Paul Galvin's (old) SharePoint space [SharePoint

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Thinking About Changing Blogging Platform

I started off my "blogging career" using Microsoft’s platform and it’s been good to me.  It’s easy to post, there are good options and widgets for managing your "space", decent web storage and so forth.

However, I really just fell into the MS solution with almost no planning.  That alone calls for me to evaluate where I am and where I’m going, in terms of a blogging platform.  There are also two important limitations that bother me right now vis-à-vis Windows Live Spaces. 

First, I can’t get very good statistics.  There are stats but the detail is often truncated and not presented in a way that allows for any kind of analysis.  There no sorting or export capability.  I get many blog ideas based on the kind of information people find (or especially fail to find) when they search my blog.  It’s very hard to use lives spaces for that.

Second, there does not seem to be any mechanism to "monetize" a windows live space blog.  In fact, in order to get rid of MS ads (from which I derive no benefit), I need to actually pay Microsoft.  (At least, that’s how I understand it; I have been unable to get definitive answers to this and questions like it).

Now that I’ve got an established pattern and set of blogging habits, I want to evaluate other options.  I’ve done some research and there are a lot of choices, but I’m curious as to what other people, particularly others in the SharePoint community (as bloggers or readers), like to use. 

If this subject interests you and you have an opinion or are willing to share your experience, please leave a comment or email me directly.

Thanks!

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7 responses to “Thinking About Changing Blogging Platform

  1. Michael December 14, 2007 at 10:56 am

    I"ve actually activated an account at Livingdot.com to use Moveable Type.  I\’ve started and stopped blogging a couple of times – and used several platforms including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal etc.  I started looking at Moveable Type because it recently (in the last 3 days) went fully open source.  After considering installing it myself (on a host I have a lifetime account with) I looked around at MT hosts and found Livingdot.  Very reasonably priced, and they have been very responsive.  They are running a 25% off discount for the life of your account for the holidays – so you can open a blogging basic account for about $6 a month.  I went with the next step – so I can host other domain names and am paying $8.21/mo.  Maybe worth a look.

  2. Unknown December 14, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    I\’m looking at moving to another blogging system as well and would be very interested in your findings.

  3. John December 14, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    I\’m really happy with my experiences at SharePointBlogs.com, but I don\’t know if it would meet your needs.  Since its provided as a free service, the amount of control you have over the blog itself is pretty limited.  To my knowledge, you can\’t reskin it away from the stock Community Server UI, and I\’d be surprised if you can run your own ads on it.  Don\’t get me wrong, I like the interface and really appreciate the platform it provides for me to contribute to the community, but it doesn\’t sound like a good fit for you.If it was me, and completely free was one of the criteria, I think I\’d go with WordPress.  Just a great UI for authoring, tons of add-ins and skins available for use, and very customizable if you want to roll your own code.  If you have a server to run it on, its a cinch to install, or you can set up a blog for free through their site.John Ferringerhttp://www.SharePointBlogs.com/ForTheUser

  4. Unknown December 14, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    Paul – I\’m using WordPress to run EndUserSharePoint.com. As a previous commenter said, easy to use, lots of customization for skins, tons of plugins. I\’m currently using a plugin for spam (Akismet), one for allowing subscriptions to comments and a couple other\’s I can\’t think of off the top of my head. If you want to stand out from the other SharePoint "Geeks", you can use one of Brian Gardners Revolution templates to put a magazine interface on your blog. Really good stuff.
     
    Regards,
    Mark
     

  5. Calvin December 14, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    I\’m with wordpress.com. http://sharemypoint.wordpress.com. It\’s free and AD free (even your own Google adsense). WordPress is a very popular open source blog platform based on PHP. There are many cool custom plugins available for this system but the free hosting with WordPress.com is limited. You can consider buying a hosting plan and install those plug-ins (mostly free). I was choosing between blogger.com and wordpress.com. I have a comparison study here http://calvin998.wordpress.com/2007/12/12/compare-blogger-and-wordpress-hosting/Someone mentioned SharePointblog.com but you have to email the site admin to create your blog. Not very convenient. Live spaces requires login to leave comments. It certainly greatly eliminates spams but also limits the interaction with your readers.

  6. John December 15, 2007 at 7:59 am

    This link may be worth a read as well…http://www.labnol.org/internet/blogging/moving-blog-from-blogger-to-wordpress-with-rss-feeds/1870/John Ferringerhttp://SharePointBlogs.com/ForTheUser

  7. Chris December 16, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    Paul,
     
    I\’ve been using Blogger for the past several years and I have found it to be a very good platform for someone who doesn\’t want to spend the time creating and configuring all of the details of a blog. It also seems to be fairly flexible allowing you to set up and use either Google\’s AdSense or any other item that can be plugged using Javascript/HTML.
     
    I also registered with Google Analytics. This gives me a very good array of display options for my website metrics, even the ability to perform simple comparisons to trends from a previous period. 
     
    http://wssdevelopment.blogspot.com
     
    Chris

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