A couple of years ago, if a friend or family member wanted to start blogging, I always had one recommendation for them: use Blogspot. This Google service had a lot going for it for beginners, mainly that it it’s free and simple and easy to learn. While these are still true, I think there’s now something better for you if you’re just starting out or are looking to move away from Blogspot: Sixapart’s Vox service.
Like Blogspot, Vox is free and hosted on someone else’s servers, so there’s nothing at all for you to install or configure (unless you want to customize some of your blog’s options, which is extremely easy to do). The thing that sets Vox apart from Blogspot or WordPress.com though, is that there’s a real sense of community and connectedness. Vox gives you a “neighborhood” where you can easily see new posts, comments, photos, etc. from friends and family that you choose. You can even just make your Vox blog available only to the people you want in case you don’t want the entire world to see what you’re up to. To put it another way, Vox is sort of a Blogspot/Myspace hybrid, minus the bad stuff that comes along with the either.
Another simple but really helpful feature I like for new bloggers is Vox’s “question of the day” that appears automatically, giving you some good blogging ideas if the dreaded writer’s block ever sets in.
If you decide to setup a Vox account (it’s free, so there’s nothing to lose), be sure to add me to your neighborhood. Just search for my name or for my Vox URL (berberich.vox.com).