These days blogs have become so common place that if you or company doesn’t already have a blog, chances are you’re planning for it, or at the very least thinking about it. So the question is no longer to blog or not blog; it has now become where to blog.
Your options include offerings from sites such as Blogger, Posterous, Tumblr and WordPress, as well as applications on Facebook, or a content management system integrated into your website. There are reasons for selecting any of these options, but for our purposes today, we’re going to look at two platforms, WordPress and Posterous.
WordPress is a platform that has been around since 2003, and is the most popular open source content management system in use today. WordPress has been downloaded over 12.5 million times and is used by approximately 12% of the 1,000,000 biggest websites in the world. Many people choose to utilize WordPress as the content management system for their entire website such as one of my clients, Carolina Auto Spa. On the other hand, I have my blog, but not my site on WordPress. Downloading and integrating WordPress into my website is something that has been on my to do list for weeks, but I’ve managed to find excuses with end of summer activities because even though WordPress claims a 5-minute installation, I’m going to have to do some serious upgrades throughout my site.
Though this will require some hours on my part, there are great advantages of taking the time to integrate WordPress into a site. For one, it gives me access to a plethora of plugs in, such as:
- Apps to make sharing my blog to other social sites easier
- RSS & email subscription apps
- The ability to aggregate comments about my post on other sites such as Twitter and Facebook
- Full customization of the page layout
Additionally all of the content that I post to my blog is going to help my search results. I can only say “social media,” “brand,” or “marketing,” so many times on my site without making it extremely tedious reading for my visitors. However, I regularly talk about these subjects in my blog, so this helps the search engines see more frequency in certain keywords, as well as show the search engines that I’m regularly adding new content.
Posterous just celebrated its second anniversary and has been called out as one of Silicon Valley’s hottest companies of 2010. Whereas WordPress advertises options, Posterous promises simplicity. Two of their biggest selling points are mobile posting and auto posting.
You may create posts either by logging into your account online and posting in the traditional manner via web, or setting up your account to email posts in. Posterous also boasts smart posting – email any file (Word, PDF, JPG, MP3, etc.) and they will turn it into a web-friendly format. Have multiple photos? They automatically create a gallery for you and even allow you to “tag” posts with categories/keywords via email.
As the creators of Posterous claim to have designed the site to be able to share thoughts and media with friends and family they have created an auto post option which allows for your Posterous entries to be immediately shared on other social networks. The networks they support include Facebook (personal profiles and pages), Twitter, Flickr, and even other blogging sites like WordPress and Blogger.
In many ways Posterous is to blogging as email once was to AOL. It’s extremely easy to use, and fantastic for people new to blogging or not terribly tech savvy; however, people that already have some proficiency in this area may find it a bit limiting. For instance
- It’s very easy to upload pictures and place them where you’d like them in your blog entry, but you cannot resize them, provide a caption, or have text wrap around the photo.
- The interface is a text rich editor, which makes it very easy to bold or underline items, but it’s missing some base functions like a spell check. When I work on posts for K-9 LifeSavers, I copy them into Word to double check myself before posting.
Which way to go?
So which to choose? Though I hate to answer with “it depends what you are looking for,” it really does. If you are looking for a robust system and your company has someone with time and knowledge WordPress is a fairly clear winner. However, if you’re looking for a platform to share personal items, Posterous is a great choice not only because of the on-the-go posting, but it also offers privacy options to lock down your blog to only those that you choose to share it with. Posterous is also a very good choice for smaller companies that are looking to share information quickly and without a lot of fuss. This is a wonderful option for sole proprietors or non-profits that are spread thin, but still want to be social.
I provided a bird’s eye-view to these two sites, but I’d love to hear your feedback. Tell us why you choose your blogging platform and what do you feel are the biggest pros and cons?