I'm Stephen Emlund, a graphic design student at Truman State University, and past student of Goldie's. I've had a blog since before they were the cool thing to have. It's probably been four years since I started my first blog at Xanga.com. I want to break down the most popular blogging sites out there, to give you an idea where to start if you are new to blogging.
Blogger.com is a service by Google, so you know it's got to be good. I was quite impressed with how easy it was to make posts and publish them. They have a nice WYSYWIG (What You See Is What You Get) when it comes to changing the layout and color scheme of the blog. This is a great place to start if you are new to things.
Blogger doesn't have built in statistics (although Google Analytics can be used). Google Analytics is a separate service that allows you to view many statistics about your visitors. Setting your blog up to get these stats takes some time to figure out though. Also, when photos are uploaded, they are automatically resized and linked to a larger version.
Words of Warning: Text formatting and photo uploading problems can occur and it's very difficult to fix them without some HTML knowledge. The best thing to do when this happens is to just start over with a new post. Also, your blog URL will be " username.blogspot.com" It's short and easy to remember - granted IF you choose a short username.
This blogging service is for the advanced user who knows a lot about HTML and PHP. It is totally customizable and you can put it in your own domain (ie: www.yourname.com). Hosting Companies like GoDaddy.com offer a free service to install Wordpress for you. It's a lifesaver if you have never done it before. Statistics of your visitors are also available within your Wordpress account. Wordpress also gives the option of signing up with them and getting a domain such as: username.wordpress.com.
My current blog is using wordpress: http://stemlund.wordpress.com Within two hours I had the website looking identical to my portfolio website: http://www.stephenemlund.com.
Words of Warning: With the free hosting at wordpress, you don't get options to upload photos to your posts and you have to pay $15 to edit the CSS file (A CSS file is the main document for changing the look and feel of your website)
I have never used Typepad, but from what I can tell it is very similar to Wordpress, with one downfall. It costs money. I recommend using a free blogging service when you first start out. The cost is $50 a year. Typepad seems to have a lot of features such has WYSYWIG editing. This is perfect for a user without much HTML experience. Typepad is also very customizable and has the same photo uploading features as Blogger. They allow for Video uploading also, which is nice for those users looking such a thing.
I have also never used LiveJournal. From the looks of it, LiveJournal is similar to Blogger. Blogger doesn't have a networking system or search engine to find others with a "Blogger" site. LiveJournal does have a sense of community and networking with their search tools. You can find other blogs by people with the same interests, career, etc. LiveJournal only costs money if you want to fully customize your blog, just as Wordpress does.
So, there it is. A break-down of the biggest names in Blogging.
I have a reason to love blogging... my girlfriend (and future wife ;) ) found my blog before we even met and we began talking about Truman and such before the school year began. A few months after first seeing each other's blogs we began dating.