SharePoint offers some great blogging functionality and you should really consider using it. In many business positions, blogging is a good move for you professionally and it helps your company and colleagues overall. But there are some downsides, which I’ve listed below. Happy blogging!

 

Creating a new blog requires approval (usually)

You get your own blog within your My Site area. You can access and use that pretty much immediately (presuming your employer has set up the My Site area), whether SharePoint is on your own servers or you’re using Office 365/SharePoint Online/Delve.

 

(If your system has both options—ugh—ask your IT organization which one you should be using. They may not realize that there are basically two My Site areas and that their users are confused which to use. It can raise a very useful flag for them.)

 

However, if you’d like a separate blog for your team or organization site, you’re going to have to request that new blog site be created by the team/org site owner or by your IT department. If your IT department is lax on how much power site owners have, they may be able to create child sites below their sites. But most IT orgs will require an approval process to create a new site (blog or otherwise). (That’s basically to keep control of how many sites exist on the system, so things don’t get out of hand right under their noses.)

 

So just know that you probably will have to jump through this small hoop to get a new blog. But it’s really not a big deal.

 

The user interface is great in SPO, not so great elsewhere

The user interface in SharePoint 2013 is, well, sub-par. I don’t trust it to bring through all of my formatting. Additionally, including multimedia in a post is a real pain. On the other hand, Microsoft has done an excellent job upgrading the blogging interface in SPO. You access it through Delve and click “+ New Post” from your Delve home page.

 

My main reason for not liking the SP2013 interface is including multimedia. If you want an image in your post, you have to first upload the image into a photo library somewhere in SharePoint, then insert the image into the blog content from where you uploaded it. It’s also not good at accepting copied-and-pasted content and retaining formatting consistency. I avoid the SharePoint blogging interface at all costs.

 

Rather, try using Word to author your blog posts. Formatting remains consistent and multimedia is automatically uploaded to SharePoint when you publish the post. The only downside is it doesn’t play nice with numbered lists sometimes. But, then again, neither does the SharePoint interface. So using Word is still a win.

 

You can’t ghostwrite

A reasonably common question I’ve received is whether someone can ghostwrite—well, really it’s more like ghost-posting—for a CEO or high-ranking manager in an organization. Consider this situation: the communications lead want to post for the CEO, but doesn’t want to bother him/her with having to press publish.

 

Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to post as somebody else in SP. That’s a good thing security-wise, but may annoy you if you’re the one bothering your CEO to paste your pre-written post into SharePoint and posting. Sorry to say, but even the big cheese needs to play in the sandbox with the little people once in a while.

 

Buyer beware: SharePoint blogs

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