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So I'm moving my blog, but where to?

There are several hosting offers out there, for example:

  • by Google
    Not bad, has almost everything I need, but since it is a Google product, it tracks every move a visitor makes. Which is acceptable in this case, as there are no external trackers. I don't know if it uses advertising (I haven't seen any on the blogs I've viewed), but given Google's track record regarding shutting down services on rather short notice, I'd rather not use them for my blog.
  • by Automatic
    Free version has Ads, an absolute no-go for my blog. Also, no custom designs. I could get a paid account to get rid of ads and get custom designs, but 80 Euros each year just to host my soap box? Thanks, I pass.
  • by Dirk Olbertz
    This is where some of my favourite German bloggers are, has most features I'd need, but it seems to be a one man show. I might as well host my own.
  • by Denise Paolucci
    a LiveJournal clone, apparently a one woman show currently, lack of community as far as I can tell.
  • Others: either too expensive, or Terms and Conditions I don't agree with. Or both.

Why a blog in the first place, isn't Tumblr or Google+ good enough?

Well, I do have both Tumblr and Google+ accounts, with multiple pages / sub accounts for different purposes. Tumblr is really great to present visual media, in fact it is more a glorified image board than anything else. I'm using it to showcase some of my photographs. But the philosophy to reshare someone's contribution to comment seems to to be backwards and may be legally dangerous in Germany (look up "Störerhaftung" if you want to know the dirty details). Since most users don't seem to understand the reshare concept, the Tumblr community is only very loosely knit with few interaction. Also, it isn't very good at keeping things for a long time. Have ever tried to look up something on Tumblr that you've seen just a week before? Tumblr is a blog system with ADHD. And not very suitable for long texts like my travel reports.

Google+, on the other hand, has a great and rather enjoyable community. But it is mostly about short status updates, commentary on other posts or web sites, and single photos. Much less cluttered than Tumblr, still not suitable for travel reports, as it isn't possible to illustrate a posting with more than one photo — or an entire album, attached to the text. Or post the recently introduced picture books. Which were nice if I'd write for four-year-olds.

And Facebook... I just don't get it. It's cluttered, it attracts all the wrong people, it is embarrassing. Why would anyone use that voluntarily?

All of these "social media" sites have one thing in common: they are built to present quickly consumable visual media, mostly photographs, to be quickly forgotten. I wouldn't go so far to call it "war on text" as others do, but these sites don't encourage putting a lot of thought into what you write, either. Sometimes I want to do just that, though. Yet I also want to have at least a slight chance that someone who's actually intersted in what I write about can find me. This was what LiveJournal used to be for me. A great community of people writing about things I am interested in. But these times are gone.

Thus, self hosting it is. And advertising updates on social media.


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