I just switched from hosting my blog on Blogger to WordPress. Actually this is the sixth move of my blog in nine years, which I think is a good analogy for where IT has come from and is heading.
First a short history of where I hosted my blog:
- 2003; Hosting my self coded, self hosted, self managed blog using the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) running at home
- 2006; Moved to community coded software, first eGroupware and later on Joomla, on a self hosted and managed server running at home
- 2009; Moved to blog design application, iWeb, to publish blog on provider managed server
- 2012; Moved to hosted & managed blog, first Blogger and later on WordPress
I think this nicely illustrates the progression of IT, where you can see the transition from DIY (do it yourself) IT to IT as a service. This also underlines the gradual transition by larger IT consumers from traditional IT to private cloud to hybrid and public cloud.
Ok, back to the reason why I switched from Blogger to WordPress. This is for three simple reasons; Managed, Integration and Usability. WordPress IMHO has a better set of capabilities in these areas, the best-of-breed at time of writing. Usage statistics also show that WordPress is more used that Blogger these days.
There are so many ready to use services available, why bother with designing, installing and managing them yourself? Cloud is also all about utilizing a managed service. Depending on the consumption model you use, you get a managed infrastructure component (IaaS), middleware component (PaaS) and functionality (SaaS) as a service. Given many forecast,s SaaS will in a couple of years be responsible for over 50% of the cloud services utilized. Commodity services, like a blog, can be most cost effective be utilized as a service from the internet.
For the comparison between WordPress and Blogger, there is no difference. Both SaaS, but the point needs to be made that consumers and organizations want to focus on the things that make a difference. Focus on what makes you unique, and that’s not that you host your own blog (most of the time), it’s the content of the blog. Same goes for organizations, focus on what makes the organization unique. The rest can be externalized using commodity services.
Integration is, and will be even more, key for IT services. Before IT consisted of monolithic systems with little of no integration. A single website with a blog section worked nicely. Nowadays there is a wealth of on-line presence tools, from websites and blogs to social networks. You don’t only have a blog, but you have multiple. And some social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc. To be able to manage all these different identities, integration is vital.
In this sense WordPress is also better than Blogger because it offers better integration with other social media networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn out of the box. Sure you can include plugins and scripts, but I want there features out of the box.
We have all seen that although Apple products are more expensive compared to competitive products, they get rule the market. One of the reasons for this I think is usability, products need to be easy and friendly in their usage. I would even go so far as self explanatory. Let’s face it, when my three year old son first used the iPad it seemed like natural. No explanation needed apart from ‘don’t drop it’.
And I think all IT should be this simple, even the heavyweight large enterprise applications. We’re not there yet by a long shot, but the consumerization trend is will offer some push toward this I think.
Back to the WordPress vs. Blogger comparison:
- As everyone knows, we have entered the ‘world of apps’ when the first iPhone was introduced. Every serious website that matters has it’s own app, so does WordPress. Sure you can use Blogsy which is a great iPad app and allows posting to Blogger, but this app does not use all of the Blogger capabilities. And you guessed it, WordPress does have an iPad app which allows good integration of your local tablet with the WordPress service on the internet.
- Another usability point, formatting and layout is far IMHO far better to control in WordPress than in Blogger. And this is important as blogs need to be visually appealing for readers to take the effort in reading your blog.
In this blog I used the analogy with moving from one blog provider to another, but I think the essence of the three themes is valid for where IT is and is going to. We, consumers and organizations, will chose the best-of-breed app or application that fits out needs. We want to focus on content not managing the ‘thing’ that hosts the content. We have multiple on-line identities, one for a single purpose, and want to integrate these identities as much and easy as possible. Lastly, we don’t want to read thick manuals or fiddle around a long time, usage should be self explanatory and transparant.