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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

OK, I've had a good relationship with Blogger over the years - I started using it back in Feb 2003 and even had a Pro account before it got eaten up by Google. Now however I'm thinking it's time for a change; the Blogger functionality is increasingly limited, and I'm not impressed with their lack of innovation. Consequently, I've been looking around for something else, but I'd be really interested in any comments as to what I should consider. The following is my wishlist:

MUST be able to blog directly from the page I want to blog about, which means a bookmarklet or similar on my Firefox links bar. One of the reasons that I've always liked Blogger was the ability to blog directly via the Google toolbar.

MUST be able to add things into different categories easily and quickly. I don't deal with much other than searching and web design, but I'd like to be able to categorise simply.

MUST allow for the easy option of podcasting. I'm not yet, but may do soon.

MUST allow for easy posting of images. (OK, most of them do both of these things, so I'm really keen on *quick* and *simple*.)

MUST archive and allow ease of searching

MUST allow the addition of a blog roll as easily as possible.

SHOULD allow for easy catching of comments, so comment verification or a captcha is important. Again, most do, so easy and simple is important.

SHOULD be an online tool - I'm not interested in faffing about downloading stuff.

Nice to have but not important - the ability to list what I'm reading, listening to, favourite flickr photographs, that sort of stuff.

I'd like to be able to import my blogger posts/archives as well, for the sake of continuity.

Hosting on my own site would be nice, but it's not a big deal.

I'm not bothered about having to pay for a service - if it's a good service, that does what I want, then I'm quite happy to pay a fair sum for it.

OK, doubtless there are a bunch of other things I should want, but those are key for me. And of course, lots of blog software will do most/all of those things, so my emphasis there is on simple and easy and most of all quick! I'd be really interested in comments and opinions as to what I should use, or any other important things you think I've missed out. (It's fair to say I've already got a candidate in mind, but I'm keeping quiet on that for now, don't want to influence your thoughts or opinions!)

Hey Phil,

Typepad will sort this out with a nice manageable interface (search would need to be Google or similar I think), or use MoveableType if you want to host it and manage a database yourself. MT has more plugs-ins, ie search.

PS - I don't have experience of using the other blog platforms, eg WordPress. Will leave those comments for somebody else.

Hey Phil. I think you should try WordPress. It's easy to install and use, does all the stuff you want it to and you can make it look and act exactly how you want, because of the best thing about it: it's open source!

BTW, you haven't been on Palimpsest for ages! Things have changed a bit recently...
Currently thinking about doing the smae thing for many of the same reasons - and due to lack of any new developments with blogger (it's becoming google's IE for me). Typepad seems like the best option, although domain mapping may also involve paying extra to get in enabled by your regitrar. Worth looking at iupload for something different though.
TypePad: I chose it, I really wanted to use MoveableType but that required me to do all sorts of things on the szervere (install MySQL etc) that my ISP was unhappy about.
Has its limitations, and I'd say go for MT if you possibly can, but it will do most of what you want. Sevice is pretty good, stats have been down a bit lately, but the help people are always nice.
PS: perhaps you should read this though, from Mena's corner
Thanks for the input everyone. The one that I had in mind was Typepad, so I'm going to explore it in a bit more detail.. watch this space!
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