Blogs enable interaction with your readers and invite
other people to reward a person’s creative effort with feedback. They weave new social networks, introducing people with common passions.
Another reason why one should start blogging is dissemination of "micro-opinions" important to a small audience – opinions that would never make it in newspapers.
A widely dispersed audience depends on weblogs for filtered and disseminated information as it plays an important role positioned outside the mainstream of mass media.
Professional bloggers are experts in evaluating the nature of information sources; it is not reasonable to assume that all readers can do the same.
Readers depend on
bloggers to provide them with their knowledge share.
Weblogs point to, comment on, and spread information according to their own idiosyncratic perspective.
Readers accept all information provided to them via blogs – all information – including articles from a source that is a little wacky or has a strong agenda etc, but not an unethical nature of source.
If it is felt that a well-written article can stand on its own only with ethically clear and relevant sources. Readers may cease to trust a blog where disguised or unclear source of an article is discovered.
Making the sources clear or providing the readers all the facts is important because it enables the reader to avoid evaluating the facts differently.
So, weblog’s ethical standards are designed in way that delineates the responsibilities of weblog professionals and provide a clear code of conduct to ensure the integrity of the news.
You can start your own blog. This article will discuss how to
Starting Your Own Blog
As we have discussed earlier, blogs are posts that are short, informal and sometimes deeply personal no matter what the topic of discussion is.
They can be characterized by their conversational tone. If you think the concept is new and you have not done anything like blogging before, think again.
Whether a professional journalist or a teenage high school student, they all have been doing the same thing: using blogs to link to their friends and rivals and comment on what they are doing. So,
thousands of people use blogs.
If a person has a web presence but is disappointed with
their static homepage - if an elegant treatment of posts on a global platform is what they require, then ‘blogging’ is what they
should consider. One may also consider to blog if feedback is required from people you have never heard of.
Weblogs are definitely the mavericks of the online world.
Two of their greatest strengths are their ability to filter and disseminate information to a widely dispersed audience, and their position outside the mainstream of mass media.
Identifying & Choosing The Right Tools
Bloggers are constantly discovering new ways to express their ideas through new markup.
There are bloggers who are using the latest state-of-the-art “visual” web design programs, but
most others consider using HTML code is not a bad idea altogether.
The XHTML family can accommodate extensions through XHTML modules and techniques to develop new XHTML-conforming modules.
These modules permit the combination of existing and new feature sets when developing content and when designing new user agents.
With so many different ways to access the Internet, the XHTML family is designed keeping in mind the general user agent interoperability.
Through document profiling mechanism, servers, proxies, and user agents are able to create best effort content transformation.
This language is both RSS and XML conforming. The content can be readily viewed, edited, and validated with standard XML tools.
XHTML documents can utilize applications (e.g. scripts and applets) that rely upon either the HTML Document Object Model or the XML Document Object Model.
Bloggers may also use Movable Type for their weblog. Movable Type is a powerful, customizable publishing
system which installs on web servers to enable bloggers to manage and update weblogs.
This enables a blogger to hand edit the other parts and pages, including the Daily Links, in TextPad. Bloggers may use a date format string for the individual entries, and for monthlies.
Movable Type Installation is followed by Plugins.
There are many to choose from. MT Plugin Directory and the Movable Type Support Forums are two resources that can be referred to.
Most of the plugins make users typographically correct and enables them to properly use curly-quotes, ellipses, em-dashes, and en-dashes.
A feature of plugins combines track-backs (comments on other articles from other blogs) and comments into one page.
Another use is to create author comments and addendums in the comments engine.
A few plugins may allow bloggers to add additional
For example: using keywords field to create additional fields.
A few others create a collection of links at the bottom of each individual entry page. Title attributes can be used with all the links.
Movable Type also includes a default RSS Feed.
Bloggers may set up individual feeds for each thread and comments feed by following the naming convention of individual archives - changing it to an .xml ending. Bloggers may even add a Subscription Field.
Also, bloggers may consider using a WebDrive in place of a FTP client.
This tool is used to map FTP and WebDAV servers to a network drive letter in Windows using remote files like local ones in any application.
Bloggers may also consider using validated HTML 4.01 Transitional code with a validated
Blogs demand more than graphic design and HTML proficiency. They demand extensive interaction with visitors.
Installing a Discussion Forum is a must, as it allows communities to exchange ideas and opinions. Tools that could be considered are database programming, CGI/Perl scripting, Flash animation etc.
In addition to this, bloggers may consider having an Accessory Sideblog - another blog that stores ancillary information and tools for the existing blog.
Accessory Sideblog allows:
Bloggers may consider buying opensource web logging
These easily installable software applications offer features like: fully-integrated comments, searching, file uploading and image handling, completely customizable output through dozens of templates and variables, multiple author support, etc.
For example: few blogs allow bloggers to provide a template of their page that indicates where they want your posts to appear.
Clicking the "Publish" button automatically sends their new page to the website where they want their blogs to appear. Similarly, there are sites that enable bloggers to place the RSS feed of their blog onto any html page.
