Gut Rumbles

June 09, 2003


I had someone email me this evening to say that she thought about starting a blog because she likes the ones she reads now. I told her to do exactly that, and I recomended BLOGGER as a way to get started.

I trash BLOGGER a lot now that I've moved on to greener pastures, but it remains the best way to decide whether you want to do this crap or not. It's unreliable and frustrating, but it's free. I wouldn't recommend that ANYONE deck out with all the bells and whistles, extra bandwidth and a domain name until he or she has tried it for a while. Blogging is something you become addicted to or you become tired of quickly.

Stick your toe in the water first. BLOGGER is the way to do that.

But if you become addicted, get your ass away from there as fast as you can. Get a reliable host, and even if you don't believe that you'll need it, BUY THE EXTRA BANDWIDTH, because I've seen too many people fuck up by trying to go cheap. If you can afford $5 per month, you can afford $15 per month, and it makes all the difference in the world.

I am a computer nitwit. I don't know how any of this crap works, and I couldn't redesign my page or create "skins" if my life depended on it. I just know that I write a lot and I occasionally get "lanched" by somebody huge. I paid the kind of money I would stick in a stripper's G-string and never think twice about it for the extra bandwidth. It was worth every cent. My host has almost NEVER let me down, and it's taken some large hits.

I consider myself to be a serious blogger now. I've done it almost every day for more than a year and a half now and I intend to continue. I don't expect to be the next Glenn Reynolds or a begging whiner such as Andrew Sullivan. But I DO expect to have my place open for business every day. That's what I pay for, and that's what I want.

BLOGGER can't give you that. Other places can, and it isn't expensive. If you decide that you really enjoy blogging, go explore those places. Some people are offering to move you FOR FREE now. I paid $400 for that service. But that happened a long time ago.

I wonder what blogdom will look like ten years from now. That idea is scary in a good kind of way. I'll miss the old days, but I won't miss them much. I like what Glenn calls the "horizontal communication" network. It has damned sure introduced ME to people I never would have met otherwise. It's growing like Topsy every day, too.

I'll still cuss and rant on this blog as long as I write it. I'll let it all hang out. That's what I do. There's room for me here, and there always will be. The great thing about blogging is that there is NO ONE RIGHT WAY TO DO IT! Go with what works for you. Be yourself. Write... Bejus, but I hate to say this... Bite me, Joni... write from your heart and let the chips fall where they may.

Believe it or not, that's what I do.


I completely agree. There's nothing wrong with starting out on Blogspotty. It's free and it works (usually). I'll bet you didn't even know that Quit That! started out on blogspot.

Considering the number of my posts there, I guess I was hooked in my first week of blogging.

Posted by: Marcl on June 9, 2003 09:10 PM

Xanga seems ( so far ) to be pretty good. It's fast, easy and they give you free comments capabilities...Blogspot doesn't. The only thing I don't know for sure yet is whether or not people outside Xanga can read you without having to join or anything. I need to get to a different computer and see.

Posted by: stevie on June 9, 2003 10:09 PM

I agree on the Blogger option, though there are others too, and I'd suggest a tool like w.bloggar in conjunction if you're going to write a lot while in the larval stage.

I actually steered away from the lower cost hosts, which are probably fine, and went with Hosting Matters on the $11 plan, which is greater bandwidth than the lower plans. I bought a year up front making only $112.20 for the year. I'll be almost ready to roll by the time they receive my check.

Posted by: Jay Solo on June 9, 2003 10:44 PM

I have a start-up blog that costs nothing at all.

I now get hosting from, which is free from pop-ups and banners, and I get free comments from haloscan.

I use html, although my knowledge of html is very close to nil. If I write a longer piece, I put it up on a new page and link to it.

I don't post any photos, which I assume would start eating away at bandwith rather quickly. The only drawback is that I'm not sure how many visitors it would take to knock me out.

But it's a completely free blog and it suits my purpose well. I don't know what I'm doing but at least I'm doing it.

Posted by: Graham Lester on June 10, 2003 06:57 AM

Blogger/Blogspot isn't the only way to get started, as Graham points out. I recently added a guy to my blogroll who was freeblogging on Blog-City, but who had been at it long enough to be tempted by Esmay's offer to migrate any non-trolls wanting to move up in the blogosphere.

Graham -- limericks, eh? I may have to give your site a closer look, maybe I'll finally figure out how to write one.

But, dude -- real blogs have permalinks. ;-)

Posted by: McGehee on June 10, 2003 07:26 AM

I haven't felt enough impetus to move my blog. Blog*spot has become more reliable since you left it, and if it's down, my life isn't going to end. But if I receive a tasty enough offer, I'll move my blog. :-)

Posted by: sugarmama on June 10, 2003 09:31 AM

Thank you for all of the wonderful suggestions here. Two weeks ago I didn't know what blogging was.

I was content to read posts and groups from AOL and Yahoo.

Over the years they seem to have evolved into more flamers than content.

I have bookmarked each of the site and will spend more time looking into it.

I don't know that I have much to add independantly from the ten or so blogs I am reading daily. But I am giving it some thought.

Posted by: Sassy on June 10, 2003 09:52 AM

I discovered blogs at the begininng of the war. It's been fun, but probably not the best thing for time management. :)

I am sorely tempted to start one up with the hubby. He's great at political commentary. I have things I want to say that just aren't satisfied by comments on someone else's blog.

From what I've seen most are changing to Movable Type. I figure if we're going to start one, it would be best to start with the better platform, rather than have to engineer a move.

Unless I'm totally ignorant about the cost, (which is possible), I'm not too concerned about the expense of one platform over another. I'd prefer not to have to mess with it once it's up and running.

We're also Mac users. Any tips from the blogosphere on using Macs to blog?

My biggest concern would be having the time to do it well. We are business owners and parents.

I read you, Acidman, because it is a rare thing indeed for people to be totally honest. I find that here and it's refreshing.


Posted by: glorybbb on June 10, 2003 11:18 AM

Sugar Momma: How about this tasty offer from Dean Esmay?

Posted by: James Joyner on June 10, 2003 01:17 PM

I've found Blog-City to be more than adequate for my blogging needs. As easy to use and set up as Blog*Spot and Blogger, with none of the hassles, so far.

Posted by: Tobacco Road Fogey on June 10, 2003 06:02 PM

Thank you for this post.

Because of events in my life I'd been an infrequent poster to both my blogs (the other is a new one called THE CYCLING DUDE (, until this week.

If you are, or aspire to be a writer then blogging is as good a way to get your feet wet as can be found.

Some day I hope to do as you suggest and switch from blogger pro, but for now I'll be staying put.

It is good enough for me, now, just to be back to blogging on a regular basis.

It feels good, very good, to be back.

Posted by: Kiril on June 11, 2003 01:07 AM

I started with Blogger, but found it to hard to main anything without alot of downtime. I joined yesturday with Blog-City. I love the layout and the endless possiblities it offers.

Posted by: John on June 27, 2003 02:08 AM

Some nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.

Posted by: Dassel Sara Rosenfeld on May 3, 2004 03:47 PM
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