Skip to main content

I would like to know how much time, money, and expertise is involved in starting a serious blog.  I tried one once before, on one of the paid services in 2003, and found it sort of weak.  So I would like to ask those people on DKos on a Saturday night -- i.e. the kind of people who would know how to set up a blog -- for some advice.

I make this a diary rather than an Open Thread comment because I am hoping for enough commentary to make it worthwhile.

This is not only prompted by my interest in starting one up again, but also in seeing what a horrible job Time has done with Swampland.

Questions I'd like to see addressed are:

  1. Registering a URL.  Should one go with the cheapest?  If not, why not?  What are the ramifications, legal dangers of censorship, does it matter if you want to be private, etc.?  Where or how can one get the name of the blog as the URL itself as opposed to, say, having an ugly (IMHO) "blogspot" address?
  1. Where to host a blog.  Plenty of places offer space, often for free.  What features are worth paying for?  What added control does one get for not starting one at, say, Salon.com or through blogger or blogspot?  How does expected bandwidth figure into the equation?
  1. How to structure a blog.  Most every good blog will have comments, but what is the current thinking about moderation?  Registered accounts?  How much does it cost to just have Scoop, like Eschaton?  (Feh!)  How much for comments to cascade without threads, like FireDogLake?  (Hmm.)  How much for something allowing threaded comments, like DKos?  (Wow!)  How does one set up a group blog?  What in effect does "giving someone the keys" mean in practice, and what limits exist on the changes one's partners in a blog can make?  How much bandwidth is good for starters?  How easy and expensive is it to upgrade features?
  1. What skills one needs to run different kinds of blogs.  I can do basic HTML -- is that enough to run something like Hullaballo?  How much more would I need to create something more graphically interesting or with more features?
  1. Your own success and horror stories.  Please feel free to share them.

Originally posted to Major Danby on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 06:02 PM PST.

Poll

Do you have your own blog (not counting your DKos page)?

0%0 votes
19%12 votes
29%18 votes
42%26 votes
8%5 votes

| 61 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Dazzle me with your expertise! (12+ / 0-)

    I'll look forward to your information and discussion.

    My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

    by Major Danby on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 06:01:08 PM PST

  •  I have a small photoblog. (4+ / 0-)

    Not modest-sized by any means.  It is visited by family and friends only.  

    So that option was not reflective in your poll.

    Registering a domain is easy enough and cheap (in the 30 dollar a year range, if that).  Just google 'domain registery.'

    Hosting services like Movable Type, Blogger, or Wordpress are also easy to just to manage posting to your blog.

    The other questions I leave to others to answer as it rises above my limited expertise.

    •  Go daddy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CSI Bentonville

      The cheapest place to register domains appears to be Go Daddy -- which I've used before -- but I've heard that the guy who owns it is in the Tom Monaghan class of "don't want to throw him my business."  I don't know what either the alternatives or the considerations in choosing one would be.

      My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

      by Major Danby on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 06:16:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So, ya looking for a few good bloggers? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Danby, CSI Bentonville

    ...hope this gets some good responses. I'm curious, too.

    Thanks for posting it.

    Never, never brave me, nor my fury tempt:
      Downy wings, but wroth they beat;
    Tempest even in reason's seat.

    by GreyHawk on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 06:05:58 PM PST

  •  I have an iddy biddy blog (3+ / 0-)

    Though it is fun to post multiple times throughout the day on it.

  •  For what it's worth (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    2dot, Major Danby, CSI Bentonville

    I think the days of the single person blog are gone now--they just take too much effort and the market is too crowded to make it work on a large scale.

    I know it's possible to use blogger's platform (if you want it) and have it link to a personal url, but I don't know how to make it happen--my girlfriend's is set up that way (really small traffic).

    Group blogs are the next wave, along with communities--the first it seems has more options for control. Communities are a bit more freewheeling. And it also seems to me that you need to have, not a gimmick, but something unique that sets you apart from the eight bajillion other blogs/communities out there.

