23 February 2008

Free Blogging Communities on Danga Platform

After the publication, comparing Blogger and WordPost free blogging platforms ( http://blogging4good.blogspot.com/2008/02/blogger-vs-wordpress-review-for-newbie_07.html), I got several questions on the alternative solutions to start free blogs. In this post, I will briefly review blogging opportunities with communities, based on the Danga platform.

Danga Interactive was a Brad Fitzpatrick’s company that started in 1999 a famous community LiveJournal and developed a related operating software. In January 2005, blogging company Six Apart purchased Danga Interactive Company from Fitzpatrick, and in December 2007 sold it to SUP, a Russian media company that had been licensing the LiveJournal brand and software for use in Russia. The Life Journal in Russian is the most popular blogging community in the Russian-speaking countries at the moment. Overall, there are more than 14 millions of members using this platform, and more than 3 millions in USA. As a LiveJournal member, you can write blogs, add friends, start and join communities, and chat with other members. You can create custom layouts for your pages, as LiveJournal allows to paste in custom CSS files, changing overall blog layout. Another nice feature is ability to embed your journal into your own website. This blog service also accepts posts from email enabled mobile phones and from instant messaging services. You can upload video and images as well. With all the mentioned nice features, there are some not so nice disadvantages, as relatively high amount of advertising on the page and lack of the proper guidance from the new members.

The software running LiveJournal is open source and primarily written in Perl. Because of this, several other communities have been designed using the LiveJournal software. Among them:

§ DeadJournal - LiveJournal clone with very relaxed terms and usage conditions. Here you can find some journals that would not be hosted in any other communities.

§ GreatestJournal - community with about 2 million members, offering free voice posts, 1GB of photo hosting, and space for up to 2,000 user icons.

§ InsaneJournal - offers free accounts with heavy advertising, strongly encouraging its member to upgrade for paid accounts.

§ JorunalFen.net - Blogging host directed towards various fans communities restricting its membership for users 18 and older. A free account creation is turned off by default, however new users can still obtain a free blogging account.

§ Blurty - one more host for online journals and communities for people over 18. There are some limitations for a free accounts holders, like amount of characters in the journal name, or total amount of entries.

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