Blogging Alternatives

Now that I get the Wall Street Journal at home in print, I am content to report on the multitude of fascinating articles they provide. While slightly right leaning, they have superior coverage of soft news items (really my favorite breed of news). The only difficulty is that articles are protected by the WSJ on their website so you can’t see them for yourselves.

Yesterday featured two articles on being frugal and getting what you want on a budget. Considering my considerable ventures into consumer purchases recently, especially online, I took particular notice to the article on “Unlocking the Special Codes” to get discounts on websites. Here are the highlights to getting discounted goods and services:

Broadway Tickets: http://www.theatermania.com, http://www.broadwaybox.com
Web Retailers: naughtycodes.com, currentcodes.com, dealhunting.com, discountcodes.com, shoppersresource.com, or quicktoclick.com, couponmountain.com

It also included a tip to save money on alcohol: buy expensive tequila not expensive vodka.

Today’s Journal reviewed free blogging services. They came up with a clear winner and blogger.com (where this site is hosted) wasn’t it. MSN Spaces had the most features and greatest ease of use. While I don’t quite feel like jumping ship, MSN offers a few really interesting tools that come standard. Integrated photo albums are pretty useful and are usually more standard on pay-blogs like typepad.com. A la MySpace, self-editable music listings are a great feature. Upon clicking on a song in the list, you get to listen to a 30-second clip albeit a plug to buy that song on the floundering MSN Music which has a lot of advertising to get their service into remote competition with iTunes from Apple. Spaces also includes immediate syndication options at the bottom of every blog. That said, the one drawback of Spaces is the advertising and branding at the top of every page. I don’t like that.

I have always been quite biased against MSN and Microsoft but I must hand it to them for their blogging site because it’s good. For now, I’m content with the simple life at Blogger.

EDIT: MSN Spaces is too good to be true! Censorship in China, yet again. David Pogue explains and links appropriately.

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