    And like a few others here, if you just need someone to spout off belligerently every day or two, I'll be glad to help. ;)

    I want to die like my grandfather, peacefully in my sleep, not screaming in terror like his passengers.

    by incertus on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 06:10:40 PM PST

    •  It might well be a group blog (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CSI Bentonville

      But my sense is that a group blog generally has one person in charge of making it happen.  What I would probably have is two blogs, one group one and one for more personal stuff, the latter being more rarely updated.

      I'd expect to focus on a wide range of areas based on my background -- social science, politics, law -- but it's very premature to look for play partners yet.  (Though thanks!)  ;7)

      My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

      by Major Danby on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 06:14:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I keep waiting for a better ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Major Danby, CSI Bentonville

        .. blogspott.  It won't be long until a higher quality blogging platform is available for free.  

        Imagine an ad supported scoop site for example where a third party (scoopblog) pays for the infrastructure and gets the ad revenue, while you provide the content.  

        A conscientious man would be cautious how he dealt in blood.

        by decon on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 07:00:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Here's my question (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CSI Bentonville

        If you're going to be blogging about things that generally get covered here, why not do it here?  My attitude is simple, and it's advice I share with political friends all the time: reach the people where they already are.

        I do have my own blog, which is now a group blog -- but it has almost nothing to do with the topics here.  Link below.

    •  Oh yeah (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Major Danby, CSI Bentonville

      I have my own as well. Been at it for about 3 years now, and I have a handful of readers. I used to be very political there, but now it's more of a poetry/lit/work related blog.

      I want to die like my grandfather, peacefully in my sleep, not screaming in terror like his passengers.

      by incertus on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 06:14:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  completely disagree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Major Danby, CSI Bentonville

      I think individual blogs can still find a place, because I think local blogging is the wave of the future.

      I started a blog on wordpress and I really liked it, and honestly I was shocked at how fast I got traffic, from here and from other local blogs. Since I've moved from Buffalo I don't really have much to say.....

      All the young dudes, carry the news, boogaloo dudes, carry the news....

      by Buffalo Girl on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 06:46:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have a blog (4+ / 0-)

    actually, I have an "online journal" dating back to the days when people posted personal narrative on the web and the word "blog" didn't exist.

    Anyway, my insights re:  some of these questions

    I register URLs with gandi.net, because they don't resell 'em out from under you without warning.

    I host mine at vervehosting.com, because it's cheap (all the "blog" I need for $10/month) and because their tech support has always been good, fast and friendly

    I use Wordpress software (teh free!) for my blog, because I usually only get a few comments per entry and it handles those well enough.  To run wordpress you need a host that has database support.  You can actually also host on wordpress.com if you don't want to do any of the setup yourself.

    A monkey can install Wordpress.  It has excellent documentation and it is seriously the easiest setup ever.

    Wordpress has different permission levels for different types of users, and it's not hard to give yourself total control over the back end while giving a group of other people "mod-level" power.

    The "personal journal" style of writing has made me nervous now and again about getting "outed", but, I have been very careful never to leave blog tracks on the internet.  It is nigh impossible to link my blog to my real name, and I use HTML META tags (noindex, noarchive, nofollow) to keep it out of the web archives -- have since the very beginning.  I will never be found in the wayback machine and can "make it all go away" in an instant.

    •  Very helpful, thanks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CSI Bentonville

      So I can install Wordpress as soon as I can find a monkey?  ;7)  I know that this is what FDL uses and it seems pretty nice.

      One thing I've learned about myself is that I'm not going to be able to hide my identity; my past is too much a part of who I am and what I have to say.  And my identity would not be that hard to figure out from what I've posted on DKos anyway, which is permanent, so I might as well just suck it up and life with being tracked.

      That's good to know about gandi.net -- other ones do that?  How can they possibly do that, unless they've expired or you didn't pay?  Amazing.

