The most commonly used blogging tool is Blogger. It requires the least amount of commitment in time or resources, allowing you to go from wanting a blog to having one in about five minutes and at no cost. This simplicity, ease of access, and no-risk aspect of Blogger is the reason many people have started blogging.
The Blogger software is the property of Pyra Labs (http://www.pyra.com), a company headed by Evan Williams (known as "Ev" within the blogging community). Blogger is often credited as the reason for the explosion of blogging that's occurred in the last couple of years.
While it is incredibly easy to use, Blogger's popularity can lead to unexpected results at times, such as postings that are lost during the publication process, archives that go missing, and server errors when accessing Blogger or your blog on BlogSpot. Throughout this chapter, we'll point out the problems that exist at the time of this printing and suggest ways to lessen or resolve these problems. Pyra is aware of all these problems and is working on fixing them.
Regardless of the occasionally unreliable nature of Blogger, it's a great tool to use to get your blogging feet wet. This chapter provides an overview of Blogger, from signing up for an account to creating your first blog. It also looks at the features built into the standard version of Blogger. The enhancements available in the subscription Blogger Pro service are discussed in Chapter 6.