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Pika, Scribbles… Yay for More Blogging Platforms

Anyone who has followed my blog throughout the years, knows I bounce around from various platforms way too much. I’ve been doing this since the 90’s, when one week I’d be on Geocities, the next week Tripod and a month later Angelfire. Then I’d be on AOL Member Pages and then finally Xoom before back over to Geocities.

You think I would have learned after all these years that nothing is perfect, but I haven’t.

What I will say is I’ve begun making one-year commitments to my platforms that keeps my wandering eye from wandering too much. A couple of years ago it was WordPress, last year I prepaid for my year of BearBlog.

I’m still six months out from my BearBlog expiring, and as of right now I’m leaning towards renewing. I like the community I’ve found here, but as usual, a couple of new shiny things have caught my eye.

The first is Pika, a new blogging platform from the folks at Good Enough (I use their Letterbird program for my Contact Me page). Pika is arguably the closest I’ve seen to BearBlog, but with a more classic blog set up. No markdown knowledge is required.

I played around with Pika prior to its launch and decided to see how it functioned post launch. I got to say, it checks a lot of the boxes I look for when it comes to blogging. It’s simple, easy to use, and doesn’t have too many features. I’ll waste more time tweaking than writing. It also has image upload support, which is by far the hardest thing to find with smaller blog platforms. With that being said, I couldn’t get my images to actually show up. They’d load in the draft, but when I hit publish, they were nowhere to be seen.

Pika just launched, so I’m sure there are bugs to work out, so I wouldn’t hold that against them. I’m sure a quick email would have that sorted out in no time.

One of my favorite settings on Pika is the time zone setting. I’m not sure what time zone BearBlog is on, but it screws up my posts all the time. I’ll try to space out my posts and the next thing you know they are on the same day. It’s not the end of the world, but frustrating nonetheless, especially since the publishing time affects the Discovery feed.

Similar to BearBlog, I couldn’t find anywhere to edit my image uploads and I’m not a fan of that. (and of course WordPress) offer a gallery of uploaded images which is useful when you accidentally clear out the img link or want to delete extra uploads.

Pika is $6 a month or $60 a year, whereas BearBlog is $5 a month or $48 a year. Outside of the proper blogging UI, I don’t see enough of an advantage to switch over to Pika at this time. It also lacks a Discovery feed.

Now this next blogging platform I just got my hands on today so my impressions are pretty fresh but Scribbles has my attention. It looks very nice, is modern, and I’m excited to see what happens with it. Earlier today, Vincent gave me early access to play around with and I’m really impressed with what I’ve seen. This may be the simplest, most intuitive blogging platform available. It looks nice, doesn’t have too many features, and works great. This is the type of platform you recommend to beginners and those who just want to write and not tinker.

It’s really a joy writing on Scribbles and everything just works. It’s kinda like the Apple of blogging platforms. It’s stripped down and beautiful. With that being said, the goal of Scribbles  was to provide a basic place to write, so there aren’t many settings you can adjust. Basically, there is one layout, you can adjust the color, and choose whether to show full posts or excerpts. The excepts don’t take into consider spacing, which has always rubbed me wrong when I’ve used WordPress templates that work similar. So, I chose to go with the full post. I haven’t made a ton of posts, and am still in the experimenting phase, but [you can check out my Scribbles page here.](

Scribbles has image support, but no gallery similar to Pika. Scribbles does have a Discovery/Explore page you can opt into and that is always something I look for when looking at platforms. (Currently, this page is hidden behind the login.)

Scribbles hasn’t officially launched yet and pricing is not available, but I’m definitely interested in seeing where this goes and I could easily see myself moving this blog over. I would love an option for the template to just show titles, but I also get Vincent’s goal of keeping the features minimum, but working well.

I love that we have more options for blogging and that developers are putting time and energy into creating solid platforms that can provide a place for bloggers to share their writings with the world. It’s a good time to get into blogging, so what are you waiting for?

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