I’ve been offering to help officemates who wanted to start their own personal websites. A couple are already blogging using either Friendster or Multiply. While Friendster is backed by an excellent blogging platform – TypePad from MoveableType – the address it offers its users is so long you can’t recite it in one breath.
Superbalita reporter Joseph Tubilan was the first to approach me for help. I helped him open an account with Blogsome but he wanted more customization with the WordPress theme and I couldn’t find a way to FTP theme files to his Blogsome account.
I told him to open a PHP/MySQL account with www.100webspace.com. He opened one and I installed WordPress for him. 100Webspace, however, displays its banner ads on top of your pages and it sometimes gets in the way of the blog design.
I told him to open another account with Fil.ph, which offers 100 MB of webspace and displays ads unobtrusively at the bottom of your page. To run WordPress, I told Joseph, you need to have a MySQL database so you should request for one in the Fil.ph forums. The repeated transfers must have discouraged him as he eventually decided to open a Blogger account.
I was able to help a close friend install WordPress in a Fil.ph account but the footer ads seemed to interfere with the log in process. The solution was to edit one admin file in WordPress so that you skip the Dashboard in the log in process and go directly to the Write screen.
It was after I solved this that I read the announcement that I.ph‘s basic blogging service is now free. Although the initial free web space offer was merely 12MB, I thought that the package would be enough for most regular bloggers if they post only text.
I helped a co-editor, Lorenzo Ninal, set up a blog for his Tsinelas foundation in i.ph. Joseph saw me teaching Lorenzo how to set up an i.ph account and he immediately applied for one.
Lorenzo eventually became comfortable with the I.ph system and wanted to post photos. Since we still thought that the web space allocation was 12MB (I.ph had actually increased it to 100Mb), I taught him how to upload photos to Flickr and have these displayed in his i.ph account. It was while I was teaching him this when I saw J. Angelo’s comment in my blog that they had increased the allocation to 100MB.
With the increase, I think I.PH is now the best free blogging service for Filipinos. It runs on a great system: a customized interface to Nucleus CMS, a blogging script I experimented with last year. It offers an easy-to-use way to upload photos to your own gallery and insert these photos into your blog posts. It offers blogging through e-mail and through your cellphone. It even offers an easy way to integrate your Friendster, instant messaging or Skype accounts into your blog.
If you’re still using Blogger or Multiply or Friendster, I suggest you open an account with I.ph just to test its services. I’m sure you’d arrive at the same conclusion as did most of the people I’ve introduced to the service – that it’s the best blogging service out there.
Max is a journalist and blogger based in Cebu. He has written and edited for such publications as The Freeman, The Independent Post, Today, Sun.Star Cebu, Cebu Daily News, Philstar Life, and Rappler.
He is also a mobile app and web developer and co-founded InnoPub Media with his wife Marlen.
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