Decisions decisions, which one do I choose?

I am going to have to make some fairly tough decisions soon regarding which blogging platform I am going to reside on permanently. At the moment I seem to be all over the place, and have practically as many blogs on the go as I have social networking sites! Each one has to have a separate username and password, and being of the ‘muddle headed, lousy memory’ type, I am constantly having to move from one persona to the other, causing me to have to keep a very large writing pad handy just so that I can check on which username is for which blog. I have even got one or two blogs on the go which are simply used for testing themes etc out!

It’s a fact that since I bought my first computer several years ago, I have done more writing than I ever did previously. User names, passwords, email settings, router settings, notes, ideas for blogs, ideas for feedback, notes for my how-to’s over on Windows Live, URL’s I need to remember, the list is endless.

The decision about where exactly to keep my blog, both this one and my more personal one essentially hinges on what if anything has been changed in our Windows Live Spaces in the new Wave 4 updates. Windows Live has been my main blogging site since it first saw light of day, but it is now beginning to look worn and jaded when compared to other blogging sites.

Living with Live blogIt badly needs some new themes. Some new layouts. New up to date modules for twitter and Facebook for example. New fonts being made available such as Segoe UI.  It has served me well all these years and I have made many friends on there during that time, so I would be sad to leave it all.  I love how it tends to be wider than other blog site themes are, its about 720 pixels for the writing area.  However, it is not possible to use your own customised header on there to give just one example unless you are really a dab hand at HTML (which I am not,)  and  in fact there are lot’s of things you can’t do with your blog to personalise it on Windows Live.

I wandered over to try out Blogger some time back, and at first I thought it wasn’t for me as there were only  a few default templates available. Then I tried doing a search for  ‘Free Blogger Templates’ and wow! There are absolutely loads and loads of different blogger templates available, most converted from WordPress.org by willing people!

Blogger Neither here nor there blogI love my Grungy blog on Blogger because I love the whole Grunge look. If I had the know how, I would make it wider in the writing area, but that’s all I would alter. I have changed the fonts used in it already by simply changing the fonts in the Edit Template feature available on Blogger. Not that I know anything about HTML mind you. But those who convert these themes are usually pretty helpful to any users who want to change things around and do some customization.

My other more serious blog on Blogger has a lovely template  that makes it look ‘serious’ but also a little different as well. It has a ‘splash’ of what appears to be an ink stain behind the writing area which scrolls as you read the blog post. Yet being simply black and white it manages to still look business like whilst still managing to look different from the rest. I changed the fonts in that template as well.

Blogger tittle tattle blogThen there’s my techie blog on WordPress. At the moment I am using one of the new themes for that called ‘Under the Influence’ (very apt name for me actually!) and although you can do some customisation with this theme, you can’t alter the fonts used without paying for the Custom CSS upgrade. It’s the best of the new themes for me at the moment as its one of the few where you can easily alter the width of the writing area. (which I did.) I like a fairly wide writing area. The thing I don’t like about it are the tiny tiny fonts used for the Widgets in the sidebar. You can hardly read them!

Wordpress tittle tattle blogTo add to all the others there’s also my WordPress ‘Diary type blog.’  For now, although I would have preferred to use the new ‘Twenty Ten’ theme for this, I simply couldn’t get Live Writer to sync with it properly and that ability is a huge deciding factor for me when choosing a theme or template. Windows Live Writer has to be able to fully sync with the whole theme.  So I am using that old WordPress stalwart ‘Vigilance’ for that particular blog. It does allow you to use your own header and background which is something, and Live Writer had no problems syncing with that, despite the fact that they are fairly similar. Go figure.

Diary type blog on WordPressI suppose for all of us bloggers, its about making that blog page look unique so that is looks different to everyone else’s even if there are thousands using exactly the same theme as you. So being able to customise any theme offered so that you can make that theme or template your very own tends to play a very big part in any decision we bloggers make regarding which blogging site we use.

So, decisions decisions! I shall have to wait until the Windows Live Wave 4 updates are available before I come to any firm decision about where my blog finally resides, but it has to be done! I know this, I can’t keep them all on the go! It’s doing my head in, and anyway I’m quickly running out of usernames and passwords!

TG 

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About technogran
A granny and a geek? You bet! Still trying desperately to keep up with it all.

13 Responses to Decisions decisions, which one do I choose?

  1. fotdmike says:

    Ah yes, the good old “too many usernames/logins” syndrome. I know the problem well. Only too well.
    Like yourself, far too many blogs really. Although in my case not so much on different platforms but masses of different self-hosted ones (where of course customisation isn’t a problem).

