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  1. #1
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    To blog or not to blog...

    Any advice on blogging?
    Been thinking of doing one for a while, just gaming reviews, stuff like that.

    Are blogger/wordpress any good? Or should I go for something that will hold my hand, like this http://website.1and1.co.uk? How idiot proof is this kind of thing?

    Any other advice about blogging would be good, how often, that kind of thing.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Use WordPress because it's absurdly easy to set up, and don't get distracted and stop posting *meeps*
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
    http://playingitwrong.wordpress.com/

  3. #3
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    Don't blog.

    On the blog topic, is there a single fucking blog site out there that doesn't limit the entry width to 800px like it's 1995?

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    I like the narrowing, it's good for mobiles and it's good for the brain, wide column are hard work.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
    http://playingitwrong.wordpress.com/

  5. #5
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    Exactly, 12 words is about right concerning width. On a previous job we had to write code comments in 12 word width sentences(well, roughly).
    PS2/NS2/Mumble: SirWigglyBottom
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  6. #6
    Lesser Hivemind Node Krathor's Avatar
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    Tumblr is good and nice to use if you don't want to mess around with multiple pages. It's very easy to post both in rich text and HTML formats. Good use of tags also gives you instant access to a targeted audience. I've used WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr over the past 5 years or so and I've definitely found Tumblr to be the friendliest interface.

    Of course I would say that.
    Guild Wars 2:

    Main character name is Seigous Bearheart. I also play on Duke Witherheart. And Lindenheart.

    My GW2 blog that you can follow on Twitter.

  7. #7
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    Wordpress can be a pain-in-the-arse (esp if you self-host it - security updates take-up your entire life). It's long since stopped being a blog and it's not a fully-fledged CMS used to make entire websites (this site runs it for example) - I'd advise against it as a starting place for that reason alone - tho the alternatives are not that wonderful either...

    Blogger used to be a decent alternative but 2 things put me off recommending it. 1 - Google are cleaning-house and I suspect it may be munged into Google+ at some point. 2 - it's apparently blocked or hard-to-reach in many countries.

    Tumblr is a microblog - it's really for sharing short bits of text/images/videos/links - it's really a Twitter alternative and there's no commenting which some people like to have - and Yahoo buying it could have allsorts of ramifications along the line.

    Other options include Livejournal (now Russian owned?) and there's a plethora or self-hosted stuff if you have those chops.

    As for whether you should blog - I blog because sometimes it's nice to write stuff down, to get it off your chest. I don't really care if anyone reads it - in fact at times I'd rather they didn't - but what I do and what you've considering are rather different.

    I'd advise you start-off with something simple - like a Tumblr perhaps - and see if you can keep-it-up. Consistency is essential if you expect people to follow/read your stuff - and Tumblr can auto-post your stuff to Facebook and Twitter which is quite handy (tho there's ways to do that with Blogger and other platforms too!)

    Also - there's a new contender coming, it's beta/invite only atm but it looks interesting
    http://tryghost.org/
    I'm quite keen to try that myself

  8. #8
    Network Hub Jambe's Avatar
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    Why not?

    If you want to blog "just because" it's likely (but not assured) that you'll post a few times and then forget it... which isn't a bad thing, necessarily, if you want your blog to function merely as a sporadic public journal.

    I'd suggest you set yourself a wordcount goal and spit shit out on a regular basis; you needn't even publish it. The number should probably be quite low: a couple hundred words or such (whatever you can get out in a brief timespan available to you every day). The point is to do it. Attempt the goal every day, and when it's feeling right or you've nothing better to do, really dig in. Once you get into the flow of pumping wordbits you can take time to reapproach your extant writing and chop bits off or abandon pieces wholesale, rearrange, dictionary-dive, play games, read, probe the minds of other players and critics, drink, etc. Slowly you'll get better, as with anything requiring practice.

    This is a biased recommendation, though, because I like RPS' casual/discursive style; if you wanna toss up screenshots with a number and a few paras, that's fine, too! Do, like, what you want, friend. If your goal is to be consistent, though – and through self-editing, consistently [i]good[/I – then do as Doctorow says and make writing a habit! Otherwise you won't have enough familiarity with your craft to be regularly decent.

    The free platforms are mostly interchangeable; they have straightforward editing, templates, post-by-email, comment systems, etc. A paid setup isn't necessary, but if you want more than "something.host.com" I'd suggest buying a domain. If you want to own the whole shebang I'd recommend installing your preferred CMS at a conscientious host like Positive Internet, Nearly Free Speech, Gandi, A Small Orange, etc (any of those would set up a CMS for you if you can't). There are dozens of CMSes out there but WordPress is probably the safest bet.

    GOOD LUCK BRAVE PHRASESMITH
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  9. #9
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    Thanks *bows* Also, yikes.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    Wordpress can be a pain-in-the-arse (esp if you self-host it - security updates take-up your entire life). It's long since stopped being a blog and it's not a fully-fledged CMS used to make entire websites (this site runs it for example) - I'd advise against it as a starting place for that reason alone - tho the alternatives are not that wonderful either...
    Never had a problem with Wordpress(othrer than the beforementioned width limitation and maybe the fact it uses HTML for formatting instead of BBCode), but I write most of my stuff in notepad anyway and then just copy and paste it.

  11. #11
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    I've tried many different platforms and one that only proven itself worthy is Wordpress. Someone said security updates can be a pain, but it's not that hard really. All you do is pressing a button in the control panel and it will update itself. Doesn't really require much of an effort.

    With Wordpress you can do a lot of customization for your blog and still being a complete newbie. There are tons of plugins out there which you can use, and the majority is free to use. Please be aware though that not all plugins are safe to use. Only use the most common ones and try don't use too many. Not only can it be a security issue further on but it can cause load on your blog which you don't want.

    Wordpress is so much more than a blog and that's one thing that makes it so good. If you ever feel like you want to expand your blog to something bigger, it's easily done - whatever it might be. I think Wordpress is the perfect starter kit for anyone wanting a blog.

    If you do decide to go with Wordpress you got two options. Either use the free version and host your installation at Wordpress and get a sub domain (yourname.wordpress.com) or you can host it yourself. You can with no doubt come by a good host for less than a few dollars per month if your only intention is to host a blog.

    Goodluck!

  12. #12
    Network Hub Jambe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omecken View Post
    Either use the free version and host your installation at Wordpress and get a sub domain (yourname.wordpress.com) or you can host it yourself.
    To clarify: you can use the free hosted version of Wordpress with a paid domain (yoursite.com instead of yoursite.wordpress.com). The vast majority of the free blogging platforms allow this (that's what I did with my old domain; I redirected it to my goofy mindfart tumblr).

    For whatever reason Wordpress charges $13 annually to map your own domain with them, which seems a touch sleazy given that tumblr, blogger, et al. allow you to point domains at them for no fee.
    Is not a leg.
    Frobnitz Ichor Liquor purveyors don't need compasses to tell which way the moon sounds.

  13. #13
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    It's a good thing owning your content (legally and technically), which is not always the case with services like Blogger. I had a blog on MyOpera and then they banned me because i hadn't used it in months and when i did the software thought i was a spammer... So i lost all the contents (gladly not much, but still).

  14. #14
    Obscure Node Geebs's Avatar
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    Blogging can be a good way to get thoughts organised in your head, but you have to be aware that at the beginning, and probably permanently, very few people are going to be interested in what you have to say.

    You might find that there's a better topic than video games though, because everybody else is doing it already; I only ever started blogging to share snippets of code where I thought I could save somebody else a lot of wasted time.

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