Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Suggestions, please

A week ago I got the go-ahead to explore creating a single-event blog for the newspaper. The concept calls for a team blog that would post bits from more than a dozen reporters, editors and reviewers involved in covering a three-week international arts festival here in town.

It would be the paper's first formal step into the blogosphere.

Yesterday I got to spend about 40 minutes on the phone with Lex Alexander, picking his brain for ideas on blog management from a newspaper perspective. One of the big questions for me is what platform to recommend.

Since this would be a team blog with multiple novice bloggers logging in from various computers and locations, I ruled out Radio Userland and resident blog clients in general. I want something where the interface lives online.

Andy Rhinehart pointed out I could set the whole thing up via Blogger and still shift the domain name. But while the price is right, I'm not hot to push that option: Yes, blogger's interface is simple, but uploading images isn't, and I don't want to have to install Hello! on all the boxes in the newsroom (besides, I can't make "bloggerbot" work on my home box, anyway). Besides that, blogger has been having some uptime issues lately: note the double post below, not to mention the fact that it wouldn't let me log in this morning.

Andy had good things to say about Movable Type and Six Apart's web-hosted "typepad" platform. I really like what I've seen from typepad, too -- some of my favorite blogs are typepad blogs. It also appears to solve the image issue with direct uploads.

The News and Record uses Movable Type for its inhouse blogs, running the software on an internal server. That may be a bit of a stretch for my paper right now, but it does serve as another endorsement, of sorts, for the typepad option.

Any other suggestions from you guys before I set up a sit-down with our web staff?