D.I.Y. Isn’t a Merit Badge

A.J. over at Papercuts has some choice words on the Google-Blogger deal:

“While Blogger doesn’t have the cool factor of Moveable Type, I like it because it’s easy to use, accessible from almost anywhere, and has provided me with a place to host the ‘blog ad-free with little fuss. The truth is sometimes in order to get your projects done, you have to take the path of least resistance (Blogger, freemail like Yahoo mail, Microsoft products, free hosting sites, etc.). I don’t think this lessens the importance of people’s individual DIY projects. Does your zine really have more indie cred because it was produced on a 286 speed PC using WordPerfect 3.0 and printed on a dot-matrix printer? ”


Mediageek started on Blogger, before it was mediageek. It’s a great and super-simple tool. I switched to Moveable Type for a lot of reasons, not the least of which was because I wanted something a little more complex than Blogger and I wanted to quit using ftp. And the transition to Moveable Type wasn’t simple and took about a month before I was satisfied enough to go live.

I’m glad I made the switch, not because I think Blogger sucks, but because the extra features of MT made it worth the effort. Were it not for Blogger, there would be no mediageek — I’d have never made the effort without having already had some experience with blogging. Blogger made it easy to test the waters and decide it was something worth doing.

Like almost everything in the social realm, it becomes easy to forget that DIY is about doing it yourself rather than satisfying some social norm declared by those invested in laying claim to the concept. If you like particular methods, tools or aesthetics, then use them. If you don’t, then don’t use ’em. Be skeptical of the purity police — why are they’re rules any better than yours? But if you like someone else’s rules then that’s cool, too.

We all have opinions about what’s accpetable, what sucks and what kicks ass. I have my own defintion of DIY that I tend to follow, but also continues to evolve over time. You can have yours, and you can read my thoughts here and think they’re bullshit. That’s fine — just don’t expect me to do it differently.

May a billion more blogs (and projects) bloom.






2 responses to “D.I.Y. Isn’t a Merit Badge”

  1. Barry Parr Avatar

    Very true.

    I learned to let go when helping friends and family who had created their web sites in Frontpage. There are plenty of reasons to hate it and they’re always mildly embarrassed to be using it. But they have it, they know it, they have built sites using it, and it works.

    Not to equate Frontpage with Blogger.

    Blogger is an amazing tool and a marvelous resource. It’s a lot like yahoo mail, because it’s a consumer tool with geek cred.

    I just don’t understand why Google felt they had to buy it.

  2. Trouble in UserLand?

    At the low end, Google/Blogger’s combination of ease of entry, low price (free), simplicity, brand, and distribution is unbeatable. At

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