How to: choose the perfect blogging software

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Are you feeling the need to start a blog?

Perhaps you’ve already got an account on Blogger, WordPress.com or LiveJournal but you’re ready to host your own blog.

This Tech Digest how-to guide will help you to decide which of the many pieces of blog software and hosting options is right for you.

I’ll look at:

  1. the pros and cons of the different types of blog hosting available;
  2. the benefits of having your own domain name;
  3. a quick way to narrow down the choice of which blogging software to use;
  4. an overview of the main types of blogging software;
  5. some things to look out for when it comes to choosing a web host for your blog

Head over the jump to start…

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Andy MerrettHow to: choose the perfect blogging software

Twitter to be taught to ten-year-olds

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The UK government announced today that it wants to teach Twitter in primary schools as part of a campaign to make online communication and social media part of the national curriculum. Kids will also be taught to use Wikipedia, how to blog, and proper typing skills alongside traditional handwriting skills.

The plans, which also remove the Victorians and Second World War from the primary syllabus, were going to be launched next month, but leaked early in the Guardian. Analysts and teacher groups have cautiously welcomed the moves, though they wonder why current trends are being given so much weight.

Personally, I’m glad that Wikipedia, blogging and proper keyboard usage are being taught – all of those are, for the moment, here to stay. I’m a little confused, though, as to why Twitter has been singled out. It’s not that revolutionary and, even speaking as a heavy user, it’s current prominence in the news is surely no more than a passing media fad caused by high-profile celebrities joining up. Students should certainly understand online communication, but I’m not convinced Twitter is the best way to show them.

What do you think? Tell us on Twitter – and no, the irony of that isn’t lost on me – @techdigest.

Guardian (via Techcrunch UK)

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Duncan GeereTwitter to be taught to ten-year-olds

WordPressDirect – quick, easy, and spamtacular

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Ever wanted to create your own blog, but you’re far too lazy? WordpressDirect is for you. It’s a third-party site (not affiliated with Wordpress) that will create a blog for you, based on a few search phrases. It’ll then pull content in from the rest of the web, and automatically post it for you. Voila. A blog, with zero effort.

Except that this is the spammiest thing ever created. It’s essentially a make-your-own-spam-blog tool. What’s a spam blog? Well, if you’ve ever run a blog over the years, you’ll know that there are sites out there that flat-out copy your content, word for word, and put up ads next to it. This service does exactly that, at its basic setting. It doesn’t add anything – it’s just making money off other people’s hard work.

So for that reason, I’m not going to link to it. Here’s a link to a far better website instead:

PuppyCam (Original subject of post via Mashable)

Related posts: Spam makes loads of money, apparently | Sir Spamalot – Colin Wells is UK’s most spammed person

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Duncan GeereWordPressDirect – quick, easy, and spamtacular

Midori-san – the world's highest-profile blogging houseplant

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A company called KAYAC has developed a kind of “botanical interface” that allows plants to speak and emote with us little humans. And, as is any sentient life form’s right, the plant has now started up a blog to air its inner angst.

Midori, as the plant is known in the Japanese blog-o-sphere, has an auto-generated blog which can be found here. It’s in Japanese, so won’t make much sense, but should you have an understanding of the squiggly language you’ll be able to read Midori’s feelings…

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Gary CutlackMidori-san – the world's highest-profile blogging houseplant

OPINION: Exams haven't met the 21st Century yet

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It’s easy to forget sometimes that the 21st century is now. Information is the currency that the world runs on, and is far more transferrable and globally relevant than actual cash. However, despite its focus on knowledge, the education system is hopelessly out of date. The traditional “exam” involves sitting down with a pen and some dead tree, and trying to remember when the battle of Sevastopol was. A school in Australia is trying to change that…

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Duncan GeereOPINION: Exams haven't met the 21st Century yet