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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Name the New Blog

The Admission Department of Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, IN is planning to write a blog. I'm pretty excited about. We're seeing it as an opportunity not just to post information but to have a conversation with anyone/everyone but especially those who see themselves serving Christ in a Church vocation.

But here is where I could really use your advice. We want our blog to be funny, serious, edgy, and conventional. So you see our problem.

First, we need a name. I want the name to have a bit of jazz. It needs to be sticky, y'know, to stay in the mind. I've thought of lots of possibilities, but mostly they are dull. Maybe I'm too picky. My personal favorite so far has been The Maggot Sack, a reference to a famous Luther quote where he talks about human frailty. Now that's a sticky name. But a lot of people whose opinions I value have been less than enthused. Weirded out, but not enthused. So give me names people!

My second quandary has to do with which blogging service to use. I've been on Blogger for several years with Burr and I am generally pleased. But I figured this was a good opportunity to examine some of the other main services. The two contenders right now, other than Blogger are Typepad and Wordpress.

Without question, Wordpress seems like the most versatile. But it also seem like you need to be a computer programmer to use it. Which I ain't. As much as I like what I've seen so far, I don't have the time to spend all night trying to update my blog.

Typepad appears to be more powerful than Blogger in some ways and much easier to use than Wordpress for a novice. BUT, the big thing I don't like about Typepad so far is the very limited look. All their templates look basically the same. Typepad blogs are great for content but seriously stink in terms of style. I'm after both. If you know an easy, inexpensive way, to make a Typepad blog look like it did NOT come off an assembly line, please let me know.

Blogger is still a strong option because, like Wordpress, it's free. It's also the easiest to use. It's much more feature rich than it used to be. And here's the biggie, I already know how to use it. My problem with Blogger right now is that I want to host my own domain name. I don't want the word "blogspot" in my URL. Now, I know blogger says this can be done, but i am skeptical and afraid that it'll be a mountain of headaches.

Any suggestions?? I need your help! Pleeaaasseee. Serious suggestions only, please. . . . Why haven't you written a comment yet?

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7 comments:

Jane said...

I have my domain name redirected to blogger and it works fine. I just did it through the company that I got the domain name from.

Roxann said...

I currently have my blog on Wordpress and I like it. It took just a little bit to get used to the Wordpress format- and this is probably because I was accustomed to the LiveJournal format I had used previously. But now, its really easy to update my blog.

I think Wordpress is a great option. It is the type of blog host that works great if you have a techie friend- they can set it up so that it looks how you want, but the day-to-day stuff of posting, adding links, adding pictures, etc. is pretty straightforward and easy. And even non-techie minded people can make pretty nice blogs. ]

The biggest caveat with Wordpress is, for ultimate functionality, you need to be a paid member. You can do a lot with the free version, but it all comes within limits. I've just been creative at working within their boxes, and its done fine.

Dan at Necessary Roughness said...

Just because both the chainsaw and the X-Acto knife seem to be in the WordPress toolbox doesn't mean you have to use them. :)

I've started a couple of blogs on wordpress.com, and one gets about 15 default templates to choose from. Some of those templates you can customize further with menus.

If you haven't already, create a test account with them, kick the tires, and then build your real one.

Cindy and Rick J. said...

The first comment by Jane may be the best option. Your hosting company (or possibly the company you use to register the new domain name) can redirect your new domain name so that when www.yournewdomain.com is typed in, it secretly goes to yournewdomain.blogspot.com (the user still sees wee.yournewdomain.com).

Another option is to find a hosting company that supports Wordpress. The hosting company can probably perform a default, basic setup of Wordpress for you, and plenty of help is out there for Wordpress users.

Here are some links that may help from ProBlogger.Net:

- A list of blogging tools with discussions of what is best.

- "Choosing a Blog Platform"

Hope this helps!

Cindy Rae
The Wildlife Porch

Dizziness said...

No need to be a paid member for Wordpress. Just have your crack IT department set it up on their webserver. Its open-source and free.

George Schmidt said...

Just a name for the blog suggestion:

"Canterbury Bound" ;)

ghp said...

Ahh, the age-old question --- "What blogging engine/platform?"

Keeping it simple:
(1) if you want to be a hobbyist & tinker a bit beneath the hood, then run your own instance of Wordpress, hosting it yourself (e.g., what I do).

(2) if you don't want to pay at all, use Blogger or Wordpress.com

(3) if you want to have a "cleaner" experience re: admin-type stuff, while maintaining a professional-type look, and can justify some expense, then think about Typepad. It'll buy you a little more peace-of-mind than the free options, if only because paying $$$ gets you some recourse if/when things go a little wonky, and you could find someone to do the design work necessary to pretty the site up & give it some personality.

Frankly, given the official nature of the blog, I think there's something to be said for going in the direction of Typepad (with some design consulting rolled in).

If that cost is too hefty, then I'd give Wordpress.com a whirl, if only to get your feet wet with using & administrating WP, as it would also allow you to possibly move over to a self-hosted/adminstered WP instance in the future.

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