I was just asked by a writer friend, a world-famous writer who blogs regularly on both Blogger and Open Salon, which platform - Blogger or Wordpress - is "better"? His query was in response to a suggestion that he immediately quit blogging in Blogger and switch to Wordpress because Wordpress is inherently better than Blogger.
Wordpress has legions of hyper-loyal users, who are convinced (in a sort of Mac vs. PC fervor) that Wordpress is vastly superior to Blogger. Wordpress does - or did - have a superficial technological "superiority" to Blogger. Wordpress was the first to put up the bells and whistles - the tools and sidebars and commenting - that transported blogging from a writing tool to a communication platform. So if you buy the "we did it first" argument for technological superiority then Wordpress "wins."
And you're probably also a Mac user.
One big disadvantage that Wordpress users can't recognize is that Wordpress users are snobs. Because they like to think of themselves as part of an exclusive club, Wordpress is pretty passive about community-building. A Wordpress blog is only promoted to other Wordpress bloggers. Blogger is marginally better in that it has teamed up with Goodreads so a link to Blogger posts get sent out to people who have signed up as fans. (True, this is only an advantage if you are a professional writer to begin with.)
As a semi-pro writer (MFA, a few stories published, but no cash sales yet) I know lots of people who want their writings to be read only by an elite group - the other 200 specialists in their field, for example. They believe - wrongly - that if something is difficult to read it is inherently superior to text that's easy to read. And Wordpress certainly makes blogs difficult to find and read - even as their slight edge made the blogs easier to write.
But my friend didn't become a world-famous writer by writing for 200 specialists, so why should he want to join the Wordpress Club? Well, he is a Mac user!
What I find odd about the Wordpress/Blogger rivalry (and the PC/Mac rivalry too, for that matter) is that it's a false choice: You can blog on both Wordpress and Blogger (and on every other blogging platform as well) and the world won't end if you use both. But for Wordpress acolytes, their world - the world where they are inherently superior to Blogger users - would end.
It's funny how many people get sucked into playing the my-toys-are-better-than-yours game. Competition actually benefits products. It forces rival companies to improve their product - even if they have to steal innovations to do so - but if one platform (say, Wordpress) can stifle competition by convincing people they are the "best," then they won't ever have to improve their product.
What the Wordpress users will never acknowledge is that the technologically-superior product isn't always the "winner" and that other factors - like availability and price - sometimes determine which product we choose. Consumers will put up with a lot of inconvenience and downright rudeness - hello Wallmart! - to save (or make) a penny.
Sometimes these competitions are advertising gimmicks (think "Cola Wars"), but if there is ever a "winner" declared in the Wordpress-Blogger war I guarantee you the victor's quality and service will decline and its price will rise. Superiority ends the second competition does.
So why - with all the evidence that competition ultimately makes both products better and lack of same makes them worse - do so many people buy into the belief that one product (Wordpress) is inherently superior to another (Blogger)?