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Blog as a tool for a national member site

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If you have members in different places in your country it can be useful to have a place on Internet where information is collected and easy to reach. A place where you can inform and discuss with members.

If you plan to have a member blog you need to make sure that members who don't have access to Internet will get information. A tip: print out pages and send to them on regular basis - do decide in advance who is in charge of this. Doing so members without Internet access will probably get more information than today and you don't need to write special information to them.

There are different companies who offer space for blogs. Wordpress and Bloggy are two who have been on for a while and comes in a lot of languages. Both offer protected blogs - blogs where you need to be invited/accepted to access it. If someone knows about other companies who offer good and free blogs do send it to and it will be displayed here

Take a look

A member blog draft has been created at to let you see what it can look like. To be able to access it you need to log in. CIF/CIPUSA members can receive username and password from

Wordpress and Blogger

Wordpress offers a free protected blog for up to 35 members. To have unlimited members the annual fee is $29.97 (Aug 2009).

You get 3 GB free space and that's a lot! You will not need more during your fist couple of years. It is possible to buy more space: add 5 GB for $19.97/year, 15 GB for $49.97/year... (Aug 2009).

Blogger offers a free protected blog for up to 100 members.

You get unlimited space for text and up to 1 GB for photos (including Picasa Web photo gallery). You can buy more spave for photos 10 GB for $ 20/year, 40 GB for $ 75/year... (Aug 2009). To add document to the blogg you can use dropbox/sugarsync or googlepages/google docs. Yes, Blogger is in the Google sphere

Wordpress or Blogger?

As usual there are advantages and disadvantages with everything. Wordpress seems to be easier to use, esp. add document but this is something you might learn once and then just do it. Blogger seems to let you change the design and include more things that you need to pay for do/have in Wordpress. You can only have 35 members in a Wordpress protected blog when Blogger let you have 100.

Start to think about how many members there can be and if you have money to pay for the 35+ inWordpress. What computer skills and interest do the members who will update the site have?

Do start, maybe with inviting a smaller group, and use the time for learning by doing. Do start with one of them and if it don't suits you try the other one!

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