Thursday, April 30, 2009

Teh Internetz: Bloggity Blog Blog

Writing on Teh Internetz. We all do it. You may not want to call it blogging, but whatever.

Today, I bring you profiles of some of the more ubiquitous blogging tools. You know. In case you wanna get in on some of that easy blogging money!

(Caveat: There is actually no easy blogging money.)

Speaking of, these are all free services. Unless you want to get fancy, you can run a blog on these platforms for no money at all.

1. Blogger

Blogger is the blogging platform that's owned by Google. You know it; you're looking at it right now. It's Fringe's platform of choice, and it's fairly easy peasy. If you've got a Google account (also known as a Gmail account, though it does more than Gmail, people), then you can log in to and get started right now. However, there's not a ton of room for fancy personalization.

2. Wordpress

A favorite among the slightly tech-savvy, Wordpress sports a clean, streamlined look that can be calibrated to your personal tastes with lots and lots of options. It started life as an open-source blogging service at, but now it's got the balls of corporate backing. A favorite in my line of work because it's got some great content management systems.

3. Typepad

To my young eyes, it seems as if Typepad has been around since time began. It was one of the first blogging platforms, and it's grown a lot. Typepad is owned by the company Six Apart, which you may know as the creators of Movable Type, another of the early blogging tools. It's actually not too different from Wordpress, but in terms of branding, Typepad has always felt old person's blogging platform. Something almost business-like, I mean.

4. LiveJournal

LiveJournal, or LJ, is a blogging platform used mostly by suicidal teenagers and fans of Twilight. LJ is NOT classy. It's NOT pretty. It's NOT simple to customize. And it's certainly not a blog URL you'd want printed on your Big Girl business cards. But LiveJournal is good at community building, and if you want to bitch about TV shows and hot vampires, this is the place to do it.

I can say all these horrible things about LiveJournal because I use it. In fact, I use all these different services for different blogging projects. Depending on what you want your blog to be about and how much effort you want to put in its maintenance, you can decide for yourself.


Cindy said...

I love LJ as well, although it's not classy. I have considered doing my own blog on, but I think for now contributing to Fringe is enough for me. What I get from LJ is all the friends-only and custom feed choices along with an anonymity that would not be well-served on more legitimate blogging spaces. But I don't think my LJ journaling makes me a bonafide blogger. When do you think someone becomes a "blogger"?

TJ said...

Cindy (god I hate how Blogger doesn't have nested comments), Cindy, I think someone is a "blogger" if they are sharing information in some kind of regularly updated format that is useful or entertaining to an audience that could range from tiny to massive. Lots of people think they're blogging, but they're really just writing into a void, and this could easily be accomplished with a paper diary. I think blogging implies a community, or at least a give and take in reading and responding. That's what I think anyway.

Cindy said...

That definition works for me. I get the feeling that "blogger" is a word that people throw around without having a fully formed idea attached to it, which makes me hesitate to assign or challenge the term. Do you see blogging as a genre, or a performance? A person can write a poem and be a poet without sharing the work (although perhaps not a poet whose writing is "valid"), but a person can't be a slam poet without performing in slam competitions because otherwise you're just a poet with work that could be used in slams. I guess I am just thinking outloud.

so much cake so little time said...

you need a readership. an audience. if it's not just for you, not just for your friends, and you are hoping that someone in the larger world will find it, you're a blogger. if you're trying to participate in a conversation, not just monologue your day, you're a blogger. lastly, if you can't talk about certain subjects on your blog because too many people read it and that info could come back to haunt you, you are definitely a blogger.