Both services are versatile, but WP has pulled ahead
People still ask us all the time which blogging platform they should use. (Micro-answer: It depends on what’s important to you.) A few weeks back the team here stared down the issue ourselves when we made the decision to switch Socialmedia.biz from TypePad to WordPress.
Why did we do it? Let me explain.
First, a word of praise for TypePad. I began blogging in May 2001 after interviewing Dave Winer, Doc Searls and Dan Gillmor on the subject for this piece in OJR. They looked like they were not only having fun but doing something that mattered. So I started on a Manila blog, switched to MovableType, and then became one of TypePad’s early customers when Ben and Mena Trott of Six Apart rolled out what was then the Mercedes Benz of blogging platforms.
By that time I was fairly comfortable with CSS and Advanced Templates, so the cookie-cutter offerings of Blogger or LiveJournal never appealed to me. Besides, my blog was evolving from personal commentary about media to a business focus on social media, and I rechristened New Media Musings as Socialmedia.biz in 2005. TypePad gave me the ability to design a slick-looking blog with rich, archived content and even some third-party doohickeys in the sidebar.
But over at WordPress, a revolution was brewing — and finally reached the point where I could no longer ignore its pull. In WordPress.org, Matt Mullenweg (pictured above) offered a free, open source platform that thousands of developers were coding for. (We opted for self-hosting rather than the hosted wordpress.com version.) Somewhere between 2007 and 2008, WP became not only comparable to TypePad, but better. Not because of Matt’s coding prowess, but because of the power of crowdsourced development. I now find myself attending WordPress Camps, alongside BarCamps, Social Media Camps and other open media efforts born of my involvement with Ourmedia.org.