      My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

      by Major Danby on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 06:27:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is a lot of sleazy business (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Major Danby, CSI Bentonville

        done by domain resellers.  The thing is, if you've used the domain that means there's a demand for it.  If you sign a contract with the wrong kind of reseller, they "own" the domain name.  And then they choose to not notify you when it's up for renewal, and try to sell it back to you for tall dollars.

        A lot of people I know have learned this the hard way over the years.

        Gandi is a nonprofit european organization and you (to the extent that you can) really "own" the domain you purchase from them.  I'm not sure of the legalities but they are a good reseller.

        •  My my my (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CSI Bentonville

          So one can't transfer a domain name to a new vendor?  That's pretty nasty, if so, especially as GoDaddy has my personal name for a URL.  Has that ever been challenged for personal names?  Do they ever go back into public domain?

          My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

          by Major Danby on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 07:05:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Since personal names aren't unique (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Major Danby, CSI Bentonville

            unless you're Barack Obama, it's hard to argue that you should be the only one that can buy/use a particular personal domain name.  I registered my full name a long time ago and I take care to keep it up to date.

            You can transfer between resellers.  I don't think people have too much trouble with GoDaddy, though.  The best thing you can do is stay on top of your registration.

            •  I currently own my namesake URL (0+ / 0-)

              and it doesn't come up for renewal until January.  I just want to make sure I can move it, so long as I do find another reseller I like.

              My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

              by Major Danby on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 07:34:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Also, re: wordpress (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Major Danby, CSI Bentonville, mikk0

        It seriously takes me about two minutes to install and configure every time I upgrade.  But I have to admit to having a background in scientific computing and being comfortable in a UNIX environment.

        If one of your bloggers is a techie they should be able to do it easily.

        If you have no techie and want to have someone else maintain it for you there are companies that specialize in blog hosting.  Wordpress.com lets you start a blog for free and then if it takes off you can switch to "VIP Hosting" which supports high-traffic blogs.

  •  Dkos Diary as Blog (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Danby, CSI Bentonville, mikk0

    I use my diary as a blog.  In fact, I post much more to my diary than I do to my active blog, http://solarray.blogspot.com

    I also keep a friends list to which I distribute other writings and have been doing listservs and webpage publishing in my own small manner since about 1995.

    Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at http://solarray.blogspot.com/2006/03/solar-video.html

    by gmoke on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 06:22:01 PM PST

    •  I've been doing the same, but (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CSI Bentonville, mikk0

      There is a different feel here.  And I suspect that my stories won't scroll down quite as quickly if I have my own blog.  ;7)

      My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

      by Major Danby on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 06:38:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Archive and Comments (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Major Danby, CSI Bentonville

        On solarray automated spam tends to be my only comments and I have to moderate the discussion.  Here, that's already taken care of.  Although I do see when looking at the "solar" tag that I'm one of the few interested in my topic.

        I also use my diary here as an archive, a public commonplace book and refer to those archives frequently.  There's only so much new any of us have to say and a difficult message bears repeating.

        Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at http://solarray.blogspot.com/2006/03/solar-video.html

        by gmoke on Sun Feb 25, 2007 at 02:46:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Mine is modest (4+ / 0-)

    but it's a good place to vent.

    I tinkered with the approach, design, and even the subject matter over time. I have settled on current events opinions and limit myself to 150 words. This has been an interesting test. I has helped me stay focused on one topic at a time.

    I also post opinions I find on the net -- quite a few from this site -- as well as other blogs I visit. But try to keep it to less than 150 words.

    I find this to be a cheap hobby. Costs me something like $12 a month, plus whatever it cost me to register the domain (I forget but it's cheap). So for about $150 a year, I have a place to rant and vent.

  •  e-mail me! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Danby, mikk0

    and e-mail me an addy that doesn't bounce back grrr!

    technically this is not off topic!

  •  i have the coolest new blog on the internets (4+ / 0-)

    and i've had over 500 hits in the couple weeks it's been up, but no one comments! unclear on the concept, some of my family and friends check it out every day, then email or call.

    it's in my sig line...

