Friday, November 05, 2004

So how's the blogging going, anyway?

To revisit some earlier ramblings, I set this blog up mostly as an experiment in blogging, and because one of my main computer interests has become social software - so I really ought to be involved in actually using the tools that interest me! And what do I think so far, you might ask?

Well, I'm hooked. I really am. I am starting to get to the point when I make mental bookmarks of things that I think would make good blog posts. I was ecstatic when I got a comment, and I love seeing my traffic grow (I'm using for site stats). The process of blogging has led me to all sorts of wonderful online discoveries that I wouldn't have made otherwise.

I've had my own web site(s) for years - for personal stuff, for business, back when I was freelancing. I chose to make this blog a stand-alone entity on because I wanted to see how easy or difficult it was to emerge from nothing on the Web. Of course, I got impatient, because I'd rather be part of a big network than a wallflower in the corner. Human nature and all. And now I've got a third site to deal with - crows to burnaby. I just bought the domain name and I'm pointing it to this blog; should be good to go in a few hours. Is this not a bit silly, though? crowstoburnaby and aahlookout should be lumped into one site, but I can't bring myself to part with either name.

I'm not sure if I'm going to stick with forever. First, it's been having some server issues (coincidentally, the server started returning errors while I was writing this post, and if I hadn't copied it into the buffer, I would have lost it). Also, I'm finding myself increasingly impatient for some of the features that other blog services offer, like categories and TrackBack. And there haven't been any hints forthcoming from Blogger on when they're going to incorporate any of these features. I'm a bit surprised that they're so far behind, given that Google (who owns Blogger) is usually right on top of things and blogs are a pretty hot & trendy topic at the moment. Makes me wonder what's going on with them internally. Anyone care to enlighten me?

My other social-software dilemma is, of course, Furl vs. I've grown to very much like Furl. I appreciate that you can make links private - not that I need to often, but it's nice to have the choice. I get the feeling when using that it's more of a broadcast to the world, whereas Furl feels like my personal bookmark collection that I just happen to be sharing with anyone who seeks it out. Maybe it's an illusion. In any case, I'm going to keep using them both for the time being - I've only been using for a few days, so I have yet to get a real feel for it. It seems a little less organized and haphazard than Furl, but that does have its own charm.

And Flickr still rocks.


At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't know much about Blogger, but all of my blog-happy friends down here in LA seem to love Movable Type. There is an unsupported free version, so that might be a good way to go if you have your own server space and don't want to shell out for support (and know a bit of Perl).


At 2:57 PM, Blogger Kb said...

Yeah, I really like the look of MT. I just keep hoping that Blogger gets their act together so I don't have to port everything over... They don't even offer a pay-to-upgrade version any more like they did once, so it's not as if I can even upgrade to get more features! Harumph. I'd probably do it, too.

At 8:21 AM, Blogger Brian said...

Kirsten -- love da blog...

Just a quick note on Furl vs. I'm not sure if you have heard anything about the controversy around Furl's acqusition by Looksmart, and it's privacy policy/business model...

The URL above is a fairly succinct summary of the author's thesis.

I personally am not too freaked about it -- I tend to be more paranoid about Google and Gmail -- but perhaps worthy of consideration.

I too am using both tools -- and will likely continue to favour Furl (if only for the archiving and full-text archive searching), though the community keeps coming up with complementary hacks that might ultimately tip things in their direction. Also, with social bookmarks, the more users in the total pool the better -- and I get the sense that is more popular, at least amongst the bloggers I follow, though so far I find the recommender system with Furl works pretty well.

At 9:53 AM, Blogger Kb said...

Hey Brian - thanks! Glad you like.

And thanks for the heads-up. It does sound a little dicier than your average privacy policy. I have no problem with policies that aggregate general user info, but am not too very fond of being personally tracked. What a shame, since I do slightly prefer their interface and built-in features... I'm sure people are developing the equivalent add-ons to but it takes a little more time to hunt them down. But hey - you can't have everything, I suppose. does seem to have the momentum behind it. And since it isn't weighed down by a company like LookSmart, it's more likely to be nimble & quick on its feet & ready to adapt. I guess I'd better learn to love it, and perhaps gradually wean myself off Furl before I get too attached.


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