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5:13PM

Solving the Blog

I wanted to get up and running with my blog as quickly as possible, so I thought I'd investigate the common solutions on the market. I just wanted to create a blog, nothing more, nothing less. So I looked at the following:

Other more complicated solutions didn't make the cut, because good software engineers are like good mechanics. They want to spend as little time as possible maintaining their own car so they could focus on their clients vehicles.  So off I went trying to work with these solutions.

Drupal

(http://drupal.org/)

Drupal pitches itself as an open source content management platform. Thousands of add-on modules and designs let you build any site you can imagine.  Actually the image I have of Drupal is one of community plumbing. You can do anything with Drupal.  With a little bit of elbow grease and some time, you can build a beautiful website. The only word I can think of for Drupal developers, is invested. I don't blame them. After all the time they invest in building a Drupal site, they should be invested.

My wife and I started a blog in Drupal in 2005, I even wrote a cool module that allowed guests to RSVP to our wedding. However it seemed that every new release of Drupal required me to make several changes to our blog just to keep the styles in tact or to keep parts of it working. When I ported the data from MySQL to Postgres, I didn't buy myself any friends, and Drupal documentation and help gets sparse on the Postgres side of things. Just remembering the countless nights working on that blog brings back chills. No more research, Drupal 7 you might be great, but you've just rubbed me the wrong way these past 8 years.

WordPress

(http://wordpress.org/)

This seems to be everybody's darling these days. WordPress describe themselves as web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. I see them as simple and elegant blogs.

Anyone can create a WordPress site. Most WordPress sites are attractive by design, and they're pretty easy to maintain and install. I was one step away from a WordPress install myself. However being a software engineer, if I was going to do WordPress on my sever, I wanted to reconfigure my server, so I was setting up my VPS to deploy a WordPress stack, I really had to stop myself from overkill here. I'm a software engineer. I don't have regular web hosting accounts, I've got machines in the cloud to run and develop apps.  Why was I wasting my time configuring WordPress?  I still think it's pretty, and accessible for the average person, but it's not something I need right now.  I just want to share and document my content.  WordPress has a hosted platform, and it might be a good place for people who are hoping to grow their WordPress blog from there.

Posterous

(http://posterous.com/)

I was really enthralled with this service. Several software developers who I highly respect blog using Posterous spaces. Posterous is a blogging platform which lends itself to mobile blogging and life streaming. However that's not to say people aren't writing software blogs on Posterous. Additionally, the service boasts the ability to control who you share your posts with, at a more granular level, similar to Google+ and Facebook. Honestly the only reason I didn't sign up with Posterous, was that the sign up form wasn't working for me in Chrome on Linux. Yeah... no thanks.

Blogger

(http://blogger.com/)

Blogger, Google's forgotten blogging platform that a few (million) diehards use, and let's face it, if you've seen one Blogger site, you've seen them all. They're mostly pretty blah, but you can customize the entire blog by editing the HTML template directly. Blogger fit my unique need perfectly. It allowed me to create and customize my blog in minutes. It then allowed me to point my existing domain here for free. Also I can integrate with my Google Account really easily. Actually I'm writing this post write now and feeling a bit freaked out about how easy it is.  It just works.  So for my particular need, Blogger was an ideal fit. Over time I can customize my Blogger template by tweaking the HTML and CSS.

Would my blog live forever in Blogger? I have no idea what the future holds, but the great thing about the Google suite of apps, is a little known project at Google called the Data Liberation Front. Their goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to take your data out of any of Google's applications and leave Google. Did I say I love the Data Liberation Front? Yep, true story.

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