    © 2007 because i needed a homepage, and the world needed another blogger...

    by Laurence Lewis on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 06:42:15 PM PST

  •  someone say something (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Danby, CSI Bentonville, mikk0

    about protection from comment spambots. I don't know how to deal with that but it is something I had a problem with and can be a real pain.

    All the young dudes, carry the news, boogaloo dudes, carry the news....

    by Buffalo Girl on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 06:54:50 PM PST

  •  Content is king (4+ / 0-)
    Be prepared to spend 10-20 hours a week or more blogging and researching for blogging. Post something every day, preferably two or more posts a day. If you can't handle that, get co-bloggers and assign scheduled posting times. Your site won't be worth visiting unless you have stuff on it.

    The blog I used to write for had 7 contributors and died because none of us had time to write for it. We tried assigning 1-day-a-week schedules and only two of us could commit to a day, and only one of them actually held up the bargain for two or three weeks before being buried by life like the rest of us.

    It might also be good to have a direction for your blog. Consider choosing something to specialize in. If your blog has information that no one else does, it might become the internet's go-to location for that kind of information. Orcinus became the place to go for analysis of fascism, Atrios for rapid dismantling of Republican lying points, Demagogue for Darfur updates, TPM and FDL for Plame Affair analysis, LGF for Muslims Behaving Badly (an example from the other side, but it counts). Or don't. It's up to you.

    •  Social science, law, and politics (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mikk0

      Would be the most likely intended area of concentration.  And DKos meta.  ;7)

      My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

      by Major Danby on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 07:08:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why not start a new blog immediatly? (4+ / 0-)

    Costs nothing, no commitment, plenty of online help in the form of FAQs.

    Either at http://www.blogger.com/...

    or http://wordpress.com/

    With the experience of running a free "cheap and cheerful" blog under your belt, you will be better placed to know what you are looking for, should you decide to start a blog from your website space :)

    •  I'll be taking a cross country drive soon (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CSI Bentonville, mikk0

      moving my stuff out to the West Coast from the East in a U-Haul, and I want to wait until after that for the sake of continuity.  I did have a blog at one point in 2003, so it's not entirely foreign to me.  But that was like two decades ago in Internet years.

      My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

      by Major Danby on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 07:10:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  my blogging experience (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Danby, CSI Bentonville

    I started up a blog with a buddy of mine...and here's how I do it.

    I use the blogspot interface, but I don't host it there.  I purchased a domain and set it up to where I could use www.mydomain.com as the main site.  Configured the way I have it, I log into Blogger, do my thing, and Blogger sends the files and whatnot to my web space.  I used blogspot because I didn't want to mess with Scoop or anything.  Basic HTML skills are all I have, so it works out nicely for me...if I actually updated it.

    I must recommend a hosting service if you choose that route.  Webstrike Solutions kicks major ass.  Their support is phenomenal, and the price can't be beat...the first year is free.  I own 2 domains and like an idiot, I went with a cheaper webhost after I'd used Webstrike for 3 years.  I had just graduated college, hadn't found a full time job yet, and couldn't afford the yearly fee.  So, I went with some other cheap host that would let me pay month to month.  I still regret it.  So, when time came to start up this blog (that I currently neglect) I went back to Webstrike.  They also offer monthly payments if you so choose, so that helps out a lot if you don't want to pay the yearly fee in one big chunk.  Anyway, I strongly suggest using them for your hosting needs.  More info at  http://www.webstrikesolutions.com/

  •  I've got one word for you: (5+ / 0-)

    SoapBlox.

    (click the sig to see an example, though I'm sure you've seen many Scoop-based sites already)

  •  for major major major... (0+ / 0-)

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    © 2007 because i needed a homepage, and the world needed another blogger...

    by Laurence Lewis on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 08:17:00 PM PST

  •  What do you mean by... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Danby, CSI Bentonville

    ...a "serious" blog?  No offense to all those here with personal blogs, but when I say a "serious" blog, I don't mean a personal blog.

    (The terminology is all screwed up anyway. In my lexicon, DKos isn't a blog; it's a website with a bunch of blogs called diaries.]

