Sunday, October 11, 2009

Blogging Class

Saturday was the Blogging 101 for Writers class that I'd mentioned a while back. It turned out, it wasn't just writers who signed up; it was beginning bloggers with various backgrounds and plans for their future blogs. Our instructor was Tamara Sellman, creativity coach and independent editor.

A member of my critique group,
Martha Schoemaker, also took the class.

Isn't Martha a good sport, modeling for me? ;)

The class was interesting for me because I use Blogger, and Tamara had us playing with WordPress. Tamara is big into blogging and uses both Blogger and WordPress (she has more than one blog), so she is an ideal teacher. She said an advantage of WordPress is it can be used as a content management system. Not being a techie myself, that meant nothing to me until she explained a content management system allows you to have static pages. An example of a static page might be a page on an author's Web site that shows the covers of his or her books.

We started our own sandbox blogs (experimental blogs) just so we could mess around with and learn the WordPress capabilities. I definitely see some pretty neat things about WordPress.
One is that WordPress is integrated with Akismet, a nice spam-fighting tool. But I really like Blogger too. Both are free and easy to use. WordPress has upgrades you can pay for, but since these upgrades aren't anything that I need now, I can get what I want out of either one for free. Both offer beautiful templates.

I won't compare lots of features (Blogger vs. WordPress) because I'm not qualified. Still, I wanted to post about this because as bloggers, I think it's good to be aware of our options. Anyone can start a sandbox blog (it doesn't have to be made public--it's only for you to learn with) in order to get a feeling for what else is out there.

While my husband is a computer guru and willing to be my 24/7 tech support hotline, I am someone who is not tech savvy. If you have more info you'd like to pass, feel free to do so in my comments. Otherwise, tell me if you use Blogger, WordPress, or whatever, and say how it's going for you. I'm sticking with Blogger, at least for now. I like it, it's easy, and I'm comfortable here.


Tamika: said...

Since I am a newbie to blogging my expertise is slim. I love Blogger and since I am not computer savvy either, the navigation works well for me.

Wordpress looks extremely complex. Maybe one day...

Natalie said...

Yeah, I like blogger. It's easy :)

Jennifer Shirk said...

I LOVE Blogger. WordPress hates me.

I know WordPress has a lot of advantages, especially if you want your website and blog all in one, but I'm not a techie person.

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

When I first started my blog, I made a sister version on Wordpress just to see which one I liked better.

There are some cool things at Wordpress, but there were more things I didn't like. You can't use cool widgets in your sidebar (like goodreads, library thing, amazon stuff, etc.) AND the biggest deal was no follower feature. I hated that. I'll stick with blogger for now until I decide to spring for my own domain. :)

Dawn VanderMeer said...

Thanks for the comments! It's interesting to hear other people's opinions. Roni, the follower thing was a HUGE deal to me too!

Dawn Maria said...

Sounds like it was a good class Dawn. I am all Mac and use iWeb. One advantage with iWeb is that everything is in one place, website, blog, anything. Plus the Apple Geniuses help me.

There's so much more I could do to my site if I knew how. It's really amazing what's out there.