When I started this humble blog, I didn’t know much at all about what was what. I researched a little, but I ended up choosing wordpress.com over Blogspot mainly because my girlfriend is an artist and had already done a lot of research, settling on wordpress.com as the best platform for her needs.
There were a couple of things I soon found out. One, the main reason my girlfriend chose wordpress was so that she had the option later to move to self-hosting at wordpress.org with minimum upheaval, and two, just about everyone else in the 40k blogging community uses Blogspot, and the few who use wordpress (like Rob over at Warhammer39999) use wordpress.org, not wordpress.com.
Now there’s very little chance that my blog about toy soldiers is going to explode in popularity and embroil me in a bitter ownership struggle with my blog platform over the content (hey, it could happen!) That issue is just not as important for me as it is for my girlfriend and her art, which is her job.
In terms of the wider 40k blogging community Blogspot, as a subsidiary of Google, allows your blog features like Disqus and Google Followers. WordPress.com, as a Google competitor, does not. So every gaming blog I go to has a nice, cross-blog communications paradigm and a nice visual “Followers” thing. I can’t have them. I’m not even allowed to join the Bell of Lost Souls alliance because my blog doesn’t support these features (sadface).
On the plus side, my blog stands out in other people’s blogrolls – a lone wordpress favicon in the sea of Blogspot. Unfortunately, when people actually check out Warp Signal they can’t easily follow it, and they can’t join in the discussion using their Google identity or even Disqus. Wow.
So what do I do? I could try and transfer it all over to Blogspot now, but like most of us I’m a busy man. I’m also a very visual person, and to be honest I find the Blogspot themes too bright and clean-looking. I know aesthetics is not important to many people, but I’d rather not have a blog at all than have one that doesn’t look the way I want it to.
I could go self-hosted with wordpress.org but that would, quite frankly, be ridiculous. I’m not particularly interested in web administration like Rob, and Warp Signal is not a business, or even a personal creative space like Porky’s Expanse. It’s just some guy rambling about gaming in his spare time. It simply does not deserve the organization, money and energy that self-hosting would demand when stacked against my already busy life.
So it’s beginning to look like I chose the wrong platform for my needs, but I’ve already written three months worth of content. I suppose I could just resign myself to being on the fringe of the 40k blogging community. But the desire to be popular is a powerful thing. It’s probably the reason most of us put our thoughts up here in cyberspace when you get right down to it.
I feel a bit like I’m on the Playstation Network and all my friends are on Xbox Live.