    The Senate is the last bastion of white supremacy. --Andrew Gumbel

    by Free Spirit on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 09:07:04 PM PST

  •  Just say no to wordpress (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Danby, CSI Bentonville

    Seriously.  It has a bad security record.

    My favorite blog ap out there by far is serendipity

    You could also do a lot worse than something like blogger to start out with.  

    A webhost I can recommend without reservations:

    http://www.grokthis.net/...

    •  Really? I'm getting so much positive buzz (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CSI Bentonville

      about WordPress that I'd like to know more.  Can you link to anything describing these problems so I can review them?  (I just don't line blogger's lack of features, but maybe I should check it out again, as well as what you recommend.)  Thanks.

      My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

      by Major Danby on Sun Feb 25, 2007 at 03:25:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  nothing you can do (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Major Danby

        It's a matter of poor coding practices by the developers.  

        do a search for wordpress here:

        http://nvd.nist.gov/...

        They are generally patched by the developers fairly quickly, but that still means reinstalling the software and work on your part.

        •  I took a look at serendipity (0+ / 0-)

          It's impressive, but it looks like maybe difficult for a relative novice.  I also worry about something that is run by one person who could get hit by a bus.

          My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

          by Major Danby on Sun Feb 25, 2007 at 09:39:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  no different than wordpress in that regard (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Major Danby

            Because serendipity is open source with many people contributing code, the loss of a primary developer would not prevent the community from maintaining it.  This is one of the main advantages of the open source development model.  

            The initial installation and configuration is going to be the most difficult part of dealing with any web application.  You might need some help there.  The easy install of wordpress also makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot if you don't know what you're doing.  

            One of the advantages of serendipity is the plugin system which lets you automatically install and configure plugins without having to download them and ftp them to your site and configure them manually.  

            Ease of use vs features is always going to be where the tradeoffs are.

            Another one that's worth a look is lifetype. http://www.lifetype.net/

            I'm currently using it as the basis for a small advertising supported blog hosting service that I'm developing for a mental health community.  If it works I may do something similar in a political vein.  

            •  I agree that opensource is a better model (0+ / 0-)

              The problem is that, as a non-programmer who really needs something fairly turnkey, I am afraid that I won't be able to get advice from people through forums, etc.  I'm sure that they would be willing to give advice, and that you would understand it; the question is whether I would understand it.  But I'll take another look.

              My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

              by Major Danby on Sun Feb 25, 2007 at 10:39:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Moveable Type? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Major Danby

                If you were to look at commercial software, Movable type is nice. Really nice.

                Also take a look at their hosted solution, typepad.

                http://www.typepad.com/

                I'd recommend either paying someone to do the work or finding a hosted solution you can work with.  Since you didn't specifically mention a budget (or maybe I missed it) I assumed you weren't wanting to go that direction.

                •  I was with typepad before -- wasted money (0+ / 0-)

                  I'd like to find something free, secure, stable, and simple, to start with.  After it gets going, then I'd consider shifting -- possibly to typepad or elsewhere.  Yes, eventually I expect to pay, but not at the beginning (this time.)

                  I appreciate your advice here, by the way, if it's not clear.

                  My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

                  by Major Danby on Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 12:16:49 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  a couple places to look (0+ / 0-)

                    http://www.opensourcecms.com/...
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                    I'm not sure you can find all those things in one place that still offers you the degree of control you might want.  Did you ever look at Vox?  It's got some of the same technology in it as movable type and type pad but is a free service with some social networking functionality inherited for LiveJournal which is owned by the same parent company.  That and blogger are preferred free blog hosts. Particularly now that blogger is owned by google, it should be around for a while.

                    Running a blog hosted at wordpress.com is probably a lot more secure than running it as a standalone, but that's only because holes get fixed as soon as they found and not because the code isn't an ungodly nightmare.

                     

                    •  What do you think of Blogger's code? (0+ / 0-)

                      I'm a Google fan, so that makes it more appealing.

