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13 June 2012

The Free Blogging Site Experiment

Eenie Meenie Minie Moe

I recently picked up The Blogger's Book in my local Barnes & Noble bookstore. It's one of the many cool computer, art, and design-related magazines published in Great Britain. This bookazine is a guide to blogging with WordPress, Tumblr, and Joomla, and contains Getting Started, Hosting, Customisation, and Themes sections, as well as a section called Tips, Tricks & Social networking.

The Blogger's Book

Great, I said to myself, information about "the most popular blogging platforms". I started blogging back at the beginning of May and I chose to use Blogger because that was the only one I was familiar with. Well, actually I was familiar with the name, but whatever. In any case, apparently I hadn't chosen one of the top blogging sites (according to whom, I don't know).

I bought this publication with the intention of reading all about these other sites, possibly choosing one, and then moving my blog to it. But what if, I asked myself, I move my blog and then later decide I don't like the new site? Would there really be enough information in this publication to help me make a reasonable choice? I generally find that the more information I have access to while doing research about a topic, the harder it is for me to make a decision. My brain locks up with information overload and doubt and I end up either doing nothing or, invariably, picking the wrong thing.

Wait a minute, I thought. There's no law (that I know of) that says I can't have the same blog running on multiple sites. Why not keep my current blog, create blogs at these other sites, and run them all in parallel to determine by actual use which one I like best? So that's what I intend to do.

After reading through the Getting Started section, I decided to create blogs at WordPress and Tumblr. It turns out that Joomla doesn't host blogs, you have to have your own site elsewhere that you install their software on; therefore, Joomla is not an option for me. So off I went to WordPress and Tumblr, created accounts, and started working on my blogs. Each site took me an afternoon to learn how to find my way around, get my account set up the way I wanted, and get the first post published. In the process I started taking notes about my experiences so that later on, after I have blogs running at these sites for a while, I can write about the pros and cons of each and how they compare with each other. I gave them all similar layouts so the basic differences would be more obvious.

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