Clean Blogging

A recent post by a fellow blogger recently brought up the Blogger v WordPress debate. I use WordPress myself. Why? Well I started out at MyOpera.com. But I pimped the blog to too many sponsored posts. It was very profitable, but when 80% of the content is sponsored….well, it became trashy. So I moved to Blogger for my ‘real’ blogging, importing all my non sponsored posts with me. But the visibility of that site soon increased and the same thing happened. So I moved to WordPress.com. Where I will stay, with much less pimping. Because, quite frankly, moving my blog around is a lot of hard work. Nine an a bit years of posts adds up to a virtual encyclopaedia of….well. Not that much, really. But it’s my Encyclopaedia of Not Much.

Which of the three platforms do I prefer? Opera was just so so. So not that one. But both Blogger and WordPress have their strengths and weaknesses. I like the freedom of Blogger. So long as you’re not posting anything illegal, then post what you like. It’s totally free and unlimited. Picasa and other Google products slip in easily. You can use Javascript.  But their standard themes are weak. The behind the scenes publishing tools are good but don’t quite look as professional. WordPress has a much better bunch of standard themes. It’s a rock solid publishing platform. But they do limit what you can do in so many ways, and you’re billed for even basic functions like having your own domain point to it.

I recommended to that fellow blogger that he stick with Blogger. The grass is always greener on the other side. You end up spending a whole load of time, with toil and trouble aplenty, getting all stressed only to find, having reached the promised land, you have a new set of irritations.  The standard theme shortage issue that Blogger suffers from is easily remedied. There’s a ton of custom themes that are free and easy to install. Ideally I’d use something clean and simple like this one, and then add a little light customisation. Get rid of the dotted background for a plain white, or light grey. Add a few pixels width to the main content section. And add a photo/banner where it says Quo. Install Disqus, and it’s ready to go. My big problem with Blogger was that every now and again I’d see a cool theme like this one, and go and over-complicate everything.

So I’m happy to stick with WordPress. Where it’s limitations are sometimes a good thing. I like the current theme I’m using, which I must have selected a good couple of years ago now. It looks clean, fresh, works well across different browsers and mobile devices and is eye-catching in a non eye-catching way. If you know what I mean.  I’d prefer the main content section to be a bit wider, just for the benefit of my photos. But one can’t have a cake and eat it too, don’t you know. But, you see, I still like to freshen up now and again.

The Twitter feed is gone. I used to tweet interesting things I found to share.  I am far from convinced that anyone ever clicked on any of those tweets. Facebook is a better place to share. I’ve replaced the feed with a bunch of buttons linking to my various social sites around the web. And with a traditional blogroll. I haven’t finished it yet, and probably won’t get around to doing so for a while. Feel free to recommend any must-read blogs out there that I’m missing.  I would really have liked to  have incorporated Pocket, my latest shiny internet play thing. It was born from the debris of Read it Later, and is my current must-have mobile and web app for saving stuff I find on the web. Alas, they haven’t really mastered sharing yet. There is an RSS feed, but it’s a sloppy job. It’s still an excellent app though – see image below.

Anyways. Did anyone ever actually click on my old tweet feed? Do the new buttons look too shiny? Is it time I changed the look/theme entirely??

Pocket   Queue

10 thoughts on “Clean Blogging

  1. Hola Gary!

    I never clicked on the tweets. I like your format (and content, for that matter), and should I ever start a blog, am inclined to use WordPress.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we are PRAYING that the groundhog doesn’t see its shadow tomorrow. Please please please!!!!

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    1. I would be inclined to suggest any new starter takes the plunge with WordPress rather than Blogger. It definitely has the overall edge as far as putting content on screens in a straightforward manner is concerned.

      And from what I hear, the groundhog forecast bodes well. 🙂

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  2. I like your current setup, and no I never clicked on the tweets. I am using WordPress and have moved away from Blogger because as you say it got a bit complicated and did not really like their themes. Not doing much blogging as I have little to say at this point in time. Just enjoying reading your blogs and commenting if I have anything to add.

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  3. I love that first theme you pointed to! It’s gorgeous. I like the second theme too of course because I’m using it on my Addicted to Media blog!

    I’ll stick with Blogger now. My only lasting concern was the commenting system but I finally took the plunge to Intense Debate and I’m totally happy with my decision. You’ll be happy to know you were partially responsible for that decision!

    I can’t see that WordPress would offer me anything different at this stage.

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      1. I’ve decided that, unless you’re famous or newsworthy, Twitter is best used as a consumption service rather than as a publishing service.

        I now have other stuff in the sidebar for no one to click on….

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    1. I noticed you did make the switch! At last!!! Bloggers commenting system is the weakest link of them all, although I didn’t mention it because it’s so easily remedied. Both Intense Debate and Disqus do sterling jobs at that.

      You are definitely better off on Blogger than WordPress for one reason that springs quickly to mind, but which I won’t share publicly!

      (Other than to say that the reason is a WordPress issue, not an Emm issue, before anyone starts to think I’m referring to anything insidious!)

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