Deciding to write a blog is very easy, especially if you’re someone making a career out of online communication. But deciding where to put it has been quite a struggle: I know precisely what I want, but disappointingly, I haven’t found it. In the end, WordPress.com has got my vote – but not without reservations.
My natural preference was Blogger. I already know it, having experimented with it several times in the past. It’s dead easy to produce your own page designs. You can update your blog via email, which would be a real bonus, given the amount of dead time I spend on trains into and out of London. It’s owned by Google, and they’re more than keen to share advertising exposure (and yes, revenue) with you. At the moment, as far as I can tell, WordPress.com doesn’t have any of that going for it.
So what am I doing here? – well, three immediate reasons. The ability to add non-blog ‘pages’, meaning you can make your WordPress.com site into much more than just a blog. Built-in statistics, which are going to keep me amused for ages. But perhaps most importantly – WordPress.com currently has the ‘X-factor’. The cool kids use WordPress, same as they use Flickr to store their photos, and del.icio.us to store their web bookmarks. If you want to be in touch with the web 2.0 zeitgeist, it has to be WordPress.
I have to assume WordPress.com will add some of the extra functionality currently lacking – and a lot more besides. Any time you see a review of the service, the number one criticism is invariably the inability to customise. Fix that, and they probably have the ideal blogging engine, for now at least.