    Could of course be overcome simply by having the same username/password combo for each, or even implementing that OpenID system, but both those options seem to me to be a tad dubious security-wise.

    I’ve sometimes toyed with the idea of consolidating them all into one sort of jumbo “compendium” blog. But as they deal with vastly different topics then it’d likely need to be some sort of ezine-type format… and that seems just a mite too pretentious for li’l ol’ me.

    Anyway, I shall be interested to see what you finally decide to do.

    On a different point entirely, I was fascinated to read your take on page-width.
    Curiously, one of the things that drew me to the new default WP theme (Twenty Ten) was precisely that. And most of my blogs tend to have a narrower “text area”.
    There’s also a direct relationship (in a typographic context) between page width/line length and size of font.

    I suspect most ‘net users have become familiar with a smaller font size and consequently, when I first deployed Twenty Ten, the larger size in relation to page width was a bit of a shock.
    But I’ve been using it for, I dunno, a couple of weeks or so now and its already become completely comfortable.

    There’s also an interesting article here about this whole subject that one of WP’s theme team pointed me in the direction of.
    Many (far too many) years ago I used to be in the printing/graphics trade so what the article has to say, although applied to web design, wasn’t really new to me… just a refreshing reminder of so much that I seemed to have forgotten.

    • technogran says:

      I shall toddle off and have a read. I suppose text and font size largely depend on what type of monitor your using AND how good your eyesight is. As it tends to be the ‘older’ ‘silver surfer’ type of reader that my blogs tend to attract, I need to have text and fonts that are easy to read. I love twenty ten and if I did use it, I would be able to get Live Writer to post to it using any size font I liked.
      That’s why I love that program (as do many others who swear by it as well) so I would not be limiited by the stock size of the theme itself.
      Been over to have a peek at your mates blog, it looks neat but only a fairly narrow writing area………nice and business like though.
      thanks for the comment.

  2. Ramblinrick says:

    WordPress all the way… I didn’t realize you maintained so many blogs on different platforms.

    Rick

    • technogran says:

      I do for now, though they are actually clones of each other. That is why I need to come to some sort of decision, I only really need two, a techie one and a personal diary one.

  3. Pingback: Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#59) « What's On My PC

  4. Amber says:

    You could try Posterous (posterous.com) – it allows you to post to most blogs and social media at one time. It’s called autopost.
    Not to mention posting content to Posterous is ridiculously easy – just send an email. Or you can use the bookmarklet.
    Here’s a brief overview: http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/posterous.htm
    (disclosure: I write for the site, though that’s not my article.)

    • technogran says:

      Aaah but does it work with Live Writer? Can I use text wrapping around my photos? Are there lot’s of themes in posterous and is the writing area wide?

  5. Sandra Lee says:

    Hi Sandra,

    All my blogs are on WordPress now and, as you point out, it’s so much easier in terms of one log in, etc.

    I finally decided to get the CSS upgrade and have discovered that CSS is so much easier than I ever imagined. It’s a deal at only .04 cents a day to be able to make changes to so many different elements on your blog from fonts, to font colors, to defaults, to the width of the writing area, and more. Since I’m new to this, I am not being too adventurous, just changing the easiest things. I just read over the information on CSS provided by the links on the sticky at the WordPress CSS forum and then went to it. It didn’t take much time and I am so much happier not having that chunky font (Impact) for my blog title. I have suddenly become a big fan of getting the CSS upgrade!
    I have more fine-tuning to do, but I’m happy with the changes I’ve been able to make so far.

    Good luck with your decision. I love having you here at WordPress. 🙂

    • technogran says:

      Sandra, the only thing wrong with my decision whether to pay for the CSS upgrade on here or not so that I can alter fonts, colours etc, is that I can do all that and more over on Blogger for free! It’s all about giving your users exactly the same features and facilities as your competitors are currently providing.
      I write my blogs, not to make money, but to say what I think about the internet, services and programs we all use, and also to keep a daily diary.
      I resent being expected to pay for any of it on any blogging site when I can tailor a theme or template elsewhere for free.
      TG

  6. crestind says:

    I’ll probably be switching to WordPress from Windows Live Spaces if there aren’t many new features. All the WordPress posts are delivered through the Windows Live Spaces feed anyways, so it’s like you’re blogging through Windows Live Spaces anyways.

    • technogran says:

      Yes they are really doing some very nice themes on here now crestind. And you can have pages etc, so it is a nice site to have your blog and you are quite correct that they work well with the Windows Live site.

  7. Seika says:

    Ironically, WordPress, being one of the provider very closed to customization (compared to Blogger) supported Bing webmaster tool for free now. In the other hand, Windows Live Space doesn’t have such an analytic tool.

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