As usual, Yahoo
likes to sit on the fence and watch what really works while its more robust competitor Google
experiments with new ideas, and when it sees something really working and it is going to cost it visitors, it will jump the gun and introduce it to its customer base. One such case is the recent introduction of blogging to its paying subscribers even if Google had its Blogger site since it bought the company in 2003 and had been providing the service free ever since, which had become among the many blog providers that many people are flocking to, because it is very easy to setup, and to say the least it is state-of-the-art.
Yahoo recently has hired a company called Six Apart which has developed a blogging software known as Movable Type that is not different from the other blogging software that are in use, except that the news release stated that the software is specifically optimized for Yahoo’s hosting environment, probably making it 140 percent faster than the other hosting environments.
The blogging is available only for those who are already using Yahoo’s Web hosting service, which starts from $11.95 that includes a free domain name and a business class email. Its targets are professionals, businesses, and corporate customers unlike Blogger that is available free for anyone, even if Blogger also has a premium version that goes with Google Web hosting service. Even if the Six Apart software had a free version too, Yahoo has not said anything if it is planning to introduce the blogging service for its free subscribers that are using Geocity and its free email programs among other services, or if it will open its door for the public like Google is doing.
Google’s Blogger displays the AdSense program on the blog site of the bloggers that had proven to be very successful for everyone involved. Those who can maintain a popular blog could generate income from the AdSense program that seems to work seamlessly with blogs, in fact, more effectively than other Web sites since the subject matter can vary and the frequency the content changes, including the interaction is much higher. The number of the participants is very high too. Yahoo also had introduced its own version of AdSense recently and it is only natural that it introduced weblogs, and will definetly start displaying text ads on the blog sites. The only shortfall might be the service will not be available for the nonpaying users whose number is large when compared to businesses.
Yahoo has said that it is not making any money on the deal as all the money goes to the software company Six Apart, whose primary business is to charge a license fee for its commercial customers that are mostly composed of small businesses, professionals, and corporations. Because of that, it will make it very expensive for Yahoo to avail the service free for its nonpaying users and the public at large, even if it can make arrangement with Six Apart to use their free version, which Yahoo thinks has fewer features.
The solution in the long run might be for Yahoo to come up with its own blogging software by buying this particular company or another one for that matter like Google did with Blogger and avail the service free too. It will add to the mix of its income generating capability with the fee it is charging for the Web hosting. Nevertheless, Yahoo has not said if it has such a plan in the foreseeable future except that it believes it is better to offer a paying blogging solution instead of offering limited capabilities with a free blogging program.
It seems that currently Yahoo might not be in a position to do much better than this, but in the long run it is always possible that it might want to outdo Google by introducing a free version of its program, especially if it is planning to integrate its Publisher Network, the beta program it introduced recently that is similar to Google’s AdSens with its weblog, which seems inevitable. Google also has two versions of Blogger, one of them, the most frequently used one is free and ad-supported, whereas the upgraded one is available with its Web hosting program.
It is a while back that blogging had become a popular phenomenon among individual users and eventually it has attracted the attention of businesses who have started to use it for various purposes that have to do with marketing, where it has become easy to build brand awareness by interacting with customers. At the same time, there is a proven track record that it is easy to get feedback from customers through blogging. There is no limit as to what a company can post on a company blog site, which is overtaking traditional market tools like memos or even news release. New introductions and improvements could also be commented upon in real time enabling businesses to know what the exact takes of their customers are. In addition, it has become indispensable for internal workers of a given company or a workgroup that can easily interact with each other using a blog site to facilitate what they are doing.
The good news is it is not only the giant search engines that are giving blogging service, in fact, like the Yahoo case attests they are new comers into the game. There are a good number of companies that had been on the scene longer and availing a free, as well as an advanced commercial version of blogging program that charge money. The following are among the most recommended ones.
Blogger.com is the one that Google bought and is running. It is the most easiest to install and manage, as well as the most popular and reliable as far the up time is considered. It has two versions like most blogging software offerings, a free one that does not cost any money, except that depending on the amount of traffic generated and the subject matter of the blog it could be integrated with Googles AdSensse, the known source of income for bloggers, as well as webmasters as long as the Google’s team approves the content, where the requirement could be stringent and could be found on their blog site. The paid version is available with their Web hosting service and it is mainly suitable for business or for professional users.
Movable Type was somewhat obscure, but because of the recent arrangement it made with Yahoo, it might become as popular as Blogger.com and it has both a free and advanced version for commercial use that requires a licensing agreement. It is popular only among those that are savvy with web design and programming, as the system allows various formatting and advanced features. Those who do not have programming skill might have to pay for the installation service and it can only be run on a Web site, which means they do not provide their own platform. All in all, it might not be the best for anyone that wants a quick setup that takes minutes to get started.
There are a few others among many that are worth mentioning and bundling them together is handy since what they avail, more or less, is a good platform where anyone can start a blog quickly, and have a free and advanced version for commercial use. Live Journal is among the popular free blog hosts, recommended for those that are community oriented as it is web-based and it has a premium version for those who require more functionality or want to use it for a commercial purpose.
Multiply is also network and community friendly with its photo and video/audio uploading capability. It has three membership levels Gold and Platinum in addition to the free offering, it is web-based, and it is fairly easy to get started. Greymatter is a web based open source blogging format, but it requires a system that support Pearl 5 software and is not as easy nor popular like the others, but for those that meet the requirement it is a good and reliable service. Xanga is much better than most with no complication where the signup is easy and starting a blog is almost instantaneous. The last one among many in the list here is Mindsay, which is a free blog that offers enough features in order to enable bloggers to get started quickly.
There are a big number of blog hosting services, yet it requires trying them first because there are always a few glitches that could make their functionality below the required standard. If bloggers want to be found on the Internet within a reasonable amount of time they will have to submit their blogs to search engines, aggregators, and indexes or they will have to wait until they are found by the various robots, which could take months, and that is what makes it crucial to choose a blog host that has a proven track record for being problem free, as changing a blog provider frequently could hamper the process of being found on the Internet. Most probably that is why Blogger.com is popular because Google could index it with in a few weeks time and the same goes with a site that is linked to the blog.