One of the most enjoyable elements of blogging is that it’s a very social platform, but in a much more controlled manner than Facebook or Twitter. The blog owner controls the level of “socializing” allowed on the blog. The most common form of socializing on a blog is with comments, but how about kicking things up a notch and building a blog with multiple contributors? Think of the possibilities . . .
- A family blog where everyone in the family has contributor rights creates a family news center where not only are you sharing news, pictures and other goodies, but you’re building a family journal one blog post at a time.
- A project blog to organize and manage a project. Could be a family event like a reunion or wedding or a family history project like documenting the family treasures.
- Get your research cousins together on one blog to share your research.
While just about every blog platform supports multiple contributors, some are more family-friendly than others. Posthaven is a new blog platform that is both easy and affordable. A Posthaven account costs $5.00 a month for up to 10 blogs. Each blog supports multiple contributors and posting via email. It also provides email subscriptions to deliver each new post to the subscriber’s inbox. Commenting is as easy as replying to that message. Even the most technically-challenged member of the family can participate in this network. Posthaven does not yet have any theme capabilities – just a simple, plain vanilla style. If most of your blog operations (posting, delivery and commenting) are happening via email, this won’t be a problem.
Tumblr’s another easy to use platform that’s useful for a blog network. The platform and its mobile apps include a reader as well as a posting environment. Family members can have their own blogs or you can set up a single blog with multiple members. It also supports email posting and the mobile apps make posting photos and quick updates a simple process. There’s no cost to use Tumblr, but you may want to spend a few bucks on one of the premium themes. Mobile apps are also free and are available for iOS, Android and Windows. One caution . . . there are a number of NSFW blogs on the Tumblr platform. Some of them may show up in the reader when searching.
WordPress – both hosted and self-hosted – supports email subscriptions, multiple contributors and email posting. The problem is all the steps necessary to get a user set up as a contributor is often more than many family members will tolerate. For tech-savy families, WordPress offers a tremendous number of themes, plugins and other features to meet just about any need.
Blogs are very versatile platforms and, with a bit of creative spark, can become just about anything you want. All it takes is a little experimenting to discover what works best for you.