Good blog site

I did a travel blog last year when I traveled around Europe and I wanted the family to see where I was. I used Wordpress. It worked ok, but it was a bit quirky and I had trouble making sure all the family members back home could read it, so it doesn't get an A+ from me. What other sites have any of you used for the same sort of idea? Thx. Tom

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17712 posts

Tom, I've used TravelPod and it's worked well so far. It's easy to use, easy to add photos or videos and has a companion App for iPhones. So far it does get an A+ from me. Cheers!

Posted by CL
Salem, Oregon, USA
914 posts

I used Blogger (now associated with Google). It had a good iPhone app that you could compose posts offline (I used wifi exclusively). Formatting was a bit challenging, but I liked using it overall, especially since I was only posting photos from my phone. there are ways to control the privacy of the blog, but I didn't use that feature.

Posted by Martha
Canada
11 posts

I also use Blogger. There's an app for iOS devices called BlogPress that works pretty well with it, as you can write the blog offline and then upload it when you have wifi. With Blogger you can set the privacy settings so that only people you invite can read it, but then they have to have a Google account, I believe. Or, you can set the blog to be 'unsearchable', so that it can't be found by Googling, but once people have the link, they can read it without having to sign into anything. Once I set mine to be 'unsearchable' my relatives had a much easier time reading my travel blog.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7670 posts

I also used Blogger on a trip last year. It was easy to upload and caption pictures to appear within the text, and readers could leave comments. Never a problem on a three week trip where I posted every day.

Posted by Tom
Easley, SC, USA
268 posts

Hey, thx folks. Keep those cards and letters coming, all you who haven't weighed in on this yet. So far, it's running about 50% for Blogger, but I'm not sure I'm happy insisting that my family all have a Google acct in order to read what I post or post their own comments. I'd like more from you all on this subject, pls. When I used Wordpress, my family was almost never able to post comments! This greatly reduced the entire blog experience for all of us. So I'm interested in hearing how easy it is not only for me to post but also for my wife or daughters, etc., to answer me back (albeit with snide remarks, knowing some of them, but I digress!) Finally, on a not-quite-related matter, there is my question of what to use to take pics along the way. I'm totally photographically challenged, so that's a big deal to me! I have a simple Canon point and shoot camera I can handle, and I had no trouble embedding pics from it to my Wordpress blog last year, as long as I could find a computer with a slot for my camera card or my USB cord, which wasn't always that easy. But now, for the first time in my life, I also have an iphone5. So I could take pics with it, too, I guess. From purely photographically point of view, wouldn't the Canon take better pics? From the blog uploading point of view, which would be easier? Thx. Tom

Posted by Kim
San Francisco
110 posts

I was hoping to use travelpod, but if the iPad app only uploads one picture at a time, that won;t work... I think we are just taking ipads and no computers... Kim

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
4751 posts

I like using Blog Spot. It is very easy to use, whether you are writing text or uploading photos. For 1st timers, especially those who aren't super tech savvy, it is a good, free blog.

Posted by Nicole P
Truro, NS, Canada
701 posts

I also just downloaded Travelpod for my ipad mini and am doing up our trip from last year, and will hopefully really work it this year while on the road. I like that you can work on it while offline and upload when you have wifi. It'll post to facebook and send a mssg to anyone following when you add a new entry (if you want it to). The only thing (and maybe I'm missing something) - you can only add 1 picture at a time when in the app, making for some annoyance. I have been using my desktop to work on 2012 trip, and of course can add many pictures at once, so if you are taking a notebook comp, you could download photos much faster, but I'm assuming you'll need internet to use it on a notebook.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17712 posts

