Experiment in Exposing the Comments

Afeard that the discussion buried under my main post of the day won’t see the light of day, I’m going to see what happens when I paste the table HTML here:

Comments in response to this post:
I think the fear of losing all my content in an LJ server disaster is what worries me the most. I religiously make XML dumps of my LJ content once a month, and hope that if I migrate to another system in the future it accept XML input so I can move the content over easily.

I’m more tempted to switch to RU all the time. Thanks for the analysis!

Scot Hacker [symlink23@yahoo.com] • 7/26/02; 11:45:20 AM
Good summary. One thing I thought about while writing up my own thoughts is that Radio gives better information about incoming links to your posts.

Erik S. [eas-pub@geekfun.com] • 7/26/02; 11:48:36 AM

I’d say that’s a pretty good summary.

I think in the end it really boils down to how much control you want over things. Radio gives you a lot more control over how things look. It’s also more then just a blogging application. It’s a web site management application. If I want to add a document to my web site I don’t go to the web server and add it. I just drop it in the www directory in my Radio install and it gets upstreamed to your site automagicly.

Radio also has a fairly powerful engine behind it that even lets one add their own features.

Gregory [gblake@ezoons.com] • 7/26/02; 12:18:53 PM
let’s not forget blogger.. publish to your own server, easy to add commenting if you so desire, free, easy to use… and on and on and on..

robb sonic [robbsonic@hotmail.com] • 7/26/02; 1:37:12 PM
I know it’s bad form to comment on one’s own post, but this way I can do some follow-ups. Or should I just be making new posts to make these comments? It’s true, as Scottros pointed out, that the comment feature is kinda hidden. In fact, all my posts show 0 comments right now, so I didn’t even know I had any comments to read. I’m going to have to poke all of my posts now to see if anything else is missing.

To Scot: I know I should be dumping my LJ stuff and I haven’t done so yet. That is worrisome. I’m not trying to move you to RU though. I’m trying to be agnostic here. I do know that I can’t keep using umpteen systems myself without going insane.

To Erik S.: I’ll read your thoughts in a mo. Are you talking about the referrer log info? That is always interesting. I think MT does this next. In fact I’m thinking MT vs. RU should be the next matchup, though I still have a lot to learn about MovableType.

To Gregory: LiveJournal’s templates are also highly customizable (as are Blogger’s and MT’s), so I’m not sure how Radio gives you more control. In fact, what first turned me off to Radio Userland was that it seemed that everybody had to have that coffeecup design. MT also has some of the website management features. There’s another product (in one of those articles I linked to) that enables you to fill multiple newsholes on a single page. That would definitely help with more sophisticated design. Not every web page has just one dynamic area! I was wondering about putting files out on the site. Also, what is the purpose of Stories? Are those just supposed to be more permanent content? I think the extensibility of RU is key. Like Blosxom, the fact that it’s really just a set of fiendishly clever scripts and hacks taking advantage of the infrastructure of the Internet is incredibly cool.

To robb: I haven’t forgotten Blogger! I’ll definitely do more comparisons. I figure a series of head-to-head comparisons (and not all just X vs. Radio) will be valuable to readers of my blog-about-blogging.

Lastly, again replying to Scot’s comment at my LJ blog (to wit: “Damn, it’s starting to sound like RU is worth the money! I’m going to have to take it for a test drive one day soon. I would imagine the automatic number assignment is only for use on Salon – you wouldn’t have that when using it on your own host. I really like that RU has its own aggregator.”):

I’m not sure you can host your RU blog on your own server, or if it is possible, you would then no longer show up as part of a community. For example, by using the Salon system, I have a built-in potential audience of Salon readers and Salon bloggers. Now judicious use of RSS feeds and encouraging people to subscribe to you would weave you in even if you were hosted at a community of one, but I have to tell you that checking for recent updates and viewing the rank of my blog among Salon blogs is part of the fun. Scott Rosenberg’s hostly blog linked to mine in a round up today and I’m currently number 6 for the day (with one of the lower numbers being Scott’s own cornerstone blog and another one that mentions pornography). It’s heady stuff.

I still haven’t given up on Movabletype, which has a new TrackBack feature to facilitate two-way links between blogs, regardless of how their processed and hosted. With the Blogger API mirroring (and the ability to update an RU blog using any Blogger API client), I do see a little convergence coming along. I’d love to use a single back end and categories to feed content to various front ends. Whether I end up doing this with RU or MT is an open question. I love LiveJournal, but it is starting to feel a bit like an island. Oh, well. Lots to think about. Thanks for posing the original question. I have to follow up with some other head-to-head comparisons over the next few days.

xian [jones@mediajunkie.com] • 7/26/02; 1:50:23 PM