Blogging Content Management Systems No Good for Traveling Webmasters
For the second time this year, I have recently moved this travelogue away from blogging
systems in favor of publishing it myself. But this move seems to have
bothered a few long time readers, as the commenting system on the new
version is inferior to the way it was on the Blogger content management system. This
presents me with a little difficulty, as it is vastly easier on my end
and less expensive to publish the travelogue by hand, though more inconvenient for readers
to add comments to the pages.
Comments are an integral part of any blog, and I hope that I can find
a way to make the new self-published format satisfactory. As with most
things in life, publishing this website is a journey. Sometimes roads
start out rough just to become as smooth as penguin's belly, and sometimes roads start out
smooth and end in heaps of rubble.
To acquiesce with the requests of a few good readers who often add
great comments to this travelogue, I will begin adding the number of
comments and the timestamps of the latest to the index page, as well as
create new posts based around exceptional comments (like this one was).
I will also make better use of the Vagabond Journey.com newsletter for
readers who were use to receiving feeds sent directly to their emails.
Also, for the RSS and Atom readers, I will continue publishing a weekly
synopsis of the travelogue entries on the old Blogger format . . . .
well, when it is functioning.
Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Upstate New York, USA- January 3, 2009
There were two comments on
Blog Comments and RSS Feeds that rang a few bells on the new
Vagabond Journey Travelogue. The first came from a reader named Mercury
an went as follows:
"Bloggers may not want to hear this; but comments are a crucial
part of any blog. Its not all about you. I read for motorcycle bob's, cym's, g's and barron's comments as much as you
(not to detract from you). A good blogger attracts good comments. You
attract good comments at least until you made your own platform. The
blogger is a moderator of the discussion as much as anything. You launch
the ideas and steer the dialogue. You have always done that well. But
this new setup will kill the blog aspect of the site. You'll still get
readers for your tips, travel questions, and pictures but the blog part
will die off without thougtful comments."
Another comment came from Cym of
"Personally I think you should have stuck with blogger awhile longer, at
least until you worked out all the bugs, and learned how to add all the
features you needed before you made the official switch; because having
a clean comments interface and working RSS feed are essential if you
want this blog to continue growing. Just seems to me that for the sake
of simplifying things, in a way you actually made things more difficult.
Also what's wrong with Blogger? Seems to me that Blogger is the perfect
publishing tool for vagabonds on a budget, why, because its free! And is
mostly reliable (I've been using it for 3 years without any problems
whatsoever. I'm not a computer expert, but I was thinking that maybe
your problems with it could have had something to do with your recently
importing all the old entries from Open Road Song?) allows advertising,
offers plenty of useful ready-made widgets, and endless customization.
If you just want to focus on writing, why would you want to add the
extra burden of having to hand code everything from scratch? That's just
more work, and there's more of a likelihood for errors."
My response to these comments are as follows:
The years that I published
using Blogger to the Blogger server everything was fine. The problems
only began when I began using Blogger as a platform to publish to
www.vagabondjourney.com/travelogue in June of 2008. The malfunctions
have been intermediate ever since, but never as bad as they are now.
Sometimes Blogger publishes and sometimes it does not. I do not think
that the transferring over of the 400 posts from
anything to with the malfunctions, as I publish another blog at
www.vagabondjourney.com/travelguide in the same way,
and it is not working either. This was a good suggestion though, and I
also initially thought this was the problem.
I do not really think that Blogger is a good way for a
traveler to publish a blog. It is a way, but I do not think it is
a particularly good one. To make a post with Blogger means that you have
to log into your account and click through a variety of prompts, upload
photos, and a half dozen other things before
you can finally publish. On bad internet connections, this can take a
really long time. Also, when you use Blogger to publish to your own
server it takes exponentially longer than publishing to the Blogger
server. Sometimes it simply takes too long to publish for many internet
connections to handle. Andy the Hobotraveler.com has also had major
problems publishing with Blogger when traveling in remote areas. The
publishing method is simply too complicate and takes far too much time.
Each minute that I am on the internet is usually a minute that I need
to pay for.
The way that I am publishing the travelogue now I just copy and paste
an entry into a template page that I made, save-as it, and it is ready
to go. I do not need an internet connection to do any of this. I can
then publish dozens of pages and hundreds of photos with a simple FTP program in only a few
moments of internet time. I do not even need to open up an internet
browser to publish.
