Blogger is a free blogging service owned by Google. There has been a push in promoting Google+ users to create a profile or create a ‘limited Blogger profile.’
The difference between a Google+ profile and a limited profile is the way users are connected with other people. Google+ allows the user to instantly connect to their circles, while limited profile users will have to connect through a different social media site. However, once a user creates a blog through Blogger, it is automatically added to the Google database.
Many pre-made templates are available to customize the blog. There is no maximum storage space and no restrictions.
“I started my (Blogger) at the beginning of my junior year of college,” said Bailey Young, senior from Owensboro, Ky. “Through blogging, I’m able to record my college experiences to look back on in the future.”
While having freedom to design and unlimited space, there are a few downfalls of using Blogger. Unlike other sites, there is no spam blocker to protect comments.
Users have the option of adding photos to individual entries, but Blogger tends to automatically resize photos, causing a hassle to manually fix each one.
Although it is common for blogs to track the number of views the site receives, Blogger users are required to find a plug-in for a more specific analysis of site views and clicks.
Self-hosting on Blogger is not an option. Users must pay an outside hosting site if they want their own domain name. According to the terms and conditions Google is in charge of anything posted and has the right to use or remove the content without question.
“Google owns my content, so at any time my blog could be removed,” Young said.
Tumblr. is known as a micro-blogging site. The site is used to follow, like and re-blog interesting pieces of information found across the web. Like Blogger, it is a free site. However a corporation does not own it.
“Tumblr. allows me to find a lot of interesting information,” said Alexie Kubik, freshman from Cadiz, Ky. “There are a lot of people who blog and re-blog knowledge about topics ranging from science to music. All of the posts from blogs I follow are arranged on my dashboard and I’m able to see anything I may have missed otherwise.”
The site makes publishing photos simple with its unlimited amount of photo storage space. Tags can be added to each post to make searching and finding similar content easy. There is a high sense of community that comes along with the site, which in turn makes it easier to gain followers. At least, that is one of the intended purposes.
Unfortunately, other users do not have the option of commenting on posts. Tumblr. is designed for users to re-blog and ‘like,’ rather than make any up-front remarks. Because the site is intended for micro-blogging, longer posts are not recommended, although possible. The main concern with long posts on Tumblr. is photos and smaller pieces of information can become buried and unnoticed.
“The site is user-friendly and it’s simple,” Kubik said. “It takes no time for me to find things I like and share them with other people.”
WordPress can be used as a hybrid site by adding individual pages to the site to create a custom feel. Bloggers can include an “about me” section or specific interests, depending on the overall topic of the individual blog.
Users are given templates to begin their blogs. However, they don’t have the freedom to make any major changes unless they understand HTML and CSS coding.
“This site is less user friendly, but is much more convenient for serious, long-term blogging,” said Tia Starr, senior from Belleville, Ill.
Three GB of storage is allotted through the site and any further storage must be paid for. Users can easily connect their social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and even Tumblr. to their blogs for their friends, family and followers to see.
With each post, a tag archive is created to ensure easy location of an entry depending on the subject matter it entails. Tagging is optional, but it enables other users to search for specific tagged content.
“My blog is based on transitioning from the college world to the professional world,” Starr said. “The topics I cover are tips on breaking into the industry and sharing insight from my experience thus far.”
WordPress provides ways of tracking visitors and other plug-ins. Self-hosting is a setback for some bloggers when it comes to using this particular blogging site.
According to site reviews, self-hosting is an intimidating feature since some users are not comfortable with maintaining the blog completely on their own.
However, for others, it allows them to create a personal space and have the ability to be as creative and in control as they would like to be.
Compiled by Katrina Yarbrough, Staff writer