wordpress.com vs. blogger.com

September 23, 2007

So, I’ve been trying to figure out if I want to move to wordpress.com or use wordpress.org on my domain, or do something entirely different (I’m running drupal on my domain). Occasionally, I have considered moving over to wordpress.com as well… I like wordpress. It’s not so much that I hate blogger, it’s ok, but I’ve been wanting to do something with all of my baby* blogs for a long while. Anyhow, back when I created the baby* blogs, blogger didn’t offer labels or categories (well, they still don’t offer true categories). WordPress.com wasn’t available. I used the baby blogs as a primitive form of categories.

The main reason I started using blogger was for an example for a class project journal. I wanted blog software that was free and easy to use in hopes that it would become an acceptible alternative to creating static html pages (yuck!) on the university’s website. There weren’t alot of alternatives then. I continued using blogger because I received a little bit of traffic from blogger (next blog, or searching in blogger), and I thought that was kind of nice. So, is it better to host on a domain or using a public blog software like wordpress.com or blogger?

..but maybe it’s time to rethink my whole blog presence. Neither wordpress.com or blogger is great, both have limits. When I started thinking about moving over to wordpress.com, I was excited about the ideas of true categories (wouldn’t it be nice to collapse all of my baby blogs into categories here?) but the lack of customized CSS is an issue. I do like wordpress and I would support it, but I don’t know… considering I can do all of those things for free if I host it, then it seems silly to pay extra to have it hosted elsewhere.

So, the dilemma. I read this article about blogger vs. wordpress vs. livejournal and I read this one, too. Basically, all of the same stuff. WordPress = categories good, Blogger = customize CSS good.

Here is my list of pros and cons. Here is my site mirrored here and here it is at blogger. Yes, it does not look like my site at blogger (the not able to customize templates, only headers issue). I’d love to hear from others who have used wordpress, blogger, or any other publicly hosted blog software. What were the advantages and disadvantages? Was it truly better to just host on your own domain? How easy (or not easy) is it to export from a public site (wordpress.com) to a domain?

*baby blogs = Not a blog about babies or small children, but a blog that is part of a larger blog. 😉 (just in case you didn’t catch on to that….)


…and all I wanted was a pepsi.

September 21, 2007

(pardons to suicidal tendancies…)

So, I posted a couple of workarounds/fixes I discovered about blogger to the blogger google groups. I guess someone didn’t like them, because they magically disappeared. No email, no post back (hey, that’s a stupid idea, or that’s been posted a million times before [even if I couldn’t find it in searching], no you posted too many times in a day), no nothing. Just magically disappeared with broken links under my profile. The first time it happened, I just reposted my post. I read the TOS and the only thing I saw that might be remotely relevant was about spam… and I didn’t consider it to be spam, but a workaround to something that’s not working very well in blogger. One part of a different post, I did later find a similar reference, but I didn’t find it in searching the first time. So, I thought I did something wrong. So, I reposted.
Apparently, my posts were meant to eh… not be there.

So, then I thought, maybe I should just move this blog on over to wordpress. In a worst case scenario, the user forum there will yell at you if do something stupid, but generally they seem pretty nice. However, moving a blog is such a pain and I kind of like blogger, but then I found out about the nifty little import tool. Seems to work pretty well.. if I can just get my categories sorted out. 😉

So, then I started googling for info about how to do some other things, and I received a message, accusing me of being spyware. yep, me.

Of course, I am running a virus scan, just in case, but I find it kind of wildly funny that this came up right after I tried to unsubscribe from a google groups.

So, eh, if my blogger magically disappears, too, I guess we’ll all know why. Thank goodness WordPress seems like a viable option. I’m very excited to collapse all of my school blogs into one blog. Let me know what you think, okay?


display only selected blogger labels (tags)

September 15, 2007

For those of you who use blogger and use labels/tags, just a heads up, if you delete posts that you have labelled or try to remove labels, it may not work properly. If you need help deleting labels, check this post.

A few ways around displaying all labels (and it would seem that this would be a feature in blogger at some point):

Use a html links list. Create a html links list to just the labels that you want to display. This approach works well if you want to display just a few labels.

Use del.icio.us ! Tag the labels you want to display using del.icio.us (ah! del.icio.us — my friend!)
http://del.icio.us/ and then use a del.icio.us link roll to a generate the script for you. Very easy.

1. Click on each of the labels you want to include in your list. Add the url for the label to your del.icio.us account. However, you’ll want to do a couple of unique things for these links:

      • Description: [blogger label name]
      • Tags: [Give your blog labels a unique tag — this should be the same for all of the blogger labels… I used blogger_labels in my experiment)
      • Save.
      • Do this for each blogger label that you want to display in your label list.

