem to have a big leg up on the rest. So I guess I'm narrowing it down to one of those two.

I'll shut up now. Feel free to re-commence with any arguments/comments you may have.

PostPosted: September 2nd, 2010, 9:44 am
by Curtis + computer
I keep a little scrapbook-y blog on Tumblr. For ease of use, it's pretty great.

PostPosted: September 2nd, 2010, 10:43 am
by Spots
I think what you want is a simple one column layout.

A few bare bones themes:

http://wp-themes.com/clear/?TB_iframe&w ... height=519

http://wp-themes.com/follow-me-darling/ ... height=519

http://wp-themes.com/nostalia26/?TB_ifr ... height=532

Installing themes is easy. You don't have to commit to a theme before you start, as all the information on your site is completely dynamic.

PostPosted: September 2nd, 2010, 10:54 am
by ratliff
Michael, I tried WordPress for a while and finally threw in the towel. I like to customize my layout a lot, but if you're okay with just a simple clean look and you don't require all kinds of bells and whistles, I think you're fine with Blogger or Tumblr. (I use Squarespace now, FWIW, but that's a paid service and you probably don't need the options I do.)

PostPosted: September 2nd, 2010, 11:27 am
by Jon Bolden
I love wordpress but only cause I know how to program almost anything in it.

Tumblr is super quick and about as clean of an experience as you can ask for.

http://blog.jonbolden.com - my customized Wordpress site