It’s hard to keep a secret in the blogosphere and it’s certainly no secret that some Typepad users have been having a less than totally satisfactory experience lately. See for example Toby Bloomberg’s comments at Typepad’s Growing Pains.
I like a lot of things about Typepad, but as regular readers of this blog would know I moved months ago to using Blogware via the reseller BlogHarbor, as offering me a better user experience than I perceived I could get at Typepad. I’ve not been disappointed.
At the same time, I’ve noticed that some of my colleagues who coach people in blogging have been consistently recommending Typepad and using it as their default program for introducing people to business blogging. But in the course of writing an e-book as an introduction to business blogging I’ve been using BlogHarbor as a practical way into this sphere. So I’ve wondered occasionally whether I was doing the right thing by prospective purchasers. Was I narrowing the options too much for those people? Should I be recommending Typepad, or – say – WordPress, instead of Blogware/BlogHarbor?
Just as ‘nobody ever got fired for buying IBM’ (see background at the Wikepedia FUD entry here), it has seemed until now that recommending Typepad was a safe bet. And actually I am sure it is still, and will be, a safe bet, provided they take action as they are promising in this post .
And, fan as I am of BlogHarbor, I nevertheless acknowledge that Typepad may on balance be a bit easier to get started with, for a first-time blogger, so there is an attraction in the idea of recommending it to first time business bloggers. At the same time, I feel it would be incongruent for me to tell people to start with Typepad when in fact I decided to move from Typepad and went through a lot of experimentation to find BlogHarbor.
So my compromise with the e-book is that I will include enough info about Typepad to enable people to get started easily with that option if they so choose.
I’ve found also – and still find – that, in any discussion online between professional bloggers, the WordPress platform has a lot of supporters for the title of ‘introductory blogging platform of choice’. I have to say that, as I’ve no doubt indicated here previously, it is alternately amusing and slightly embarrassing for me to have to say in those discussions that the ease of use apparently experienced by others, including people who claim not to be techies, is not mirrored in my experience.
I find WordPress very good in many ways but baffling and intensely frustrating for me in others. But I am ‘pressing’ on to explore what I can achieve with WordPress – in my ‘home’ website/blog deswalsh.com (downloaded WordPress – open source, free – from wordpress.org and installed on my server) and in a new blog on the English language, using the externally hosted, by invitation and currently free wordpress.com product – My English Lab.
So when I talk and write about Typepad, Blogware/BlogHarbor or WordPress I am doing so from direct experience.
And yes, I will include some information about WordPress in my e-book, not forgetting that there are people who can be hired to do some of the configuration of WordPress, if someone wants to use that platform but lacks the necessary skills to set it up to operate just they way they want it to.
Anyhow, when I started this post I was actually intending just to write a few lines and then link to a post by John Keegan, who runs BlogHarbor. I had emailed John yesterday and asked him for some comments on this blogging platform discussion, in the light of Typepad’s blues. Happily, he has posted a commentary in his blog Why I do not gloat over Typepad’s woes. In his customarily gracious and articulate style, John has set out some practical considerations for anyone looking at establishing a business blog or anyone advising or consulting to business people in this area. Some comments on the implications of using WordPress for a new business blog are included.