14 April 2010

OfThat is Back!

After being down for about 45 days (and a posting hiatus before then) "Of That" is back -- this time hosted by Google's Blogger.

What Happened to Azure?

I originally started hosting on Microsoft's Azure. During the technology preview stage, hosting was free. I was also evaluating it as a platform for future products and based on the early information I could find, it appeared that the cost to host on Azure following it's full release would be modest. However, once the product released I found that the cost was going to be prohibitive.

I'll write more about Azure in a future post. For now, it's sufficient to say that it should grow to be a good platform for enterprise apps and possibly hosted services but it's not appropriate for small-scale things like my blog. There are things they could do to fix that weakness but I don't know if it's a priority for Microsoft.

What About BlogEngine?

I chose BlogEngine because it's a solid solution written in C# on ASP.Net -- a platform I'm familiar with. I wanted the ability to customize more than just the appearance of the blog and I have plans to launch active widgets as tools and experiments. However, it took me hours of programming to adapt BlogEngine to Azure and there was a lot more that I wanted to do. This all took away from any time spent on the widgets and experiments themselves. My new strategy is to let Google/Blogger worry about the blogging side. I'm confident that their available customizations and APIs will be sufficient to let me integrate my stuff.

Why Blogger?

Why did I choose blogger instead of WordPress or TypePad or <insert your favorite here>? First, because hosting is free even when using a custom domain name. Second, because Google allows monetization by placing ads on my site if I ever choose to do so (not yet). Third, because it's simple and straightforward. Sure, it doesn't have all of the features that some other platforms carry but it has all of the features that I need. By avoiding unnecessary bells and whistles I gain ease of use.

Shortly I'll write about my experience in transferring my existing posts from BlogEngine to here.

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