My adventures in blogging began with a series of tests of different blogging platforms. I felt that I couldn't advise people without at least trying them.
Part of the test was to see which platform would be picked up first by the search engines. Interestingly enough, WordPress was picked up before Blogger in my test. However, Blogger did seem to be well followed and documented.
My only real complaint with both platforms is more a complaint relating to Microsoft Word. Word inserts a lot of formatting tags in text. When folks copy from Word and paste into their blog, it transfers all of those tags. The WYSIWYG editor that I like to use on my Joomla sites has a "paste from Word" function that strips out those tags. Why do I care? The tags over-ride the style that the designer associates with the page.
Suppose I decide that my blog pages will all be displayed in Verdana font. I set up the style in the back end to control the size of the entries, the way the headers look, etc. If I copy and paste from Word, it will bring in the font that the Word document uses -- whatever that may be...and it will over-ride my lovely page layout. OK, so it's easy to change the font in the post, right? So I change it and all is well.
However, one of the beautiful things about a style is that I can change it. Suppose I decide to decorate for Christmas and re-design the site in red and green with a lovely Times font accent. THAT post won't change! That post still has the over-rides. This is why I scream when I see those lovely Microsoft "Smart Tags" as they are called. They are so annoying that a command was created to turn them off for a given page, however that command has not been fully accepted. End result: that'll fix it for some people, but not for all.
Anyway, I've moved my blog to my own site now. For anyone who is curious about the details: I'm using the built-in Joomla content system with a comment component added on. I don't need anything fancier than this, and I love the way it works together with the rest of my site.
In my newsletter, I related the analogy of a blog to the kitchen of a house. This ties in with something that happened while I was away at Surrey.
My husband decided to surprise me and paint the house! He got a group of friends to come over and they spent the day preparing a huge surprise for me. Our house is now a luscious chocolate cheesecake color with deep forest green trim. It is tasty looking -- actually, it resembles the forest cabin we wish it was. Once upon a time, my mother lived with us. As a result, my house has two kitchens. My husband decided that Mom's stove was better than the one I've been using and he moved it upstairs for me. My older son painted the kitchen while some others finished a painting project I've been working on for years in our entrance hall. My kitchen has been upgraded! I haven't had the courage to try cooking on the fancy stove yet.
In a website, there are many things we can upgrade or change. Getting each room of your house just the way you want it can be a lifetime adventure...and a website really shouldn't be any different. Your web home should become a place that reflects you -- maybe even more clearly than your physical home does. This is where you should be most comfortable, most free, and also most adventurous. Re-decorate. Try new things, explore.
This is why I love Joomla. It allows me to give my customers something they can play with. True, they can always call me in to do the re-painting for them, but if they want, they can try it themselves as well.