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To Blog or not to Blog, that is the question.

I used to blog a lot.  But, as with most blogs, it ebbed and flowed - feast or famine.  This is a pretty typical blog profile.

I tried using just a social network service to blog on.  At first I started using Yahoo!360 (remember them?) exclusively for blogging, but Yahoo killed that service.  I tried Facebook, but Facebook buried the posts feature so most people don't even know it exists and my network profile their is more personal/non-tech than any of my other networks.

I spent a lot of time on Twitter, but Twitter has a number of issues that make it pretty useless as anything other than a link blog.  It limits your posts to be too short for complete thoughts and you simply can't have real conversations there.

So I started doing my blogging on Google+.  It gives me the best of a blog, i.e. conversation and long form, but it takes away the management issues of dealing with my own blog.  Basically, it makes it easy for me to write a post and not have to think about other things.

Google+ has an added benefit, I can interact with people in the context of the post.  For instance, I am referencing a +Tim Bray blog post here and am trying to wrap him into the conversation.  Now he may or may not respond and get involved, but he does know the conversation is happening.

I have gotten some heat and argued with +Tim Kadlec and +Brad Frost about the efficacy of maintaining your own blog.  

The argument generally goes that If I blog here, I don't own my content.  I guess to some extent that is true, but I have chosen a service that I am not afraid will disappear overnight.  I do have RSS of my posts ( I guess this is just not as big a concern for me as it is with others.

I have considered aggregating my stream and archiving them at my own domain and I might get to this, but it just isn't at the top of my list of thing to do.

What do you think?  Can you use a service like Google+ as your blog or do you need to own the platform and the content on your own site?
James King's profile photoScott Jenson's profile photoBrad Frost's profile photo
Very interesting point. Now that I've left frog, I'm looking to find my own blogging platform. What was driving me at first was a blog with responsive design so it could be read on tablets/phones easily. 

However, your point about G+ is a good one that I could just do everything here. The only issue is that G+ is a bit social and it does act as a link broadcaster/discussion forum so my blog posts would be 'lost' amongst my 'big posts'.

I'm all for using G+, but I'm still leaning to a blogging platform for the 'big stuff' and then just link to it with G+. 
Why not write it in G+ and then auto-publish it as though it was a blog post on your own site using RSS. I have been thinking of doing this and I don't think it would really be a big deal to setup. That way you get the best of both worlds.
+Scott Jenson +James King I think your personal domain is your personal playground, where anything is possible. Content ownership, control of design, layout, flow of content (G+ can't do inline images, embed third-party content, etc), branding ( and so much more. As time goes on, my personal site is the one thing I can count on. 

The built in social component of these third party sites are great, but posting a link to my blog on these networks works just as well at facilitating conversation on the respective channels. 
I agree but I've discussed installing wordpress (or something else) on my own domain and I get the impression that it's a fair amount of work. Apparently there are lots of patches and if you don't 'tune' wordpress correctly, you can get performance problems if you get hit with large numbers of comments. I'll all for rolling my own, I'm worried it's be a support headache.
I see both sides of this, but I know how I am and the least amount of friction and I just won't keep up with it.

Wordpress, in my experience, is just a hacker target unless you keep up with it.

I am willing to live with some of the posting features not in G+ for the friction free ability to post.
+Scott Jenson perhaps a hosted site with a custom domain? Then you don't have to worry about the maintenance but the data is still exportable.
If he is going to use, how is that much different than using Google+?  A little more posting control, such as inline images, but I don't see where you gain much else?
+James King Content control and (perceived) ownership. Custom domain name, customizable themes, the ability to control the other content (sidebars, touts, featured/related stuff). Now I know a lot of that isn't the writing itself, but you're able to control far more of your own experience.

Your writing is more than just words, it's an extension of yourself. I think of it like spending months of time and effort on a hand-made gift for someone only to wrap it in yesterday's newspaper. I see crafting the experience around the writing as an important component of the writing itself.
OK, you've convinced me. But please tell me I'm not into a world of hurt. I can muster a wordpress install (I mean, I have no clue how to start but I can probably figure it out). But what concerns me is the likely hours of patches, updates, tuning, and, heaven forbid, debugging, I'm going to have to do to keep it up and running.

Am I over playing this? Is it really pretty simple?
+Scott Jenson It's pretty simple, and I'm happy to help as this is a very worthy endeavor. I've never been a server-side wiz but I've helped account guys I work with set up their kids' school websites. If they can do it, you'll have no problem.
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