Roll your own blog

Webmonkey ran a nice article on the most popular weblog solutions on the Net. If you're looking to start a weblog, you should check it out. Options covered include Blogger, Diaryland, Pitas, Greymatter, Movable Type, and Radio Userland.
I use Blogger, and it has worked fairly well. I've thought about trying out some of the other services, but I don't have the time, and why fix something that isn't broken? If I did switch, however, I'd probably start with Movable Type.
The mainstream press is all over blogging now. Every week some big publication picks up on the phenomenon (Wired, USA Today, Time, The Washington Post, among others). Today it's the New York Times with the article "At Large in the Blogsphere". Some established, credentialed media folks are criticizing bloggers for being inarticulate, narcissistic amateurs. Often, they're right. But many mainstream journalists are guilty themselves of being dull and slow on the draw. Some of the most interesting news or phenomenon now break in blogs, and some journalists are willing to acknowledge the strengths of blogdom.
The only casualty of my weblog has been my personal journal and my handwriting. My fountain pens don't get as much use as they once did. Joannie wants me to write all the guest cards for her wedding. I hope she hasn't seen some of my recent chicken scratch.
With the ubiquity of computers and e-mail and electronic input devices, handwriting is losing market share because it's slower than typing and often less legible. What's lost is the insight that a person's handwriting provides. The actual form and shape of a person's letters often provides more content than the meaning of the words themselves. I don't miss most of the birthday or Xmas cards I used to receive--most don't say very much anyway.
I plan on making a coffee table book this year with photos of people I know. If I do, one thing I'd have everyone do is hand write a page of notes to face each of their photos, with a short story about themselves. If I could have just one really nice photo of every person I'm close to, that would be enough. It would be nice and compact. Everything else is memory and imagination.