If there’s a notable highlight (or, lowlight) that marks the internet in the 21st century, it’s the millions of web logs, blogs, that clog the ethersphere.
Blogs are all the rage, so much so that nearly everyone has a blog these days. Except me. And maybe you.
This is my second trip to Scotland with Kate to meet her relatives and try to curry their approval and win their favor. Most of what I get from folks here is, “What kind of name is Gomez, my dear?” My response is then followed up by a polite, “That’s nice.”
I don’t know if Kate’s family has warmed to me. Yet. As chilly as it is here, you’d think folks would want to do anything that resembles warm.
Regardless, Kate has warmed up to the idea of a scrap book because everyone we’ve met here has a scrap book and they can’t wait to sit down and show us every page of every scrap book and identify everything and everyone on each page.
Still, what these potentially future family members have done is capture bits and pieces of their lives into a book which can bring back memories, and can be shared, and can be handed down to children (I don’t know who gets what—maybe the oldest child gets the whole book).
Kate’s idea of going with a digital scrap book because it can be copied and shared is a good idea whose time has come.
My family is even larger than Kate’s so I don’t relish the thought of digging up bits and pieces of life to share, digitally or otherwise.
From what I can see, blogging is where it’s at, but I don’t have a web log. Yet. Neither does Kate. In fact, among the Mac360 team, more of us have family albums and scrapbooks than blogs. Ron has three. So, where to start?
Chances are good that you read a few blogs, as they’ve become quite popular among Mac users. Ron’s blog is noteworthy because it’s done using RapidWeaver and is served from a Mac mini on his desk. There are other, less expensive, less technically complicated ways to get the word out.
The word, of course, is blog, short for web log, which is a web site of regular chronological entries on various subjects. Some are popular. Most are not. But if rambling in word is what you want, a blog is a place to start.
Setting up a blog can be expensive and complicated, or very inexpensive, as in free. Google’s Blogger service is one of the most popular. Just register, login, select a template and a few preferences, and you’re ready to blog for free.
WordPress is another popular platform for blogging, but may require that you set it up using a server somewhere, add a domain name, and learn a little about HTML, FTP, mySQL databases, and PHP. WordPress is free, but you may need to spend money on a domain name and a host to serve the blog.
Mac360 started as Tera Jean Patricks’ personal blog about Macs, but quickly became a family friendly affair and full on web site about Macs. We use the popular but complicated Expression Engine as the content management system for the site.
Two popular Mac applications, RapidWeaver and Sandvox, have the ability to create a web log on your Mac which can then be uploaded to a server.
Both are word processor-like utilities that reside on your Mac. Open it up, add a headline, select the blog, type until your heart is on your sleeve, then click to automatically upload your blog update to your blog.
MarsEdit works with WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, Moveable Type, LiveJournal, Drupal, Vox and other popular online blogging tools.
Blogo works with WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, and a few others.
I like Blogo’s full screen editing mode. It’s like a word processor that’s made for your blog. MarsEdit has more features, though I like the preview function available in both. As you would expect with a utility that resides on your Mac, both Blogo and MarsEdit make it easy to drop in photos, and format the blog entry.
Ultimately, you have decide what you want, and how much effort you want to put into blogging. Apple includes iWeb ‘08 in the new version of iLife, and it will handle blogging, too, both for a .Mac account, and simple uploads to a remote web site via FTP. The .Mac option is a simple one click blogging tool.
From my research into blogging, the tools are numerous, the options are many, the choices are all good, though some are more complicated to set up and manage. Blogger is dead simple. TypePad has more options. WordPress and other database applications are more complicated. None are expensive choices.
Of the Mac tools, at this juncture I prefer MarsEdit and either Blogger or TypePad, simply because they don’t require me to set up anything except an account. I can begin a blog within minutes of registration.
Are you ready to blog? Do you have a family or personal blog? Does your company have a blog? Talk Back to Mac360’s readers in the Comments section below.