Hey there groupthink,

I am starting a blog for a program at my school. I need to have a site that has the following capabilities:

-private, even with large group of members (200+): ideally, i'd like some content to be private and some to be viewable to the public

—can host video

-can host twitter or news feed scroll on sidebar

-sidebars for announcements/events listing

-group members able to post some content

I know there are many options out there: Blogger, Ning, Wordpress.com or Wordpress with the plugin features. Can someone explain the pros/cons between those last two? There's also the option of creating a FB or LinkedIn group but I know that I won't have has much functionality or control on those sites. What are your experiences and thoughts on this, GT? I don't have coding or graphic design experience. I think I'm a pretty good judge in what a good site should look like. Also, I may be able to get professional (re: graphic designer) advice on this down the road. The key is that it needs to be free or inexpensive (ideally $50 or less monthly to host) and easy to use.