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  1. #1
    no one cares -holiday76's Avatar
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    Best Blogging Software for a Tour

    So, on my next tour I'm thinking of keeping a blog and updating while on my trip. I've done this in the past, but I've used forum software installed on my own web server (i'm a web developer).

    Anyway, I'm looking at using something that already exists and I wanted to know if anyone here has any good suggestions. Here are my requirements:

    -Has to be easy to post to for me.
    -Must be able to post pics. If the site/software resized the pics for me that'd be a nice added extra
    -I want users reading my blog to be able to comment on blog posts as well as pictures Ive posted.

    That's basically it. I've used google's blogger for non tour stuff before and it seems that that would probably meet my needs, but I didnt know if there was anything better.

    It seems like a lot of people use the crazyguyonabike site, but as far as I can tell there is no way for people reading it to make comments. Maybe it's jsut me but I'm much more motivated to blog when I know people are reading it.

    So, at this point i'm leaning towards either just using blogger, or possibly building my own app on my of my websites.

    Thoughts/ideas/suggestions?

    thanks in advance...

  2. #2
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Crazyguy does have a commenting function, but it's not all that friendly or obvious for users.

    Blogger is good, but I find it's slow, even over a broadband connection. It's main advantage is that it's very easy to set up.

    Does anyone use Wordpress for this? I hear good things about it, but don't know if its any faster than Blogger.
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  3. #3
    Senior Member reiffert's Avatar
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    Wordpress, (http://wordpress.org/) either installed on your own server or domain or through wordpress.com.

    Seems to have best spam blocking software pre-installed.

    Huge choice of themes or looks (and easily customizable or develop your own).

    Short learning curve for full functionality and lots of add-ons to extend that.

  4. #4
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    I use blogger extensively - it works well and does everything you want. It's free and easy to access on the road. I've blogged a couple trips from Mexico and India without any issues. The one downside is there are limited options for how it looks or how you want to set it up.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  5. #5
    mev
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    Last year I tried two different systems on two long trips:

    On a bike ride across Russia, I used wordpress: http://www.bikerussia.com
    On a ride immediately following, I used crazyguyonabike: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/mevchina2007

    crazyguyonabike has a way of commenting, though not as easy as blogger/wordpress model. An advantage of crazyguyonabike is the overall audience they have and the general structure that is provided. It is a fairly developed system that should allow people to easily get started with blogging, create something that is consistent with other tours and well indexed as part of an over bike touring site.

    That structure and help is helpful to some and potentially constraining to others. For example, you can only upload one photo at a time and do not as easily have access to other plugins such as Google Analytics. On my wordpress blog, I was able to make a tie to Google Maps to plot my overall progress. The management and updating of those plugins/site can take some extra effort. You can work with a more constrained version such as wordpress.com with less effort but also less flexibility.

    So, I think it depends a bit what you want. For me, I like the flexibility of what having my own blog software provides. It takes a bit more maintenance (I drafted my father to help edit/approve comments and put the locations in the google map when I was in wilds of Russia; I did some of my own updates along the way) but then I enjoy doing some of that and the flexibility it provides. Hence, I like wordpress. If I take a more constrained trip, I might try crazyguyonabike again because of the extra structure it provides.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by -holiday76 View Post
    It seems like a lot of people use the crazyguyonabike site, but as far as I can tell there is no way for people reading it to make comments.
    People can leave comments on crazyguyonabike journals by clicking on "Guestbook".

  7. #7
    Left OZ now in Malaysia jibi's Avatar
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    I use Google Page Creator and photos from Picasa Web Albums.
    GPC lets me have different layouts, integrate photos easily.
    I have registered www.pedalpatagonia.co.uk and it is redirected to my GPC pages.
    There are applets for maps, hit counter, guestbook etc that can be included in your pages.

    All very simple but....it doesn't write itself.................... I must write up my South East Asia trip, I must!!!

    george
    ---------------------------------------------------
    https://sites.google.com/site/imjibi/home

    Photos of present tour of South East Asia
    http://picasaweb.google.com/georgeidf50/southeastasia

  8. #8
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    I've used a lot of software for blogging.

    The best I recommend is Wordpress. You can start a new account on wordpress hosting or buy your own domain.