Bloggers can host their blog on their own as well with any good web-hosting company. They can choose a good web host, buy space on their server and host their blogs with them.
The details of
a few of the blog creating software products are mentioned below:
FactoSystem Weblog (ASP based) - http://sourceforge.net/projects/facto
Facto is a collaborative web publishing system. The system can be used for creating personal or group 'Blog' type sites.
It is written entirely in Active Server Pages (ASP) and can use Microsoft Access or SQL Server as a database backend. Its development status is : 4 - Beta, 5 - Production/Stable and environment in which it runs
it's web environment, Win32 (MS Windows).
The intended audience is defined to be end users/desktop, other audience and system administrators.
The software’s natural language is English.
It is mostly used for message boards and site management.
Facto can be a customized. One can try coding to "render a blurb in HTML" to be in a separate file. It relies on the BlurbRS
record set having the correct field names with the SQL in some of the other files.
Instead of querying the Comments table every time it displays a blurb. The layout can also be changed as some people may not require the left or right columns. A function on the routines page can be created that displays the blurb as required.
The search results page then needs to be fixed since a different name for the blurb is used to do this.
InstaBlog - http://instablog.hit.bg
InstaBlog appeared as a result of two things: responding to the simplest possible way to maintain a weblog, and trying out the extremely cool Perl MSN IM client.
InstaBlog functions in the following manner: it is run as a background process on a machine with Internet access. With its own Passport identification it is constantly logged into the MSN instant messenger service.
When something worthy of note is found in the weblog, chat windows is opened with the InstaBlog and the weblog entry is typed.
The software takes it, adds it to a copy of the weblog it maintains, and uploads it via FTP to a
The message should appear on the website specified in config.xml.
The InstaBlog bot uploads three files: the actual weblog.xml, the
style sheet to display it (weblog.xsl), and an index.html which redirects to weblog.xml. The software is written in
OpenJournal - http://www.grohol.com/downloads/oj
OpenJournal is a completely Web-based interface. The software’s features include: automated file creation; automated index updating; editing of all files through a Web-based interface; entries with or without titles and time posted; automated archiving based on a weekly or monthly format.
All done through ordinary text files and no additional
Perl modules are needed to run it. Basically, the software allows the users to keep an online journal, customize and configure it.
All you need to do after installation is to write in it from time to time. It requires no third-party, external
Perl libraries or support programs.
The program itself is relatively small and simple and takes about 5 minutes to install and another 5 or 10 to customize. The 2.x versions of OpenJournal make use of the auth.pl
Perl script to handle its authentication routines.
Other features of the software include: automatic new file creation, automatic indexing, automatic weekly or monthly archiving without need of cron,
and no messy backend database to worry about.
It uses plain text and html files, web-based editing of all files created without using cookies, encrypted user accounts and robust authorization,
multi-user support, preview functionality, configuration file separate from main program, templated construction (easy customization), cross-platform date function .
GeekLog - The Ultimate Weblog System - http://sourceforge.net/projects/geeklog
GeekLog is a web content management system suitable for running full-featured community sites.
It supports article posting, threaded comments, event scheduling, and link management and is built around a design philosophy that emphasizes ease of use.
The development status of the software is 5 - Production/Stable. It requires web environment. The software has been designed keeping in mind the intended audience to be developers, end users/desktop.
The software’s natural language is English and uses OS Independent as its operating system. The programming language that has been used is PHP and functions mostly to maintain dynamic content.
Other Useful Sites:
BlogBack - http://www.tecknik.net/blogback
Comment system that does not require server installation.
blogKomm - http://blogkomm.com/index.php
PHP-based system to integrate comments directly into a blog
cgiComments - http://www.knurdle.com/commenting.php
Free perl-based comment system for use on Blogger-backed and other weblogs.
dotcomments - http://www.foreword.net/
Free PHP-based comment system for use on Blogger-backed and other weblogs.
Enetation - http://www.enetation.co.uk/index.php
Free hosted commenting system
YACCS - http://rateyourmusic.com/yaccs/
"Commenting made simple"
For Posting APIs and Tools
AvantBlog - http://www.dentedreality.com.au/avantblog/
Posting from Palm or Windows CE via AvantGo
BLog - http://www.iternum.net/developer/webservices/blog/index.jsp
Web services interface to (I think) Blogger.
blogBuddy - http://blogbuddy.sourceforge.net/
Windows front-end to Blogger.
Bloggenmoz - http://bloggenmoz.antville.org/topics/download
Blogger API support for Mozilla Composer
Blogger API - http://www.blogger.com/developers/api/
Details of the XML-RPC interface to Blogger
BloggerBot - http://www.fibiger.org/bloggerbot/
AIM client for Blogger.
bloggerCOM - http://www.fibiger.org/bloggerbot/
COM interface to the Blogger API
BlogniX - http://blognix.sourceforge.net/
Blogger client for Linux
BlogScript - http://www.webentourage.com/
Mac OS X.1 tool for easy posting to Blogger-powered blogs.
To read on, visit part 3 of our Blogging
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