The less time that I am on the internet, the cheaper I can travel. In
point, my travel funds are presently really low, and saving myself a
couple of dollars a day that would normally go towards paying for an
internet connection will enable me to travel a little farther. I
generally spend under $10 a day, so a couple of dollars daily is a good
chunk of money. I make squat for money on the travelogue portion of
Vagabond Journey, and I spend far more publishing it than I make from
its advertisements. My fractions are still not constant
- there are still holes in my income/ expense ratio, and money is going
out a little faster than it is coming in.
Other problems are that some places in some countries, like China,
have banned access to Blogger.com, and blogging systems are going out of
fashion with search engines anyway. I remember the Hobotraveler's
warnings to me in Guatemala:
"Blogging systems are going to go the way of the forum."
Meaning that he predicts that many pages made with blogging systems or
other content management systems are going to be devalued in the Google
index, much like forums were a few years ago. I believe that this could
be true. It is high time to leave blogging systems. Andy wrote recently:
"We are NOT going to use a CMS system, I am even going to dump my
Blogger.com system and develop our own one. The reason is this, SEO -
Search Engine Optimization. Google.com has the math figured out on the
off the shelf CMS systems, their day in the sun is over, they are in
many ways finished. Organic Google.com searches knows you!
they have weighed and measured your content management systems and found
"Predictable is a problem with a little Bot that indexes your page."
Perhaps it will prove to be beneficial that Blogger began
malfunctioning for me when it did. Well, as soon as I straighten
everything out with the new travelogue format. This is always a work in
The reasons that I moved away from Blogger were more practical than
ascetic, though I do not want to push away many readers in the
changeover. I know that in some ways the new travelogue is not as well
formatted as it was with Blogger, but I also feel that it is not that
bad. There is still a comment form, and a way for readers to give
feedback to become a part
of the discussion. It is not as good, but it still serves its purpose.
I really appreciate all of the feedback and suggestions that I have
received about this changeover. It shows that people are reading and
that they care. I am really thankful to have such a solid group of
people who read this travelogue who often leave very well crafted and
thought provoking comments. There is no way that I
want to push away or otherwise alienate any of these commenters, as their
words have a large impact on me as I continue traveling. I returned to
the USA to finish my university degree in large part because of the
advice that readers gave me in the comments of this travelogue. I really appreciate these comments, they make the
travelogue far more multi-faceted.
I thought about shifting back to Blogger last night. So I logged in,
made a good change to the comment forms, and then tried to publish. It
did not work. It is high time to leave Blogger. It publishes without
its own server, but when publishing to an external server it is severely
prone to malfunction. I checked out Word Press and do not believe that it
is any better.
Thank you for reading and for all of your feedback.
My initial reasons for wanting to leave the Blogger system last April
New Travel Blog- Why I am moving away from blogging systems.
Comment on this travelogue entry
Blog Comments and RSS
Blogger Problem Fixed
Blogger or Wordpress Blog
Vagabond Site Without Blogger
New Travel Blog
Links to previous travelogue entries:
New York City Notebook
Blog Comments and RSS feeds
Customs Travel Tip- Dirty Underwear
Vagabond New Year's Resolution
Nature or Nurture Travel Debate #2
Blogging Content Management Systems No Good for Traveling Webmasters
1/3/2009 23:44:08 G says . . .
Wade, don't sweat it. Just keep tinkering around, making it better.
You'll probably meet a genius programmer in Ukraine who will fix
everything in exchange for a couple of beers. Have fun with it. g.
1/4/09 9:30EST Wade says . . .
Thanks G, I really appreciate it.
1/4/2009 15:08:20 Bob L
For the most part I like your new format. Frankly, I didn't like the way
the old format did the comments counts anyway. How about making a link
to your spreedsheet where comments go, or a similar one, where it would
show when the comment was made, and a link to the blog entry it pertains
to? Then we could simply click on the link to the entries that we are
Besides, this is a preference. This makes it only a little easier for
us, so it should not take too much of your time. I applaud any move that
is towards a more basic, simple way of doing things.
Thanks again, Bob, I will publish the spreedsheet where the comments
go. The URL is
You will now be able to view all comments as they are submitted. There
should be the address to the individual posts included, and, if they are
copied and pasted correctly, they will be functional links.
Thanks for the feedback.