    Another software is drupal, with much more functions...maybe too complicated for not tech savvy.

    Joomla has also a good blog plug in.

    Another good idea is to look for free travelogues on trusted travel sites that give you this opportunity.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Catweazle's Avatar
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    You have web-hosting at your disposal and obviously a degree of web/software related skill, so you don't need the less capable 'hold your hand for you' freebie services.

    Dedicated open source software is plenty good enough, and I'd add my endorsement for CMS (content management systems) software such as WordPress and Joomla!, both of which have excellent back ends, plenty of templates available to modify to your needs, and plenty of plug-ins available for a wide range of purposes and facilities. (I can't comment on Drupal because I haven't used it.)


    WordPress default installs as a basic Blog site, as it is specifically tailored to such purposes. Joomla! default installs as a more comprehensive web site, with menu and news thumbnail front page, so you'd need to disable numerous features and use a dedicated blogging plugin with it. Despite that my personal preference would be Joomla!, because I believe that its admin/management console is more sophisticated, flexible, and easy to use. Most folk though, I feel, would recommend WordPress instead.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    We use Wordpress and I would say it's pretty good. Andrew is also a computer professional and installed it on our own server. We use Gallery2 for the photos. the only problem is that sometimes it can be slow to load, if you have a lot of plugins installed. It depends where you are. We've had a hard time the last few months in parts of the Middle East and Central Asia but other places like Europe it was fine. If the speed is a bit slow it's a nightmare and forget it on dialup.
    We blog about bike touring, with reviews, tips and cycle touring podcasts at Travelling Two

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Wordpress works really well, it's open-source, free, easy to install, and well supported.

  12. #12
    Ready to go anywhere Csson's Avatar
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    One downside to most blogging software is the order the posts are in. It's perfectly fine while the tour is underway to have the latest post first. It is very annoying though to read a travelogue after the tour is finished in that format (find the oldest post, read it, scroll up the post above it, repeat). So, the perfect software would allow to change the order of the posts - either by the administrator or (even better) the visitors.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Catweazle's Avatar
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    Considerations such as that, Csson, are why I'd choose a more complete CMS solution such as Joomla! rather than dedicated blogging software such as WordPress.

    Finished the current tour, but want to leave record of it for people to read in diarised fashion? Easy-peasy. Every entry is a content item, and any of those content items can be re-allocated to different sections, displayed on different page types, ordered in different ways etc etc etc....

    It's only a matter of changing the content item properties in the management console.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catweazle View Post
    Considerations such as that, Csson, are why I'd choose a more complete CMS solution such as Joomla! rather than dedicated blogging software such as WordPress.

    Finished the current tour, but want to leave record of it for people to read in diarised fashion? Easy-peasy. Every entry is a content item, and any of those content items can be re-allocated to different sections, displayed on different page types, ordered in different ways etc etc etc....

    It's only a matter of changing the content item properties in the management console.
    There's more to Wordpress than a blog. It's also a CMS. This example has nothing to do with cycling, but it shows how you can use it to document something.

  15. #15
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    I use b2evolution.net. It has a nice feature of being able to blog via email. I'd think that'd be a nice feature when you can't get high speed internet. Wordpress might do this as well.

  16. #16
    mev
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    Quote Originally Posted by Csson View Post
    One downside to most blogging software is the order the posts are in. It's perfectly fine while the tour is underway to have the latest post first. It is very annoying though to read a travelogue after the tour is finished in that format (find the oldest post, read it, scroll up the post above it, repeat). So, the perfect software would allow to change the order of the posts - either by the administrator or (even better) the visitors.
    One of the things you'll find with popular software is that someone else has typically found the same problem. Here is an example from wordpress: http://wordpress.org/support/topic/157250 that gives information for a savy user to reverse order of the posts.

  17. #17
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Csson View Post
    One downside to most blogging software is the order the posts are in. It's perfectly fine while the tour is underway to have the latest post first. It is very annoying though to read a travelogue after the tour is finished in that format (find the oldest post, read it, scroll up the post above it, repeat). So, the perfect software would allow to change the order of the posts - either by the administrator or (even better) the visitors.
    I agree the reverse order of posts can be a pain, but honestly if you are blogging from the road on tour you need to edit your posts and photos when you get home anyways. I'd hack up a blog and create something new as mark II version of the tour which can be ordered and organized anyway you like it.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  18. #18
    Senior Member denisegoldberg's Avatar
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    flipping a blog on its head

    This is a really old thread, but I'm going to add to it in the hopes that I reach some people who are still looking for a home for their tour journals.

