Social Media Technology Weblogging

Exit door

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I wanted to to thank those (SteveLorenLizaTim) who have volunteered their weblogs for conversion for my upcoming tutorials on weblog tool independence. This is in addition to those who are offering space and installation of MT 3.1.

I’ve been asked if because of this series I’m thinking of switching back to Movable Type; what I’m going to do with this weblog moving forward, I’d prefer to leave for the denouement. (Sorry Marc – no peeking at the end.) The purpose of the series isn’t to sell one weblogging tool or another, as much as it is to sell the idea of weblog tool independence.

Sam Ruby once said, and I can’t find where, that the first thing to look for when evaluating a weblogging tool is the exit. Most tools provide an import utility and instructions, but very few provide an easy to use method to export entries into a format consumable by other tools. In fact, Movable Type is one of the best in this regard, though it’s also relatively easy to export from Blogger.

Weblogging tool lock-in serves no one, not even the tool makers. If a person feels they can’t easily move their weblog to a different tool, but they’re also not happy with the one they’re using, they’re going to be vocal in their criticism of the tool; this is the only outlet they have for their frustration. A better approach would be to give them an easy out, so they don’t feel ‘trapped’.

Moving the data is only part of the battle, though. The tough part is handling the differences in tags, functions, and plugins. But there’s a method to the madness, and the tools are more alike than unalike when it comes to processing that data they all hold in common.

Of course, none of us wants to have to spend time moving to different weblogging tools; we’re here to put deathless prose and pithy comments online, not spend time fiddling with technology. Still, it’s hard to be creative when your software crashes, your writing disappears, your post takes forever to publish, your host shuts your weblog service down in a hissy fit, or you’re fighting off hordes of comment spammers who clutter up your space (not to mention taking down your server with the force of their attacks).

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