                      My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

                      by Major Danby on Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 04:06:31 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  it's not public and never has been (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Major Danby

                        There's no real reason for it to be since it can't be installed anywhere else.

                        That's where I have my personal "friends and family" blog, the only one I have going right now.  I do web crap to pay rent so I can't really be bothered with anything requiring work for personal stuff.

  •  What about backing up your work? (0+ / 0-)

    Which platforms have good platform tools?
    If I get targeted by a DMCA or a right wing Jihad, I want to make sure that my pages are backed up so that they can be moved.

    6/24/05: Charlie the Tuna Creator Dies En lieu of flowers, please bring mayonnaise, chopped celery and paprika.

    by LunkHead on Tue Feb 27, 2007 at 01:44:06 PM PST

  •  I added the teaching tag (0+ / 0-)

    and will include it in my what have you got to learn? (or teach) tomorrow

    Interesting diary!

    What are you reading? on Friday mornings
    What have you got to learn? (or teach) on Saturdays

    by plf515 on Fri Mar 02, 2007 at 05:57:04 PM PST

  •  You should stop by my diary (0+ / 0-)

    tomorrow to ask this

    What are you reading? on Friday mornings
    What have you got to learn? (or teach) on Saturdays

    by plf515 on Fri Mar 02, 2007 at 05:58:03 PM PST

  •  Just a quick comment... (0+ / 0-)

    ...this came up as "recent" on my hotlist, even though its not...and since I'm pretty much useless on the issues of the day, and useless at centrist politics, thought I might have a bit of info for you :}

    In the context of a cheap/free blog, putting wordpress on bob's hosted linux would be my preference -- and virtually all of the advice on this thread was good.

    In the context of the kind of activism I've seen you reference here in passing, the economics are different.  I'm very sure you are closer to the techinical consigneti here than I, but here's the scoop:

    -- bandwidth is not actually free.  All of the great hosting services you see with unlimited bandwidth for free or ten bucks a month are making a bet that nobody really cares about your site, or that it will even out.  As soon as you are genuinely popular, or running serious pipe space, you'll get a letter or your site will just go away.  If you are planning to get popular, you can either buy per gigabyte (ick) or by metered bandwidth.  If it's metered, it will either be billed "at 95 percent" (which means they check at n random intervals and you must be below the requirements 95 percent of the time), or else you can have them cap it (if there is a good router above your system at the hosting facility).  Capping is a good way to not go broke...

    -- corollary to the above, you can actually figure out your maximum readership -- very roughly -- at any given time, as a function of how long it takes to load your site, how big it is, and the bandwidth you can support.  There are other limiting factors, but this is a real number....figure it out :) (Note: if you are on bob's hosted 10 buck a month service, there is probably no way to get real numbers, because you are sharing a physical pipe -- one NIC -- metered and modulated as it might be -- with 10 to 200 other hamsters)

    -- if you want your own server -- as opposed to 1/100th of someone else's -- you can simply buy one for 800-1500 dollars, and put it into rack space for between 1000 and 2000 per year.  For the higher number, you can rent a quarter rack.  This is about a quarter of dkos, guesstimating by past architecture descriptions.  I run a single 2u server in a rack for 1200 per year with 1mbps guaranteed bandwidth, metered.  Having covered that initial hassle, I can go higher without too much expense (but I don't run a blog -- I run voip lines and several online database services for enterprise clients -- so my needs are pretty predictable)

    -- if you are just one person, it's worth buying redhat and subscribing (I'm commenting so late that no one will jump me lol).  For about 300 per year, you can get a server-capable OS with regular updates.  For another 100 per year, you can get server AVG to sit on your email and file transfers.  True linuxheads will scoff, but for that 400 bucks a year, it is essentially plug and play security.  Since your server is sitting with it's butt out, this is not a bad thing...

    -- again, if you are just one person, you might want to consider a cisco PIX, if your provider doesn't have stuff like this at the switch.  You can get a used 500 series very cheaply -- about 500 dollars.  That way when Bob the Rightwing Virus Writer decides yous suck, you have at least a fighting chance over the DOS attack.

