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Multi-User Blogging

I’ve been fascinated by the power of blogging since I began experiencing it back in April.

Now I’m interested in multi-user blogging: specifically, providing a platform that allows multiple people to blog.

Some Top Multi-User Blog Tools

The two multi-user blog tools that I’m noticing the most buzz about in my couple of hours of research are:

  1. WordPress MU — WordPress Multi User (MU) seems to be the most popular multi-user blogging tool. I first heard about it from eBay’s SEO point person Dennis Goedegebuure. They were the only multi-user blogging tool that made claims about the specific number of blogs it could support (e.g. 32,000 blogs (if you use their upload feature) and 230,000 blogs (if you turn the upload feature off).
  2. Drupal — This is a an open-source content management system that has some modules to help you build a multi-user blog . Its main benefit will be customizability and, according to some, speed. A drawback: some Drupal users are reporting that it won’t allow Themes or blog rolls.

Both are free, though you may have to pay someone to customize it for you or to buy some add-ons.

Here is an interesting comparison of WordPress MU versus Drupal MU.

Other multi-user blog software includes (all of them appear to be free):

  • b2Evolution — Open-source PHP/MySQL tool.
  • Elgg — This open source “social engine” was named after a town called Elgg in Switzerland and was started in 2004.  They suggest you have someone very technical help you use it.
  • Compendium — This blogware company claims its differentiator is that it focuses on businesses.
  • 21Publish — This company was founded in 2004 and counts some good-sized media companies in the U.S. and Europe as its clients.
  • Serendipity Weblog System — PHP-powered.
  • Apache Roller — Open source Java blog tool.
  • Moveable Type — This tool is provided by the well-connected Silicon Valley start-up SixApart (they also offer TypePad (for creating an individual blog) and Blogs.com).
  • PyBlosxom — A Python open-source multi-user blogging engine.
  • Text Pattern — An open-source content management system.
  • ByteFlow – A blog engine written in Python using Django (a content management system).
  • ExpressionEngine — Content management system with multi-user blogging features.
  • PressPublisher — These guys appear to focus on online publishing/blog tools aimed at magazines, journals and newsletters.
  • Lifetype — Another open-source tool.

Paid Multi-User Blog Tools

A couple of multi-user blog tools that cost money include:

  1. Userland’s Manila — This is priced at $1,099 (U.S. Dollars)
  2. Invision Power — It appears that you buy the Community Suite for $249.99 and then buy a blog add-on for $49.99.

Make sure that whatever multi-user blog tool you pick is well-supported. One tool called Lyceum has a notice on their site that their development team’s last bug fix appears to have been June of 2008.

Other multi-user blogging tools I’ve heard mentioned include the Blog product that comes as an add-on to Scoop and Elgg.

12 Comments

  • dklasalle

    Thanks for the info, just what I was looking for. I know you wrote about posterous.com recently, can it be used for multi-user blogging?

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the info, just what I was looking for. I know you wrote about posterous.com recently, can it be used for multi-user blogging?

  • robkelly

    It depends what you mean by “multi-user blogging.” Posterous does allow you to post your blog to multiple other blogs (WordPress, etc.) you have. But if you're talking about using Posterous to build an organism that allows multiple people to create their own blogs (which you control), I'd have to refer that to Posterous CEO Sachin. Sachin?

  • http://sachin.posterous.com Sachin

    Posterous works very well for multi user blogs. Once you setup a site, click on the “contributors” tab and enter the email addresses of anyone who you want contributing.

    Those guys don't need to create an account. They will be notified, and can then email post@sitename.posterous.com to post to that site.

    Whenever a contributor posts, it's also emailed out to all the other contributors, like an email list. You can reply to that email to add a comment, which is also sent out via email.

    Our handling of rich media, no account creating, and email distribution make Posterous the best site for group sites.

    Feel free to email me questions anytime. sachin@posterous.com

  • http://www.robdkelly.com Rob Kelly

    It depends what you mean by “multi-user blogging.” Posterous does allow you to post your blog to multiple other blogs (WordPress, etc.) you have. But if you’re talking about using Posterous to build an organism that allows multiple people to create their own blogs (which you control), I’d have to refer that to Posterous CEO Sachin. Sachin?

  • http://sachin.posterous.com Sachin

    Posterous works very well for multi user blogs. Once you setup a site, click on the “contributors” tab and enter the email addresses of anyone who you want contributing.

    Those guys don’t need to create an account. They will be notified, and can then email post@sitename.posterous.com to post to that site.

    Whenever a contributor posts, it’s also emailed out to all the other contributors, like an email list. You can reply to that email to add a comment, which is also sent out via email.

    Our handling of rich media, no account creating, and email distribution make Posterous the best site for group sites.

    Feel free to email me questions anytime. sachin@posterous.com

  • http://sachin.posterous.com Sachin

    Posterous works very well for multi user blogs. Once you setup a site, click on the “contributors” tab and enter the email addresses of anyone who you want contributing.

    Those guys don’t need to create an account. They will be notified, and can then email post@sitename.posterous.com to post to that site.

    Whenever a contributor posts, it’s also emailed out to all the other contributors, like an email list. You can reply to that email to add a comment, which is also sent out via email.

    Our handling of rich media, no account creating, and email distribution make Posterous the best site for group sites.

    Feel free to email me questions anytime. sachin@posterous.com

  • robkelly

    It depends what you mean by “multi-user blogging.” Posterous does allow you to post your blog to multiple other blogs (WordPress, etc.) you have. But if you're talking about using Posterous to build an organism that allows multiple people to create their own blogs (which you control), I'd have to refer that to Posterous CEO Sachin. Sachin?

  • http://sachin.posterous.com Sachin

    Posterous works very well for multi user blogs. Once you setup a site, click on the “contributors” tab and enter the email addresses of anyone who you want contributing.

    Those guys don't need to create an account. They will be notified, and can then email post@sitename.posterous.com to post to that site.

    Whenever a contributor posts, it's also emailed out to all the other contributors, like an email list. You can reply to that email to add a comment, which is also sent out via email.

    Our handling of rich media, no account creating, and email distribution make Posterous the best site for group sites.

    Feel free to email me questions anytime. sachin@posterous.com

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