    I've just moved all of my travel journals to a new home. I chose to use blogger, in spite of the by default upside down nature of a blog. I started by changing my blog template to match the look of my primary web site. I moved all of my journals to their new home by moving the content and references to the photos, but I took the fastest path and just moved the entries. That means that the journals read upside down, from newest post to oldest.

    I actually think that the newest to oldest order works when I'm traveling because it means that the people who are following me open my journal to the latest entry.

    I don't think it works when reading the journal after the trip. It really needs to read like a book, from oldest entry to newest entry (or in any other sensible order I'd like to set...).

    I just posted an entry in my "play" blog that explains how I did the flip. (Yup, it's a little odd to have a play blog. I use it to experiment with things, and to document the tricks I've uncovered on the way.)

    If you're interested in using blogger as you travel, but you want to flip your blog on its head, maybe this will help - http://denisegoldbergplays.blogspot....-its-head.html.

    If you're interested in a quick look, an example... this is a hiking journal as opposed to a biking journal, but it is an example of my new format: http://denisegoldbergdeathvalleynov2008.blogspot.com/

    Don't hesitate to shoot questions my way.

    --- Denise
    Last edited by denisegoldberg; 02-15-09 at 09:11 PM.

  19. #19
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Since people are throwing out high zoot solutions.... not that Drupal is one because it sucks and doesn't scale, the one that I've not seen listed is Movable Type.

    http://www.movabletype.com It is free for single user

  20. #20
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    Blogger with flickr is an extremely cheap solution. $20 a year. Wordpress is more customizable though, and CrazyGuyOnABike has the best audience.

  21. #21
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    Journal Software

    I have looked high and low for something I felt was right for bicycle touring journalling and I have ended up rolling my own.

    The structure is real simple, Journals, Chapters, Pages, Comments. It has an in-place editor for creating content which include pictures. Maps are associated with a Journal and each page can have a map view. Maps can be imported from Google Earth and Google Maps.

    It also has a built-in a route planning tool using the Google Maps API. which is very similar to Bike Route Toaster and Veloroute and Bikely.

    I must stress that this is more of a personal tool and is not intended to be a community or social networking tool. If you can work with PHP and javascript and are interested I'm willing to share what I have. Hopefully in a week or so it will be up and running.

  22. #22
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mas-az View Post
    I have looked high and low for something I felt was right for bicycle touring journalling and I have ended up rolling my own.
    I'm looking forward to seeing the results.
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  23. #23
    Senior Member chrisch's Avatar
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    The "best" blogging software depends on what you want to do. Some people bring laptops and write novels on their tours, and others, like me, like to give quick updates to those who are following along.

    For this I developed a micro blogging and location tracking site called MapMyTour. Using my iPhone I can post short updates with my location and have it displayed on a map. Here's a sample of what this looks like. Comments and photos are not supported yet, but I plan to add these features in the future.

    The iPhone application is still under development, but I plan to submit (and hopefully have it accepted) to the Apple AppStore in the coming weeks.
    TrackMyTour.com - An iPhone app for Bike Touring! See who's touring now and where.

  24. #24
    Senior Member gregstandt's Avatar
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    I really enjoy reading about peoples trips. I don't have alot time to search them out though so I always use CGOAB. There might be better ways to post a trip but if you're posting for a broad audience I think more people will read it there. I will sometimes go to someones website linked to their journal.
    I've not even heard of the sites mentioned, however I do lag a bit in the techno department.
    Whatever way thanks to everyone who does post thier journal somewhere they are very informative and encouraging.
    Relax, it's a bike ride.

  25. #25
    Cycle Bum
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    Quote Originally Posted by mas-az View Post
    I must stress that this is more of a personal tool and is not intended to be a community or social networking tool. If you can work with PHP and javascript and are interested I'm willing to share what I have. Hopefully in a week or so it will be up and running.

    mas, I'd like to see what you have when you're done. I've been looking high and low too.

    RR

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