    -- you should be able to find a human being to configure and load up the above for you for a few benjamins.  If you are willing to pay to have it configured, you can also have a standard x-windows desktop configured and made avaliable to you remotely.  While dyed in the wool server guys will scoff at you, this is a wonderful way to bridge the gap between command-line appliance gobbelty-gook and the idea of an actual computer, which works for you, and happens to sit in a rack...

    -- you can terminate 1 or more phone numbers on the computer as well, for 10 bucks per line or less.  The results can be emailed to you as wav files.  If you are setting up an activist organization, this might be an inexpensive way to fly...

    ...so...basically...about 3k to set up, about 1500 a year, to have a robust and predictable interent presence.  For, say, an organization dedicated to constitutional restoration :} Of course, the above applies just as much to selling camcorders as blogging...

    Heh...I got to feel useful for 10 minutes...prolly wasn't though...

    •  Actually, this was very helpful (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jessical

      I'm nervous about running Linux (I do not have the makings of a sysop) and I'm not sure what "bob's hosted linux" means -- who's bob?  What I envision is starting a blog mostly to get my ideas down and public -- the old-fashioned approach, for the most part, but I also would want to bring in various friends not from the blogging world to contribute so that it's not just me.  If it catches on, great; if it's just a group diary and sandbox, that's OK too.  What I'd like to do is to be able to port it to new homes as it grows, like a hermit crab; this is why starting at WordPress (despite the problems noted above) and moving on to SoapBlox when it's time to have a real community where readers can have diaries sounds good to me.  I have no idea what to expect in terms of readership.

      There's another web-based project that I'd like to do, but it strikes me as potentially a real time- and money-sink.  But it's probably the most useful thing that could be done for the progressive blogs.  I plan on diarying about that project "eventually."

      Thanks for your taking the time to offer guidance!

      My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

      by Major Danby on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 01:23:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  heh... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Major Danby

        ...glad it was semi-useful.  Blogspot or google or even probably msn are "bob's hosted linux" (actually they might use bsd, or cheap windows servers -- but bob was intended to be a generic...)

        ...sounds from what you say that something managed might be the way to go, though, if you don't want to get dirty fingernails :)  Most everything is portable, it's just a question of whether to spend time keeping it consistently portable, or doing everything at the end :)  Managed solutions tend to mean everything at the end.

        ...the sysop stuff is fairly brainless once the drill is down...it's kind of like painting your own house :) I mean, if you used to be a social psychologist then ANOVA is no mystery, and there's  nothing so complex in linux shy the kernel code :)

        Eventually I think there is a huge financial difference between being in a highly managed context and managing your own...but your solution sounds quite sensible.

        •  I'll talk to some more adept friends (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jessical

          and see if they think I can learn enough to get by.  So this would mean buying my own linux box, right?  (ANOVA, yes; painting my own house, no.  A little acrophobic.)

          My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

          by Major Danby on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 02:16:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  well... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Major Danby

            ...you can buy your own linux box, or you can rent one from someplace like serverbeach.  The latter is cheaper fixins at first.  Even if you go with hosted everything though, it's not a bad thing to have familiarity with...instead of a Big Mystery and Magic Commands, it's just like on your old linux machine, only on someone else's system :}  The easiest introduction is probably to just grab an old computer before it hits a landfill, get a commercial linux distribution at Fry's, and put it on.  

            But it's something other people can set up for you, too, and perhaps a waste of your brain...basically you're going to be running an out of the box (or download) package for everything -- your own copy of wordpress, basically -- anyway, and someone else can set up your firewalls, security, and so on (and walk you through it).  The main advantages of having that level of control are scalability and customization -- if it's your own box or virtual machine, the person you hire to put on tailfins will have a much better chance of making it work, and work well, and when demand goes up by an order of magnitude, there will probably be many more choices about how to proceed.  

            I wasn't trying to advocate entering the market at any one point btw, just trying to provide some perspective on entry points :}

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site