Ardell raises the question, and I had the same conversation Friday with a real estate instructor who is taking the plunge into weblogging to demonstrate to a book publisher that she can attract an audience. What she said was, “We’re going to set it up on Blogger.com.”
If you’re doing a cat blog, okay. If the weblog is just something extra to put on your business card, like a real estate designation, okay. But if you’re goal is to build something more lasting than bronze, you need software that can take a beating.
My take, taking it for what it’s worth: WordPress. [URI edited per comment below.]
It takes some set up, including server-side set-up, and the learning curve is steeper than other options. But it’s a superior weblogging platform right out of the box: Hands-free trackbacks, built-in commenting, spam control — and all those plug-ins. As the lost, lamented 4Realz pointed out, WordPress is a full-blown Content Management System — you can use it to build your whole web site, with an RSS feed for every page if you want. This has SEO implications that keep me up late at night…
I do have a bias. Given the trade-off between easy-to-use and full-control, I will almost always take full-control. Open source, continuously upgraded and free, a tough combination to beat.
The sites you really like are almost all in either WordPress or TypePad. If you imagine that you might someday want to move your weblog to something more robust (which WordPress will do for you), why not just start with WordPress to begin with?