Tag Archives: Blogging

Google Custom Search or Direct Database Search?

Here’s an important question: Should you use Google Custom Search (GCS) on your site? Or would it be better to directly search your database.

It depends on your point of view. Some bloggers use GCS, while others use their blog software’s built-in search tool (which acceses the database and searches it). Which should you use? Let’s take a closer look at each option.

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8 Useful WordPress Plugins

In no particular order, here are some WordPress plugins I find useful.

Free Blog Services Rated: Blogger, Livejournal, WordPress.com

So, you’re not serious enough about blogging to host your own blog? You’d rather use a free blogging service? Are you sure? You can get a domain and hosting for only $3.99/month. No? Okay, then I guess we can get started.

Okay, here’s how this fill work. I’m going to compare Blogger, LiveJournal, and WordPress.com. We’ll see what free blog provider is the best. Let’s start with LiveJournal.

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Time-Delay Posting

Wouldn’t it be useful if you could write blog posts ahead of time, and have them post themselves at some arbitrary date? Most blogging software (WordPress included) can do this.

Why would you want to?

  • If you’re going on a trip, you can write posts in advance…and have them post themselves while you’re away.
  • Suppose you wrote an amazing post, and then you had a flood of ideas for another post. You wouldn’t want your new post to detract from the other one, would you? Go ahead and write it, but set it to be posted the day after.

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Design Matters

Does design matter in the early stages of blogging? Of course it does! I wrote a post awhile back about it, but again I say design matters.

True, some blogs have become successful with bad designs, but so what? Have you noticed that the top blogs on Technorati have good designs? Take a look at the WayBack Machine. Enter a site like, oh…how about EnGadget? Take a look at the Wayback results. They’ve never had a truly bad design have they? They made sure that it looked okay. While you don’t need a really smashing design like Ars Technica, you need something passable.

Take a look at the post I wrote on my more personal blog.

Thinking Outside the Blog

Collis Ta’eed of North X East wrote an interesting post about as he put it “Thinking Outside the Blog“. I couldn’t agree more that blogs are changing, and that blogs need to set themselves apart from the rest. After all, if blogs didn’t set themselves apart, they’d all be the same, right? That aside, I think that blogs need to start looking less like blogs.

Currently, there is an overabundance of people who, as I put it in another post, think that the word blog refers to an online journal. We need to dispel that idea, forcing people to acknowledge that blogs are just another form of publishing. Unconventional design helps. After all, people can’t say “Erg! A Blog!” if the site in question doesn’t look like a blog.

Back to Collis’s post, I like the idea of blogs becoming “increasingly more sophisticated”. WordPress, especially, is leading the way in that, with their vast amount of plugins.

“Most mainstreamers are only just starting to get blogs. For many, blogs and RSS feeds are still things they are only vaguely aware of. The current audience pool while vast is still limited.” How unfortunate, and unfortunately true. RSS is an amazing technology that makes the web a lot easier to keep track of. Then you have blogs, the ultimate publishing model.

Great job, Collis.