Update: If you came here looking for pointers on using Drupal for blogging, you might be interested in this guide for howto blog with Drupal instead. This blog post really is only about not making a beginners mistake.
I just realized today what a bad idea it really was to use Drupal's blog module for creating a personal blog. I am also quite certain I am not the only one having made that mistake. After all, it sounds quite reasonable to enable said module if you are looking into adding a journal to your website, does it not?
So, what's the problem with the blog module? Essentially, it adds and manages the "Blog" content type. This might seem desirable at first, but turns into an organizational nightmare fast, since all other blog functionality builds upon this one content type and Drupal does not support inheritance in order to add type specific features (e.g. CCK fields or polls) to subtypes.
Eventually, most bloggers will realize that they are covering recurring topics. For example, I do book reviews and make release notes for software hosted on this website. Both would benefit from being done by using a customized content type featuring CCK fields for storing structural data (e.g. the download URL for a software package or the ISBN of a book).
With the blog module, I basically have three choices:
- Bloat the edit form of the "Blog" content type by adding all the CCK fields, I might require for different purposes, even though I won't need them most of the time.
- Put structural data into the node body instead, where it will turn from structural to informal.
- Create distinct content types anyway and put up with them being ignored by the blog module. That is, accept that they will neither show up in the block of recent blog entries nor in the per user list of blog entries.
Each of these three choices pretty much removes the "M" in Content Management System and makes the website unwieldy.
Conclusion: The blog module is not the right choice for building single user blogs, even though it suggests otherwise. It's strength lies in adding blogging facilities to community websites, where a bit of inflexibility is an acceptable trade off for providing a service to a large number of users. Personal blogs should not use it. Instead, they should simply build upon the "Story" content type, provided by the default installation profile, as their base content type.