The Mudville Gazette has a post about starting a blog, and it has mostly good advice. Anyone unfamiliar with blogging would certainly do themselves a favor by reading the post.
But I disagree with the recommendation to use Blogger as your first blogging tool. Blogger was my first blogging tool, and I once wrote about why Blogger is better than Xanga. However, after moving to Typepad, I endorse Typepad as the best first blogging tool.
The Mudville Gazette article mentions the importance of comments and trackbacks, and those are great reasons to use Typepad, because Typepad does a much more elegant job of embedding both into your posts.
At times, Blogger was pretty slow. Typepad seems more responsive, probably because the fact that you have to pay to use it keeps the volume of users down. Sometimes, I’d want to post something, but I would be unable to log into Blogger.
I’m not saying that Blogger is a bad tool. In fact, I would use Blogger again if I wanted to have a simple blog where comments and trackbacks weren’t important. But if you’re looking to do a politics type blog, and you want to get people to comment on and link to your posts, Typepad is definitely worth paying for.