1 Web Service - ImageVertexhttp://www.imagevertex.com/rmills/
This web site is run by Norman - an e-mail friend of mine. This article is inspired by conversations with Norman about blogging. The ImageVertex solution provides elegant pages. Once you've got the swing of how things work, it's quick and easy to add photos and publish on-line.
So ImageVertex is easy to use and Norman is very responsive to emails. You can update your blog from any browser.
2 Wiki - PNN.comhttp://robinwmills.pnn.com
This service produces beautiful pages. They offer a great range of pre-built widgets that you can add to your page(s). Want to show the weather in Timbuktu? A few clicks and clunks with the mouse and you've got it done. There's a very impressive range of "themes" for the site. Want a total makeover? Clunk, you've done it!
PNN has caused me to rethink my dislike of Wiki's in the past. PNN's page are beautiful.
Unix based Wiki's which I've used before used an undocumented language which is converted into HTML. Many Wikis and Twikis produce horrible looking pages. PNN's different. The results are very nice.
I believe there are quite a number of people competing in this space. Webflakes, Med.ium - and probably lots of others. This is probably the main battle field in the battle of the blogs.
3 Apple Solution - iWeb and .Mac Accounthttp://web.mac.com/clanmills
This has a very nice Mac client iWeb which comes bundled with every new Mac. And the software's beautifully integrated with iPhoto and the Finder. It's what you might expect from Apple. So that means several things:
However it is very nice - and I've really only started to use this. Of course you can only update your blog using iLife and I believe the files are stored on your Mac. So you can't update your blog on holiday unless you maintain your site on a portable Mac.
The .Mac Web Gallery is an awesome feature of iPhoto and .Mac. The resulting photo galleries are possibly the best available anywhere and the effort to make them zero. You select the 'event', click 'Web Gallery' and everything is done! How simple can it be?. http://gallery.mac.com/clanmills.
4 Microsoft Solution - Windows Livehttp://clanmills.spaces.live.com
I've only started to look at this. The Windows Live Photo Gallery has a very nice desktop client - almost as good as Picassa (Google's Image Browser).
5 Google Solution - Bloggerhttp://robinwmills.blogspot.com/
I believe this is the market leader in this browser based blogging. It all runs on the web - so you can use and update your blog from anywhere. On vacation and want to update your blog? No problem - you can do it from an internet cafe.
One of my running buddies maintains a very nice blog and I know he gets a lot of comments in response to his posts on the site. http://fartherfaster.blogspot.com. So Blogger works well. Curiously however the same family have a conventional web site. I must have a little chat to them about why they have both: http://www.pommier-family.net.
I really like the Google/Picassa Image Browser on Windows (no version for the Mac). It's cool and easy to use. And you can easily publish photos on the net. I think the .Mac stuff is even better, however Google's solution is also great. http://picasaweb.google.com/robinwmills.
6 The Web 1.0 Solution - HTML/CSS/FTP stuffhttp://www.clanmills.com
I don't think I've got anything unusual to say about having your own web site. I do all the CSS and HTML by hand. I use PhotoShop Elements to scale images, and ImageReady to create imagemaps. My favorite program for creating a graphical montage is LumaPix::PhotoFusion. Occasionally, I'll use Illustrator.
The good side of HTML is that you have total control. The bad side is of course you have to do everything for yourself! And that can be hard work. And it can be tedious dealing with different browsers.
Another way to deal with your own web site is to use a desktop package such as GoLive, Dreamweaver or FrontPage. I haven't really used these packages much - so I don't have an opinion to offer about them.
I'm very happy to accept comments, feedback and suggestions for any of my articles. I'm always happy to hear you - especially if you have constructive suggestions. And I'm particularly pleased if you can let me know about corrections.