I’ve decided both to switch to less powerful blogging software and to keep my blog here at http://kmi.open.ac.uk/marc, i.e. my home page at work is now also my blog page. (Earlier ‘legacy’ sites of mine therefore have ‘most recent (top of page) entries’ that point to ‘the next site in the chain’, ending at the URL I’ve just mentioned. The most recent previous site in fact has a most-recent-post very similar to this one.)
Rationale: I know it’s tricky when I’m chopping-and-changing, testing out different blog environments, sometimes using public-hosted blogs and sometimes using my servers at work. Even trickier given that old blogs leave trails, e.g. Google will still pick up former blog entries. So my solution now, having used Radio Userland on both public and private servers, TypePad on a public server, and Blogger on a public server, is to use Blogger but have the entires written to a server at work, hence the URL above that I’ve now settled on. I enjoyed the power of Radio Userland, the aggregator and newfeed capabilities, but was not enough of a power user to warrant the effort, and have commented in my early blogs on the user interface and problems with the users’ mental models of blog publishing life cycle.
Blogger is, at the time of this writing, less feature-laden and a lot less powerful than Radio Userland, but it’s sufficient for the quick entries I’m now doing, and I like the no-brainer intergration with the ‘Blog This’ button on the Google 2 toolbar. That featue alone is enough to make a modest/lightweight user like me switch. I’m also a Beta tester of TypePad, from the folks who did Movable Type. That looks and feels great, but I don’t want to keep my blog on a hosted server, so for now I’m sticking with the Blogger -> own server solution. I may yet convert to Movable Type, which has a free personal use license to let me run their software on my own server, or even go back to TypePad or something else on the horizon, in which case there’ll be yet another ‘legacy trail’… but hey, you can’t see how these things work unless you use them for real, and a real test requires creating a public blog, so if that leaves a trail, then at least I can explain why and keep pointing to the correct/latest version.