Wednesday, August 30, 2006

which blog and syndication server to use?

I'm currently working for a company that in the past has not embraced new technology. One of my colleagues recently installed a wiki which did a lot of good in terms of organizing the internal documentation.

The next step is to install some blogging software. What I want is to have every sys-admin run a blog of what they are doing and have an aggregation of all the team's blogs for when anyone wants to see a complete list of what's been done recently. The security does not have to be particularly high as it's an internal service (probably everyone will use the same account). The ability to store draft posts would be really handy, but apart from that none of the advanced features are really needed.

Also it would be handy to be able to tag posts. For example if userA did some work on the mail server they would tag it with SMTP and then at some future time it would be possible to view all posts with the SMTP tag.

I've done a search on google for this topic and there are many pages comparing blog software. But all the comparisons seem based on Internet use, they talk about what versions of RSS are supported etc. But I don't need much of that. An ancient version of RSS will do as long as there is a single syndication program that can support it. Performance doesn't have to be great either, I'm looking at less than a dozen people posting and reading and a fairly big Opteron server with a decent RAID array.

For the minimal requirements I could probably write blog and syndication programs as CGI-BIN scripts in a couple of days. They wouldn't support RSS or XML but that's no big deal. But I expect that if I use some existing software that someone recommends in a blog comment it will be faster to install and have some possibility of future upgrades.


Anonymous said...

Hi Russell,

I'd recommend using WordPress.

It's very easy to set up, use, administer and maintain. If you only want it for internal sysadmin use, you can run just the one blog for all of your staff - they can post to it with different user accounts. Then you wouldn't need to run an aggregator at all.

If in future you decide that you want totally separate blogs, that's doable too, and you could use Planet to do the aggregation.

- Jeff Waugh

Anonymous said...

Use Joey's ikiwiki. It supports blog-like pages with RSS generation, planet-like aggregation, a CGI interface, draft postings, and various other nice features.

Chris Samuel said...

I'll second jdub, I'd suggest Wordpress is the way to go..

Lamont Peterson said...

Here is an idea that I think will take care of your stated needs, nicely.

Install WordPress. Create accounts on there for each user who will be posting. When they post, each article will be associated with the different authors.

You won't need separate aggregation software, as all the posts will already be "aggregated" on the blog page.

The category support (which can also support sub categories) makes it very easy to apply appropriate categories or create new ones, as needed.