Blogs can be set up on a variety of platforms. This section will introduce the two types of platforms available, and detail some of the features of the specific choices.
Figure 2-10. WordPress is robust, free, and easy to use once it's set up.
Blogging software falls into one of two varieties: hosted or self-hosted. Hosted software, such as LiveJournal, resides on a server owned by the organization that maintains the code. Many hosted solutions will give you a URL to use, such as http://<example>.wordpress.com. Self-hosted software is run on your own server. Self-hosted platforms require installation and configuration, but once they are set up they're completely under your control. Blogs running self-hosted software are located on a domain owned solely by you, as opposed to the shared domains often used by hosted blogs. Hosted software is often easier for new bloggers to get started on, but for best results your blog should appear on your own domain. Some hosted blog systems allow you to use your own domain; take advantage of this if you can.
Most popular blogs today use self-hosted software, and chances are good that you'll need help installing, designing, configuring, and maintaining your blog to get it running to your needs. Rather than hire a dedicated in-house person to manage this for you, you should look for technical help in your industry or ...