Multi-Blog Software

So the post title refers to “multi-blogger” rather than to “multi-user,” and it refers to “tools” in the plural, since WPMU is not the only such software. Thus the title refers to each of the two points I want to make in this post.

First, I don’t like “multi-user” to describe what the software we’re using here adds to WordPress. WordPress is already multi-user, in that a single blog can have multiple users (with high-level users having the authority to limit what other users can do). What WP is not is multi-blog, in that a single installation of WP supports only one blog.

The defining feature of WPMU, as I understand it, is the removal of this limitation of WP. The benefit comes in the form of system administration. One site admin (or admin team) can keep the software up to date, install plugins, and do a bunch of other things not appropriate for people who want their blogging life to be very simple.

So I think of WPMU and its competition as multi-blog software, rather than as multi-user software. Thank you for reading the preceding pedantic rant. The reward for those who did so is to get to the more interesting part of this post.

My second point relates to WPMU’s competition. Some people are making competitive comparisons, and some of these comparisons are or will be available on the web. For example, D’Arcy Norman is about to evaluate and post about three candidate platforms: WPMU, Drupal, and ELGG. The last one of these was new to me, so I had to go and create a new blog there.

Robin Good wrote a 90+ page report comparing 6 multi-blog platforms. One of the platforms was WPMU. Another was 21Publish, which paid for the comparison and for the report.

Yes, I have a blog at 21Publish also. In fact I have a blog portal, where you can if you wish join my little community of tire-kickers by setting up your own blog.

I cannot currently find Robin’s report online. I have hardcopy of a version of it dated March 28, 2005. Robin, if you read this, perhaps you could tell us the status of the report and its availability?

6 thoughts on “Multi-Blog Software

  1. It’s worth mentioning that Elgg is intended to be more than just a multi-user blog system. In fact, the weblogs are just a portion of the feature set, which was designed to create an integrated “learning landscape” (PDF link) for learners in an institution. In the very near future, Elgg installations will be able to talk to each other, and there are file hosting and social networking functions available with more coming.

  2. Thanks to D’Arcy and Ben for the comments. It strikes me that Elgg and Drupal each offer more than blogging. So comparing them with each other and with WPMU seems to be like comparing an apple, an orange, and a banana.