This is my first post to jill/txt using MoveableType.

I started blogging in October 2000. It was reading Caterina.net I realised what blogging was about. I can’t remember how I found Caterina, but once found I loved what I read: her beautiful flowing style of writing, the mixture of commentary and the personal, the links. I remember seeing the little icon “made with Blogger” and following the link to Blogger.com. I signed up as soon as I realised how easy blogging was, and never looked back.

A year later I started using Tinderbox instead. I love the power of Tinderbox: it lives on your personal computer instead of on an external server (Blogger was often down when I wanted to write). You can organise anything in Tinderbox, and you can use multiple views of your notes: spatial, colourful, hypertextual as well as conventional outlines. I kept notes for my thesis and for my blog together, marking some for publication in the blog and others as private, and had templates that controlled the HTML export so those notes I wanted public became entries in jill/txt. I’m not going to stop using Tinderbox.

But to me blogging is about the network. And MoveableType is utterly a network tool. It lives on my server and I have control over upgrades and plugins and so on. It has integrated comments, so I won’t need those external javascript comments slowing down my system. (Mind you, it was a great service, and absolutely for free. It was only slow because it was so damn popular.) But it’s the TrackBacks that have sold me. TrackBacks aren’t yet common enough to be quite what they could be, but the potential power is enormous. Also, MoveableType make their software open enough that dozens of plugins are continually being developed for the system, and many of those plugins are to do with links and connections.

I’ll be continuing to use Tinderbox for my personal notes, and for themed groups of notes where I expect to export some of the content to HTML. Tinderbox is much, much better than MoveableType for organising the connections between your own notes. MoveableType excels at connections between sites.

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