Jan 26, 2008

Blogger versus WordPress, tagging blog posts, and another posting tip

I thought that I would write a brief post here comparing Blogger and WordPress, two blog platforms I have some experience with. Up front, I must explain that I've been using Blogger for 1.5 years now and have just started to use WordPress. I surfed around this afternoon in search of a good article on this topic, but most of what I found was a bit dated and both services are constantly updating their offerings. Of course, some of you may have had experience with other services such as TypePad or Edublogs. If so, perhaps we can find time to discuss this during our live session today or at a further date here (via comments on this post) or within our Yahoo! group.

Many people I informally asked said that they switched from Blogger to WordPress last year while Blogger underwent some major changes and forced users to adopt a beta version during this transition. This transition period has since ended. From my experience, I think that Blogger is easier to get up and running for those with more limited technical experience. Both allow you to choose from numerous templates, but personalizing the banner at the top of the page with your own photograph or image has been easier for me with WordPress. WordPress also allows you to have multiple pages, with one page consisting of the blog portion. While these additional pages don't allow as much storage and aren't quite as easy as setting up a wiki, this might be something to bear in mind if you would like to have resource pages, etc. attached to your blog. WordPress also allows you to upload documents, where as on Blogger you can only link to documents you have uploaded elsewhere. For the more technology adept, with WordPress blogs it is possible to host your blog on your own server or to embed your WordPress blog within another page. I hope this might be helpful and that you all can add to this fledgling list of pros and cons of each service.

One thing I like about blogs...

One thing that I find tremendously useful with blogs that one can't do with most message boards, Yahoo! groups, or discussion areas is the tagging or labeling feature. This means that you can assign multiple key words to each post and then readers can later view all posts with this particular tag without scrolling through the entire blog archive. I took an online (quilting) course conducted via blog last year and this was a very useful feature for us. When we (the students) posted, we were required to tag each of our messages with at least two tags: our name (which I imagine would make assessment easier) and the assignment our post pertained to. We had another tag for general questions and another for resources we wanted to recommend to each other. I am going to follow the same procedures with the course involving a blog for business students that I'm conducting this semester.

Another posting tip for those of you new to Blogger...

I wanted to backdate this post so that Buth's post about tonight's live session would still be at the top of the page. I thought I'd share a little information about how to do that for those of you new to Blogger. I find this useful when I start a draft and come back to it later. If you save a post as a draft and then come back to it later, the default settings are that the post will be time/date stamped when you started the draft, not when you actually post. In Blogger, you can click below the box where you have entered your text (or images, etc.) on the blue link labeled 'Post Options' (to the left of 'Labels for this post:' where you can enter your tags for the post). Here you can change the time and date associated with your post. You can also choose whether to allow comments and backlinks here, as well. I hope this might be helpful to someone!

1 comment:

Carolina Lapointe said...

Hi Jen,
Thanks for the extremely useful information you give. You have the ability of explaining things in a simple way.I'm still working in my blog and the part about tags and its uses wasn't clear enough. I think I have a better idea now.
Thanks a lot!
Carolina Lapointe