Ilene clued me in to the joys of Post Options in Blogger. Just click on the blue Post Options link in the lower left portion of your Blogger post window and you can either allow or disallow comments (which I don’t care about) or … change the date and time of your post. The ability to make posts appear as if they were made in the past (not entirely Kosher) or future (I do it all the time in Movable Type) is something I miss from the earliest days of Blogger. I’m glad to see it’s either still here or has made a triumphant comeback.
In an effort to have just a little more control over what I write, on which of the many PCs I use I write it, and where I post it (i.e. to one or more of the blogs and other sites to which I’m spreading the news), I started to use Google Docs again.
The problem being that I can hardly keep track of anything that I didn’t write and post instantly. I’ve got three notebooks, each a different size (one “moleskin” type book, though no skins were harmed in its making; one composition book; one steno notepad), and a number of computers ($15 Laptop, $0 Laptop, converted Maxspeed Maxterm thin client, Dell Optiplex GX520, iBook G4), have of which change Linux distros as often as most people change underwear (that’s daily, for those of you not following), with /home partitions constantly moving, being deleted and otherwise being ignored.
So the theory is that by centralizing everything on Google Docs, I can better keep track of what is where, what is going where and what went where. That’s the theory anyway.
And while I’m on the subject, it’s time for me to make complete backups of all my blogs, especially Click, which has the most posts and is on a server that is nowhere near as reliable as those of Google or WordPress. The great thing about WordPress, as far as backups go, is the ability to export the entire blog as XML. For Google, and probably for Movable Type, I’ll just have to save monthly archives going all the way back
But I haven’t been the most prolific blogger of late. It all began when the esteemed, highly qualified individuals who run the insidesocal.com blogs (including Click) decided that the best way to stop DNS-level spam attacks was to put an IP block on the entire European continent, costing me every link I could hope to get for Linux-related material (yep, Linux and FOSS is huge in Europe; where else would they even think of publishing “Debian Fur Dummies”?).
So I stopped pimping Click and started this blog, also throwing items to the great LXer. Losing Distrowatch as a source of links to reviews of Linux and BSD distros was probably the biggest blow. So I’ve pretty much been not caring about traffic on Click, which hovers at a steady 150-250 a day.
I don’t know the first thing about making a WordPress blog look as good as All About Ubuntu, but I’d sure like to learn.
The RSS feeds and tag cloud on the side I could probably do. The theme Digg 3 looks good enough that I just might use it here. I don’t know how he did the graphic at the top, but I’d like to roll my own and do that, too.
So far, the positives about WordPress are the built-in statistics, ability to import and export from other blogs (and save this blog in XML format), and general good looks for the blogs as they are.
Negatives: The 50 MB photo limit. As I’ve calculated before, that means 1,500 JPGs, which is a lot of images, but if I ever wanted to do video or audio, I’d bump up at that limit pretty quick. If I was using the system that heavily, paying $20 a year for more space might be worth it … but Blogger doesn’t have such a limit.
Also, it may just be my lack of familiarity with WordPress, but it seems a little bit clunky when compared to the Blogger interface.
But seeing a nice-looking blog in any system is the thing that makes me want to go with one or the other. Since both Blogger and WordPress work on what I think is called a “flat-file” database, entries are saved almost instantly, and you never have to “rebuild” a blog Movable-Type style.
The ability to import posts and comments from other blogs is what sets WordPress apart from Blogger
But does it get images, too?
The ability to bring in all my old Blogger posts … and maybe my Movable Type ones, too, would be huge.
I’ll check into the images situation.
You can also export a WordPress blog as XML. That’s a great way to make backups as well as potentially move WordPress blog content to another platform. Blogger doesn’t have that, I think.
That’s a way to make money. I don’t anticipate uploading anything beyond JPEGs. So how many images is that? Let’s say the average image is 50 KB. Ten such images would total 500 K, 100 would be 5 MB, and 1,000 would be 50 MB.
But not all images are that big (although some might indeed be bigger). I’ll give some wiggle room and say that you have to hit 1,500 images before you have to start paying ($20 a year, I believe).
It would take a long time to get that many posts and images, so it may indeed be nothing to worry about, especially since I’ve been posting fewer and fewer images on my tech-related posts. But … Blogger doesn’t charge for anything, as far as I know.
Are the built-in stats really worth it? Does Blogger not include built-in stats so it won’t eat into business for Google Analytics?
I’ve only been doing this for a few hours. It’s too early to tell.
One thing that attracted me to WordPress was the built-in statistics. Not that counting up traffic is what this is all about, because it isn’t.
Right out of the box, I’m not super-impressed by the pre-canned blog “themes” in WordPress. I assumed there would be more. I’m sure there’s a way to tweak or overhaul them; I just don’t know how to do it yet.
All my Blogger blogs are so old, I don’t have the “new” templates that supposedly can be changed easily. I never explored that “improvement” in Blogger because a) I haven’t been on Blogger all that much, and b) I know that doing so will wipe out my blogrolls. The latter isn’t so important anymore, as the blogrolls are pretty old and out of date. I just converted one of my Blogger blogs to the “new” template format, and all looks pretty good. As far as Blogger goes, I didn’t see anything new in terms of blog design, and I haven’t looked at templates in more than a year. At least WordPress appears to be coming up with new templates.
The WordPress interface is, in a word, different. I’m used to Blogger (and, sadly, Movable Type), but I’ll keep on going with WordPress and have more to say at a later date.
But Blogger Beta will play with Internet Explorer 5 for Mac. And as I wrote previously, since you can’t code HTML automatically as you can with IE 6 and Firefox, It’s almost as easy to send e-mail posts.
One thing you can do, even in IE 5, is select and create post labels. Does it do bold? I will find out.
There doesn’t really need to be This Old Browser, because I cover these issues in This Old Mac and This Old PC. But since the subject at hand is … old browsers, I felt it appropriate to begin a blog about old software on a platform built with new … software, namely Blogger Beta.
Since I can actually use the old, non-beta Blogger Dashboard on IE 5 for Macintosh (the most up-do-date, stable browser for System 7.6.1), I didn’t want to move my four Blogger blogs over to the Beta until I knew more about compatibility with a) This Old Browser (namely IE 5) and whether the e-mail-to-Blogger bridge was not an unholy mess — which it has been in the old Blogger. When I do e-mail in a post (one of the great things about Blogger … when it worked), some just disappear, most bounce back, some appear a day or more later.
And as I’ve said before, there are some nice improvements in the Blogger Beta, but nothing that compells me to make the switch. Eventually it’ll be mandatory, but until then I won’t move anything until I’m somewhat sure that I won’t be screwing myself (and getting screwed by Google) prematurely. You can put “labels” on the posts, which I’m trying to do here. That’s one of the biggies that Blogger has been missing.
That said, it’s nice that Blogger is a free service, and I can see in a somewhat roundabout way how Google could be making money from it, but it’s way more roundabout than explicit in its profit potential.
That said, I’ve used Blogger quite a bit over the past couple of years,