People, stop using blogspot. These were the simple words that I tweeted out yesterday. In some way I was joking around, but in all reality I am very serious. This advice is for all of you people out there that are thinking about starting a blog, currently blog and thinking about switching to wordperss, or for those people who are looking to start an argument (kidding). The issue is simple, Blogspot (or blogger) was the blogging platform of 2001. It provided you a chance to put up your own thoughts, customize the layout, and make some money using google adwords. But now it is 2010 and things have changed.
Unfortunately, Blogspot has not.
Blogspot Does a Terrible Job of Promoting Conversation
There is a lot of reasons I blog, but one of the main reasons I blog is to provide a place of community and conversation. I do not think I am alone in these thoughts. All bloggers feel this way. We love to get comments and love the interaction that takes place after we have spent time writing our thoughts and opinions. It would be fair to say that the most important thing about blogging is what happens after you write the post, and that is the interaction. If you agree with me keep on reading, if you disagree you might want to save yourself some time and read something else, maybe this or this.
Here are a couple of reasons why blogspot (blogger) is a barrier to conversation.
No Threaded Conversation
Threaded conversation is what you see when someone replies to a comment that has been left (for all you visual learners, example here). If we go back to the original goal of blogging, which is to promote conversation, this only adds to the problem, not bring value to the conversation. Imagine sitting at a coffee shop and everyone was at their own table just yelling stuff out. It would be pretty difficult to figure out who was saying what and who they were talking with. Blogspot is a place to do a lot of yelling but no talking.
Jumping Through Hoops
We are lazy. Seriously, we like things fast and easy. We want our internet to be fast and our cars to be faster (or something like that). When you go to comment on a blog that uses blogspot, the process is tedious. First you have to navigate away from the original post. Why is this annoying? Because navigating away from the original post can take up time but also prove to be distracting. I get distracted very easily, and often forget how I even got to this page. After remembering I am suppose to comment, I forget what I am commenting on and have to go back and re-read the post. If you are a master focuser then I got another problem for you, the process. There is a huge process you have to go through to leave a comment. Navigate to another page, fill in your info (every time), fill in a security code to make sure you are not spam and then wait for your comment to appear. The best example of this was Jon Acuff and Stuff Christians Like. For the longest time Jon was on blogger, and his community was growing. But what seemed to really hold back the community and conversation was the comment system. I loved reading his stuff and wanted to comment, but was deterred from doing this because of all the hoops I had to jump through. There is a natural way conversation flows, and I am very positive that it is not the way blogger has it set up.
I know all the counter-arguments that can be made against these two points. I get it, you have gotten around this and added your own plugins and comment systems to your comment stream. You have edited your blogger to look half way normal and provide some user friendliness. But for the most part, the people that blog or are looking to blog are needing something that is out of the box and ready to go. The simple problem with blogger is that it comes out of the box half dressed. There is more work to be done to make your blog user friendly on blogger (blogspot) then on wordpress.
Personally I am a big wordpress fan. Mainly because of the dashboard and the themes and support that is made available. Also, their comment system is very easy to use and user friendly. You do not need an account, and it has threaded comments built in.
One of the main things to focus on when choosing a blog platform is how will the conversation flow.
Is there anything I missed? Maybe something you want to ad or ask?
If you are looking to really step into the blogging game, check out the Standard Theme. It will provide you with everything you could ever want in a blog and more. Be sure to read all the FAQs and features as well.