I Finally Kicked Movable Type to the Curb (5 Years Later)

I’ve been extra quiet lately, not because I don’t have much to say but because my blog was driving me NUTS for the past 3 months.

How Movable Type 5 Made My Blogging Life Miserable

I was previously on Movable Type 5, but ever since the upgrade, the system was more taxing than it needed to be. The WYSIWYG editor was working and accurate whenever it decided to act right. Many plugins weren’t compatible anymore (not like I used many). Spam was annoying. It became such a huge production to make changes to the site (publishing, editing sidebars), and it got to the point where I didn’t want to be bothered with blogging. Horrible, especially when I’d been tapped to blog for the GRAMMYs, among other things (my GRAMMY wrap-up post is long overdue). It got so bad I was cheating on all of you and Tumbling regularly over on my tumblog.

Migrating to WordPress Isn’t Fun Either

I’ve been using WordPress regularly over at VerySmartBrothas for the past two years, and I have themed WP sites previously. I knew switching to WordPress would make my blogging life easier. Still, I wasn’t looking forward to migrating my content to WP. Sure, the export and import process is simple (for me), but moving to WordPress meant I would have to fight with .htaccess and Apache things that make me want to throw things across the room. I already did this when I upgraded to MT5. Not to mention, my image URLs are all messed up, and I need to fix them.

Sigh.

Under Construction

So, yeah. This theme/layout? Me no likey. I mean, it gets the job done, but it’s not really something I put too much time into today. I am using the Thesis WordPress theme, and I threw some (okay, one) color on it, but that’s all I can do right now. Thesis is a great theme for beginners looking to customize something for themselves, but I need to spend more time reading the documentation if I want to trick it out to something more lovely. Or, I can spend time designing my own theme from scratch. Neither of these options are happening this week, though, so I am Under Construction until further notice. I just needed to break myself from the shackles of MT5.

Back to Blogging!

Now that I can get in and out of blogging easily, I will resume blogging on a semi-normal schedule. I’ve been thinking a lot about what this blog is for and what I should write in it. I’m most accustomed to writing about myself (I was ego-blogging before ego-blogging started), and I have no desire to turn this blog into a tech-only blog. I might move my tech stuff to it’s own blog, or keep it mixed in with everything as usual. Either way, regularity is what I’m looking for at the moment.

I Still Love You SixApart

This isn’t meant to be a SixApart (the makers of MT) bashing post. I have long been a faithful MT user, and MT Pro member. I just can’t use MT5 without going insane on my own blog, nor do I need all of MT5’s community features. I don’t have the patience to wait on their team (or the community) to make some updates to the newest version. I’ll keep hope alive for SixApart, but they seem to be at their best if you’re using their premium or enterprise products.

Choosing The Right CMS for Your Blog Site* – MT vs WP vs Drupal

Last Monday I had the honor of sitting on a panel for the Introduction to Online Communities class for the Online Communities program at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. That’s a mouthful. If you’re paying close attention, this is the program where I earned my master’s degree (I was in the 2007 cohort).

The topic for the session was Online Community Tools and Platforms. At the end of the program, all students are given funds to launch their own startup or online community. Back in my day *crotchety old man voice*, we built our startups from scratch: we product developed a concept, hired a developer and designer to create it;  we also did all the marketing footwork, etc. We were reinventing the wheel in 12 weeks. It was tough, somewhat miserable, and frustrating. Not because of the work, but because of the time constraints and our naivete. Anyway, in later years the cohorts got smart(er) and started using open source solutions to create their (alpha) startups. Not a bad idea.

The discussion took a few different forms. We discussed “reinventing the wheel” versus using WordPress, Buddypress, Movable Type, Ning, etc. In the end, I tried to make it clear that whatever decision you make, make sure it is an informed decision and make sure it helps you achieve your goal. I have seen people choose a platform like WordPress, and not understand that it requires frequent updates. Sure,  WordPress evangelists will tell you to use WP all day everyday, but if you are in a situation where you can’t support frequent upgrades, then WP is not the tool for you.

That being said, I would like to go over a few pros and cons when using Movable Type, WordPress, or Drupal. People ask my opinion on this topic out of curiosity, or due to my line of work, so I thought I would share! Continue reading “Choosing The Right CMS for Your Blog Site* – MT vs WP vs Drupal”