Monday, April 7, 2008

Blogspot vs. Livejournal

Prior to this blog, I kept one over at LJ for four years. A couple of people have expressed interest in my opinion on which service is better, so here goes:

1) LJ doesn't really like Safari (Mac browser). Blogger/Blogspot HATES Safari, and so I wound up downloading a free copy of Firefox for Mac in order to get things to work (particularly uploading photos). This change has enabled me to do web site links in my blog, something I am very excited about. It may be possible to do links on LJ using Safari, but I was never able to figure out how. Posting to either service using Explorer on a PC works just fine.

2) I started out with a paid account at LJ, but then let it lapse into an unpaid account with fewer services. Basically, all this meant to me was that I couldn't post photos with my blog entries unless I paid a $20 yearly fee. Blogger, on the other hand, is free AND, from all appearances, allows you to post as many photos as you want.

3) Blogger allows you to opt out of search engines prowling your blog. Many of my public LJ entries were picked up and cached by search engines, and even after turning the public access off those entries are still cached (much to the dismay of my mother). If you care about such things, it's worth making a note of.

4) Blogger has fewer basic design templates, but there is more freedom in "decorating". The photo at the top of my blog is a photo of mine that either I or a friend of mine took, and I was able to upload it as a backdrop to my blog title. I like this.

5) LJ has a better "search" tool, enabling you to find blogs that you might be interested in reading. But to do a really targeted search on LJ, you need to have a paid account.

6) Blogger appearst to have more blogs that you would ACTUALLY BE INTERESTED IN READING. I found LJ to have a preponderance of high school kids on it. Blogger seems to cater to a much wider age demographic. I also found a lot more stuff on LJ that was just plain raunchy, whereas I haven't found a lot of that here.

7) Anyone can comment on Blogger. This can be good or bad, depending on what you want.

8) Blogger does not appear to have anything akin to "friending" on LJ. I say that with the caveat that I might just not have found it yet.

9) Formatting on Blogger can be a little problematic. It's not always WYSIWYG; sometimes I have to add some extra spaces or actually edit the HTML (which, seeing as I don't know HTML, can get a bit dicy). I never had any formatting issues with LJ.

That's the comparison for the moment...if I discover other things along the way I'll let you know.

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