Blogging Software as Religion

John Hiler wrote an interesting roundup of the various blogging software that is out there. One of the problems with such roundups, of course, is that people are often looking for very different things from blogging software. Hiler’s piece is still helpful, though, because I think he’s pretty clear on what he wants and, therefore, what his criteria is.

I don’t agree, for example, with his assessment of the advantage of a database-driven site over a flat-page oriented site,

Why didn’t Hosted Weblogs ever really catch fire? I’m sure there are lots of opinions, but here’s my take: database-backed sites are just more complicated than their static cousins. You have to have more hardware and software backing them up, and they’re harder to figure out for designers who aren’t comfortable with programming.

That’s not to say that database-based dynamic blogging software isn’t a hot area: in fact, half of this survey is dedicated to Weblog Community software which falls in that category. It’s just that dynamic sites tend to work best when they promote community features that tap the power of having a database: comments, site tracking, community interaction…

Okay, on the first part I think he’s absolutely right. Database-driven systems are more complicated. But a database-driven system should give you a hell of a lot more than “comments, site tracking, community interaction.” Frankly, some database-driven systems don’t give much more than that, and I question what the point is of using a database system for such sites.

People already know my view of Conversant, but Movable Type is also headed in the right direction with more useful metadata features such as categorization and other features. It still can’t do everything I would need, but it’s a good system.

The odd thing is that people are apparently not happy over what Hiler had to say about their favorite blogging software. Hiler wrote today that,

Umm… some people take their blogging software pretty seriously. I am finding it helpful to think about each flavor of blogware as a separate religion faith. Depending on what software you’re using, you’re either a believer… or a heretic condemned to blogging hell.

How pointless is that? Blogging is not a one-size fits all activity, and there are as many different things people want out of weblogging as there are software packages.

For example, as much as I love Conversant, if all you want to do is make an update or two a day to a weblog and don’t care about comments or more advanced features, then Blogger or Blogger Pro is probably a better fit. Its limitations, on the other hand, caused me to abandon Blogger after just a couple months.

The more ways of updating a weblog, the better.

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