Tom, Regarding the photography questions, I'm an avid photographer (especially when travelling) and use not only a DSLR but also a Canon P&S and now an iPhone as well. The iPhone is capable of taking fairly good pictures under some conditions (especially when using some of the "enhancement" App's such as Camera+), but (IMO) it's not as versatile or capable as the P&S Camera. Photos taken in low light with subjects moving always seem to be better with a P&S (of course, nothing beats the DSLR in that regard). In terms of taking photos for a Blog, I find it MUCH easier to use the P&S Camera for that. My Netbook has a built-in SD Card Reader, so all that's necessary is to place the memory card in the Netbook at the end of the day, and download photos taken that day. With the Blog site open, photos are simply "dragged" to an upload window, and the process is complete. The process is not as easy with photos taken on the iPhone. I have to E-mail each photo to myself, retrieve it from E-mail and then upload it to the Blog site. It's a rather cumbersome process, to say the least. I much prefer working on the larger screen on the Netbook, and with a "proper" keyboard. I haven't tried the TravelPod App yet, so don't know how "user friendly" it is when accessing it with an iPhone. Given the comment from Nicole about only being able to upload one photo at a time, that also sounds a bit awkward so I'll probably stay with my "tried and proven" method using the Netbook. Cheers!

Posted by Tom
Easley, SC, USA
268 posts

Ken, Your comments on P&S vs iphone cameras are spot on. Exactly the guidance I was looking for. I made the Canon P&S work fine last year; I see no reason not to use it again for putting my-quality photos on my blog. Thank you. As for asking my family to make their own Google accts before they can read my Google blog: I have nothing to hide and I'm sure they don't either. But none of us tech savvy and I don't to add any extra layers of complexity to their lives for them to follow me around Europe. That's all I had in mind. Wordpress was supposed to work seamlessly in that regard, but for unexplained reasons it did not, and I'm looking for an alternative. I waited till the last minute last year, to try to set it all up, and I ran out of time IN the US to help family members work out the bugs, so I'm starting earlier this time and considering a wider range of choices. Thx, one and all, as usual! Tom

Posted by Nicole P
Truro, NS, Canada
701 posts

I figure the one photo at a time is a good timekiller if you have a few hours on a train, or hotel room evenings with nothing to do for an hour before sleep. I'm sure when we're away I'll just pick the dozen or so best pics, then upload any others when I am back home...

Posted by jennifer
brooklyn, ny, usa
118 posts

i had a blogger blog and its so simple to use. as said above, you do not need to have a google account to read or post on it. i traded in my blogger account for an actual website and am using wordpress to run it. i now hate word press. its a lot more difficult than blogger. although to be fair, i am doing things on it that you will probably not be doing since you are just sharing it with family. but even just uploading pictures, blogger wins hands down for its ease.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17712 posts

Tom, I've tried to post comments on other Blogs, and at times that can be difficult and cumbersome. As you've noticed, sometimes posters need to have a membership in Google+, WordPress, AIM, or whatever. I'd rather not subject people that want to read or comment on my Blog to that kind of annoyance, which is one reason I chose TravelPod. Cheers!

Posted by Tom
Easley, SC, USA
268 posts

Thx again. Esp the comments re travelpod and that you don't need an "account" to post comments to someone's blog on it. Given the trouble my family had when I used Wordpress, that might do it for me. I'll give them all a close look.

Posted by Kim
Paris
537 posts

Tom, I applaud your thinking about that aspect of your blog. Having to sign in with an account to leave my name has dissuaded me from leaving many a comment (some would argue that was to everyone's benefit). If you're looking for a more interactive experience with your family while you're on the road, you're smart to be thinking of it!!

Posted by jennifer
brooklyn, ny, usa
118 posts

the only way you need to have a google account to read or comment on blogger, is if the blog author purposely sets it up like that. i had a blogger account, i didnt choose this option. the entire world could see it, the entire world could comment on it.

Posted by Thomas
Hermosa Beach, CA, USA
74 posts

Tom, we used blogspot.com for our trip to England last year. Each night before bed either my wife or I would recap the day with photos. When we arrived home, we copy/pasted it all into a book using Shutterfly.com. There were some late nights, but it was worth it.