gblake wrote me the following (with permission to post here, my comments and questions interspersed):
Your questions echo a lot of mine when I started. I was a Blogger user originally and decided to give Radio a try when it was released last December.
1. A lot of people use the typical design for their blogs. If you look
at mine, I don’t. (I also enhance my stuff with a lot of my own code written in PHP. Mostly because it lets me keep what I had when I was using Blogger.
How do the RU scripts integrate with your server-side PHP?
2. Stories are for longer permanent posts. A lot of people will use them for longer articles. I haven’t really found a ton of use for them. Though people like Adam Curry use them periodically to write about things they’d like to highlight.
I’m thinking that these comparisons and their follow-ups may get archived as “stories.” Should I do RU versus MT next (this is the decision I’m most interested in), or RU vs. Blogger (probably what most people care about)?
3. The part of Radio that is not obvious is how it works. If you haven’t browsed the Radio documentation I recommend it. It answers a lot of
the initial questions I had.
Here’s one example of the kind of thing you can do with Radio: If you look in the Radio Userland directory there is a directory called www. Anything you drop into this directory gets upstreamed to your site. If you have a template designed you can even write up a page of content and have it upstream it while wrapping it in the template for your site.
…and where does it end up in the site’s hierarchy?
4. I host my blog on my own site via the ftp stuff. It was actually quite easy to do. AND I still remain part of the community. When my site updates it pings weblogs.com. My site shows up in the pageview stats for Userland. It tracks pageviews via a an image load from userland at the bottom of my page. So even though I host my own site I’m still part of the community.
OK, that’s good to know. I don’t mind my site living at Salon, for now, but I have plenty of my own hosting space, domain names, etc.
5. The macro language. People have done some neat things with this. For instance, on the righthand side of my page I have a recent posts area. This is all done through Radio with some code I wrote. Anytime I do a post it gets updated.
This stuff interests me, but it makes me think that there are two blogging user types: D.I.Y. types who like fiddling with scripts and code, and people who want an out-of-the-box solution. Radio actually seems to satisfy both.
So far I’ve used Blogger, Radio, MT, and LJ. I liked Blogger at first, but it suffered from lots of load issues. LJ tends to feel like the AOL of blogs to me. While there are some people with really nice content it’s hidden among lots of noise.
Yeah, I haven’t visited much of the LJ universe but there is a lot of “I’m mad at my dad” type of stuff there. Some interesting subcommunities though. I think I’ll probably migrate my personal LJ blog, as an experiment, either to MT or Radio.
MT and Radio are my two favorites. MT lets me have a group blog at work. Everyone in my team posts stuff to it and it is so useful and easy to work with. I think if I’d found MT before Radio I might be using it. But at this point I’ve gotten used to Radio.
Now, I’m torn.
Radio is also a bit more then just a blogging client. There is the instant outlining stuff that is pretty neat. And the outliner is actually pretty handy for writing html.
I think the outliner is Dave Winer‘s original baby.
In the end, it really all comes down to personal preference I think. I do think that currently MT and Radio are kind of at the top of the heap though.
Hope I didn’t end up rambling too much
Not at all. Thanks!
(There are also a few more comments at the original RU vs. LJ article.)