Blogging platform showdown: Google+ versus Blogger

As I am wont to do from time to time (gee, that sounds familiar), I've switched up my blogging routine with a focus more on this blog on Blogger than my Google+ site. As you'll see from the embedded Google+ post below, that's a change up from my routine last August.

But the fact that I can embed that post here is one of the reasons why I've gone back to Blogger over Google+ - it's way more flexible. I can embed tweets, Instagram or Flickr photos, public Facebook posts, hyperlink to my heart's content, upload my own photos, videos, use Twitter cards, draft and save posts, schedule posts, etc. Did I mention embedding tweets? I love embedding tweets.
Noted tech blogger +Mike Elgan was the person essentially responsible for me using Google+ as a blogging tool, and it is a good, straight forward service: text and a photo (or photos) or a YouTube or native Google+ video or sharing a link. And while Google+ has some tremendous features that you really can't find anywhere else, they're mainly photo related, such as their Auto Awesome photos and movies.

As an actual blogging tool, it's not very feature rich at all, and doesn't allow for any real cross-platform content embedding. To be fair, it's primarily a social media platform, like Facebook, and not a blogging tool per se. But it's become a popular blogging platform in part due to folks like +Mike Elgan and others who have promoted it as the place to be for a smarter discussion.

And, indeed, Google+ is much more of a community than Blogger. I consider this blog a fairly stand-alone platform that I have to "market" if I want people to read it. With Google+, my fairly reasonably sized circle of followers are there to comment and reshare my material. So I get more feedback on Google+ than I do here.

My Google+ page
It's also worth noting that the big downside of Blogger remains that, even in 2015, it's a tool that is best used on a desktop. It's iOS app hasn't been updated in forever, and it has way fewer mobile features than Google+ does. On the road on my iPhone or iPad, I'm far better off using Google+ as a blogging tool than Blogger. It also helps that Google+ has an auto-upload of my iOS Camera Roll feature, which makes it far easier to share photos while on vacation or otherwise travelling.

Blogger may be more advanced technologically than Google+ in many ways, but at the same time, it also feels like a service that Google is not investing any time or resources in to significantly improve.

So, in the end, it depends on whether you want Google+, "new and simple" or Blogger, "old but robust."

Obviously, based on my changing preferences of the last several years, I go back and forth. These days, I'm seeing Google+ more and more as basically a "supersized" Twitter - it's people posting long-form opinions with a photo instead of 140-character opinions with a photo. If Twitter is a micro-blogging service, Google+ is a macro-blogging service for people who want a straight-forward, generally feature-free publishing.

But for people who want something a bit more sophisticated, if a little worn and aged around the edges - and I'm that category - I need something like Blogger or WordPress or a more full featured blogging site.

Which is not to say I'm abandoning Google+. Heck, in six months, I may change my mind completely again and go back to making that my primary blogging place again. As I am wont to switch up my blogging routine from time to time ...


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