So I’ve decided to switch over to Blogger, driven mostly by the “halo” effect of Google+.
Let me start by being perfectly frank: I don’t do much “blogging” per se. My day job writing for iLounge keeps me pretty busy on that side, not to mention the trials and tribulations of being a stay-at-home dad in the midst of it all. In addition, when I feel I might have something particularly interesting to say, I generally simply turn to Google+ and post it directly there.
Despite this, however, for some reason I’ve always still felt the need to have a blog. Maybe it’s just because that’s what the cool kids are all doing, or maybe it’s just that it’s more of my own personal space to write my musings in the off chance that anybody ever wants to read them. To be fair, my blog also pre-dates the modern evolution of social media, so there’s been an impetus to keep it alive for legacy reasons.
My blog has found its way from a couple of non-CMS web page iterations in the very early days, over to a self-hosted WordPress site, and then from there over to Tumblr, which is where it has lived for the past couple of years. I moved away from WordPress largely because I didn’t do enough blogging to justify the headaches involved in keeping it up to date, and although I could have gone with a hosted WordPress solution, I chose Tumblr at the time because it seemed like it was more integrated with social media, and had its own sort of pseudo-social network thing going on. I had also looked at Posterous and Blogger at the time, and I’m kind of glad I dodged the Posterous bullet, and Blogger just seemed a bit too basic back then.
That said, my interest in Tumblr was never strong as it really was a silo until itself in many ways, and I found myself visiting it less and less — especially after Google+ arrived a couple of years ago. Tumblr has done some nice things with its iOS apps and site, especially recently, but in the end it continues to feel like yet-another-place-to-visit. I already spend my time hanging out on Google+, Facebook and Twitter (not always in that order), so to keep Tumblr on that list just doesn’t make much sense, and if I”m not really going there, I’m not really benefiting from having a blog over there.
So, with the recent arrival of Google+ integrated comments, it seemed that it was time to take another look at Blogger. I consider G+ to be my primary social network these days, so the idea that I could have a blog with tighter integration seemed to make a lot of sense. Not that I ever get that many (any?) comments on my stuff, but G+ seems like a much better solution for this than Disqus ever was.
It seems Blogger has grown up a bit since the last time I looked, with not only G+ comments, but some nice themes and customizations available that don’t require getting into HTML and CSS coding. Tighter integration with Google+, social sharing buttons (I had to code those manually in Tumblr), and better analytics also round out the list of nice features. The only downside is that there doesn’t appear to be any easy path for migration from Tumblr — the few that I could find either don’t exist any more, or don’t work properly, requiring more messing around such as going at it via WordPress. Fortunately, I have few enough posts that I don’t mind doing so manually, and have already moved a good portion over just last night.
Ultimately, it will be interesting to see if this move actually encourages me to blog a bit more. I definitely find the interface easier to work in for traditional writing, and the “newness” of a different platform may encourage me to visit more and therefore write more. I’m also hoping the G+ integration will provide a bit more exposure, thereby providing some opportunities for feedback and actual conversation — I’m looking forward to seeing what the integrated nature of the comments actually offers in the long run.