2. Go to the del.icio.us link roll creator http://del.icio.us/help/linkrolls

      • Make any choices you want but to only display the blogger labels:
      • Under Display options, check => Use only these tags (choose your unique blogger tag, in my example, blogger_labels )

3. Copy and paste the script into your blogger template or using Add page element, click on text option. Give your labels a name and copy + paste the code in.
Voila!

Using method 1 or 2, you can choose labels based on any particular criteria: your favorite topics, etc.

Looking for a way to limit blogger labels in a tag cloud? Read this.


deleting unused labels in blogger

September 12, 2007

For those of you who use blogger and use labels/tags, just a heads up, if you delete posts that you have labelled or try to remove labels, it may not work properly. You’ve removed the label from all posts, yet there it is in the label list, with a post count. Clicking on the post count, shows no posts associated with it. What to do?

I kept thinking about this, until I came up with a few workarounds. After much searching around at blogger groups, basically, the answers were create a list manually (the obvious!) or just create a “fake” post so that the missing label would match something (and no worry about the post count). I didn’t like that idea AT ALL; however, I did find that you could create a blank post and then delete links that did work:

If you end up with a label which has no posts associated with it, try this:

Create a post (no title, no content) with the label
Publish
Edit post/Save it as draft

Under the batch edit, delete the post.

If your unused label has a post count of 3, you will need to do this 3 times. I know, a pain, but it does work. 😉

Somehow it seems like this might be causing something to resync? Not sure, but worth a try…

If you are looking for a way to show selected blogger labels, check out this post.
Looking for a way to limit blogger labels in a tag cloud? Read this.
and of course, the peramalink for this post is here:


migrating to a new user name in blogger.

September 1, 2007

I started blogging at blogger long before google purchased it. Once google purchased it, users were given the option of continuing to blog the old way, or move on over to the google way. To entice people to move on over to the g way, google offered enhanced blogger with lots more functionality (widgets!!!!!!!! love widgets. thank you ajax. another topic)

When I finally moved to the google way, unfortunately, my user name at blogger migrated as a new gmail/google account. So, although I had a gmail account, I now had a second gmail account just for my blog. Sigh! Initially, everything I read online said there was no way to merge the accounts… never the two shall meet. However, I am a person who if it is related to technology and seems possible… well, I’ll find a way. Just about the time I decided that maybe I would just copy & paste all my entries into a new blog and back date as needed (bleech, been there, done that, for a different blog), I discovered the easier way to migrate a user name. Okay, it’s still kind of a pain in the ……

Anyhow, I’ve migrated all of my old blog to here, contentdivergent. 😉

..and here is how I did it in case that it is remotely helpful. You must do the steps in order and you might also want to test to make sure it does work (just create a new blog…)

  • You’ll need 2 gmail/google accounts (You already have one with blogger — we’ll call this one blogger-id for clarity; and then you’ll either need your alternate gmail account or you need to create a new one. The alternate account is where you are going to migrate your blog. We’ll call this one alter-ego for clarity).
  • Login to your blogger account using your blogger-id (gmail) account
      • Go to your dashboard. Under your blog, click on settings.
      • Under settings, click on permissions.
      • Add new author. Invite your alter-ego.
  • Now, logout of blogger.
  • Go to gmail and login as your alter-ego.
      • Click on the email for your invitation.
      • Follow the links, logging into blogger under your alter-ego.
  • Logout of blogger.
  • Log back into blogger under blogger-id (gmail) account.
      • Now, the most important steps:
      • Go to your dashboard. Under the blog you want to migrate, click on settings.
      • Under settings, click on permissions.
      • Change your alter-ego to admin (clicking on guest changes it to admin).
      • When your alter-ego is admin, both users (blogger-id) and alter-ego will display with a link, admin. Now click on the blogger-id and click Remove.
      • Scary moment, eh? Okay, logout of blogger.
  • Log back into blogger under alter-ego (gmail) account. You should see your blog with only your alter-ego listed.

NOTE:
This worked perfectly for me. I migrated 10 blogs (long story about why so many). Some sites state that you need to remove the original user (blogger-id, in my example) under the new gmail account (alter-ego, in my example). I didn’t find that to be true, but it may be due to changes in blogger/google. So please try this on a practice blog, before you do it. ;-D

best of luck, robin

…and a link from the blogger google group:
Google groups


Looking for a particular blogger feed?

June 24, 2007

Okay, so I was trying to pull my feed in from here to a different website, but the feed didn’t seem to be working. Thanks to a little searching around on ‘net (I couldn’t find it anywhere here at blogger), I found the format for the feed:

so:
http://xxxxxx.blogspot.com/rss.xml
http://xxxxxx.blogspot.com/atom.xml

Just replace xxxxxx with whatever the blogname is.

So, there ya go. Hope it helps someone else out.