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Sep 22 2005

Urgent Technical Blogular SOS

I have snapped. I need a better way to blog. TypePad is bummin me out bigtime. If it worked better I could put up with how slow it is, but lately it seems to blank out every couple of days, and right this minute it’s just returning error messages no matter what I do, so the hell with it.

I used to use iBlog, which I liked because everything was on my own hard drive and I could use the Twisty domain, but it littered a bunch of incomprehensibly-titled files all over the place and made archiving a nightmare, and it was not very Twistifiable. I need control, dang it. Have any of you geeks got my solution? Do I need Moveable Type? Should I just get a job at a goddam newspaper like a normal blowhard? I’m begging you.

13 comments

  1. marsha

    I’m still using blogger. Which has a few issues but over all works often and well for me now.

    But if you figure it out let me know. I looked at Movable Type but they started talking about Perl on the installation and my head hurt with fear of the unknown and complicated.

  2. alphabitch

    I’m terminally irked with blogger’s chronic failure to submit to my every whim, so I’m trying to master Moveable Type at the moment. It’s not rocket surgery, but there’s a learning curve. I’m also investigating a few other alternatives to Moveable Type and will shout far & wide if I find a good one.

    Please, Twisty, don’t get a job at a newspaper. Your skills would be wasted, your numerous and radiant charms hidden under one of those damn bushel baskets, and your vision obstructed by looming editorial wickedness. And all those damn bylines and deadlines — it’s just not worth it.

    On the other hand, they could use more people like you.

  3. Knotted Knickers

    I’ve used Blogger, b2, WordPress, Movable Type, and Drupal. Blogger is by far the easiest to use and customize, and while I’ve heard (er, read) lots of griping about its lack of reliability, I’ve not seen evidence of such over four years and several different sites.

  4. Steph

    I moved from Blogger to typepad a few years ago and haven’t looked back.

    Please don’t let computer problems force you into print.

    Is the patriarchy acting out against it’s most fantastic blamer?

  5. Chris Clarke

    Opensourcecms.com is a pretty cool site for testing out different blog software suites. They’ve got it set up so that you can actually log in and post using the software you’re most interested in.

    I’m happy with MovableType myself despite their abysmal marketing cojones and smarmy, non-patriarchy-blaming business plan. Plenty customizable, plenty good plugins.

  6. yami

    WordPress is my CMS of choice. It’s a slightly simpler install than Movable Type but about the same thereafter, for most purposes; I only switched ’cause I wanted to learn php.

  7. bill

    I went from Blogger to MovableType to WordPress and found each to be successively preferable to the previous one.

  8. Twisty

    Yes, but how smart do I have to be to Press Words? After a lifetime of relying on Dreamweaver, I know about 4 HTML commands (are they even called “commands”?), I have no idea what Perl is, or CSS, or PHP, and that’s the end of my web developing story.

    Anyway, thanks all yall. It’s clear that I need blog lessons. Surely there’s some blog-happy noodlehead in Austin who gives blog lessons in return for bags of dog hair?

  9. Gerald

    I went from iBlog to WordPress and would never go back. You only have to be slightly geeky to get WP to do what you want. It’s pretty intuitive, has good controls, and a range of customizability: from using a pre-made theme to tweaking a pre-made theme (me) to making your own theme from scratch. It’s quick too. Go for it!

  10. Hissy Cat

    I’m using Movable Type and overall I am very happy with it. You also really don’t need to know Perl or PHP to use MT. I don’t know either. CSS is fun because it makes things look pretty, but it’s not absolutely required. I recently taught myself CSS and, incidentally, I would be more than happy to help you or even just make a neat template for you (for free, of course; I want some practice using my CSS skills). I don’t live in Austin, but I’d be happy to help you out answering questions or whatever. Look at my blog (blog.hissycat.com) or my friend’s (deathbeforeonions.hissycat.com) if you want to see what I’ve done.

    WordPress seems trickier than MT. I think the Blogger to Movable Type to WordPress progression is pretty usual as each is more customizable than the last.

    Also, the book “Web Design in a Nutshell” is one of the best purchases I ever made. I HIGHLY recommend it, especially if you are like me and have no patience or clue when it comes to most computery books.

  11. Chris

    WordPress (I use it for my two blogs) or Moveable Type. You can set WPt up with hundreds of free themes, probably MT has as many graphic themes as well. Are you on a Mac? If yes, you can set up a trial site on your own computer with CocoaMySQL (comes with a nice Mac installer) and PHP (already on your Mac) and work on blog development offline, then upload to your live site. I don’t know if MT can do that. However, that may be a bit beyond what you want to do. You can still use it and not know a thing about PHP, of course. I find WordPress really powerful. And it’s got some nice spam killer modules. And it’s fast. And I’m a geek. So, you probably know the drill, beware of geeks bearing advice.

  12. John J. Goddard

    Having started only 6 months ago, I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of blogging, but Blogger is working out just fine for my purposes presently. It has a few minor kinks, but I’ve found ways around most of them by now. We’ll see what happens when the site starts getting media-heavy…

    Now that I’ve read this thread, I’ll probably spend way too much time investigating other technology. I knew there must be something more powerful and versatile than browser-based blogging out there…

    Newspaper job? I’ll just say that the only thing more loathsome than a smug, misguided editor is a drunk chef with an ego problem. I know from up-close personal experience. I do what I can to avoid being or being employed by either.

    Some of your photos are really fantastic. Very handsome presentation.

  13. Kara

    Word Press doesn’t really require much HTML knowledge, but if you want your own template, you need some serious CSS skills and a touch of PHP deciphering. Blogging with it is even easier than Blogger in my opinion. I really didn’t like Blogger’s user interface. Word Press is even easy to install if your host has it preloaded – check the admin page. Good luck!

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