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section heading icon     blogging tools and primers

This page discusses types, tools for the production of blogs and some printed guides.

It covers -

  • tools - software for blogging
  • texts - printed guides for would-be bloggers

section marker     tools

As of October 2001 we'd counted over forty tools for blogging; the number has since grown. Four of the most prominent are Blogger, Manila, LiveJournal and Weblogger. Other tools are listed here.

Blogger promotes its services as "Push Button Publishing for the People", predicting that "The Revolution Will Be Bloggerized". It offers free automated publishing, with text being posted to an existing site or a page that the developer will host at the subscription/advertising-based blog*spot. Authors typically use a Blogger template for layout of the site. Adding an entry involves entering the text onto a form at the Blogger site, which is then automatically uploaded. Our office dog used Blogger for her blog; the author's current blog is here.

Manila is an initiative of the feisty Mr Winer. Weblogger offers free publishing tools and commercial hosting, as does LiveJournal. Competitors include the UK 20six, WordPress, Blosxom and sundry iBlogs.

There is an introduction to Slash (as used in the collaborative blog Slashdot) in Running Weblogs with Slash (Sebastopol: O'Reilly 2002) by David Krieger & Brian Aker.

For readers rather than authors Spyonit is a service offering an email alert when a specified blog is updated.

Hosting specialists include Blogger's Blog*spot, Diaryland, Winer's Userland, DiaryLand and (which boasts, perhaps not entirely tongue-in-cheek, that "You too can be an online exhibitionist").

The problematical Perseus survey highlighted on the preceding page of this profile suggested that significant variation in abandonment rates appeared to reflect which service was being used. Pitas, BlogSpot and Diaryland supposedly had above average abandonment rates; Xanga had an average abandonment rate and LiveJournal had the lowest rate.

section marker     and texts

Assimilation of blogging by mainstream culture after 2004 saw a proliferation of primers, often more distinguished by enthusiasm (and publisher opportunism) than real insights.

Those who prefer to consult text offline can explore The Weblog Handbook: Practical Advice On Creating And Maintaining Your Blog (New York: Perseus 2002) by Rebecca Blood - "Finally a book for anyone who has ever thought about starting a Weblog but wasn't sure what to post, how to post, or even where to go to register" - or the equally enthusiastic Blogging: Genius Strategies for Instant Web Content (Indianapolis: New Riders 2002) by Biz Stone and Blog Wild: How Everyone Can Go Blogging (New York: Portfolio 2006) by Andy Wibbels. If you're inspired by notions of 'genius strategies' you may well embrace claims that 'blogging for dollars' is viable.

Stone's Who Let the Blogs Out? : A Hyperconnected Peek at the World of Weblogs (New York: St Martin's 2004) is even more delirious. We were more impressed by the Reporters sans Frontiers 2005 Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-dissidents (here).

We've Got Blog: How Weblogs Are Changing Our Culture (New York: Perseus 2002) edited by Rebecca Blood, Uses of Blogs (London: Peter Lang 2006) edited by Axel Bruns & Joanne Jacobs, We Blog: Publishing Online with Weblogs (New York: Wiley 2002) edited by Paul Bausch, Matthew Haughey & Meg Hourihan, The Corporate Blogging Book: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know to Get It Right (New York: Penguin 2006) by Debbie Weil, Publish and Prosper: Blogging for Your Business (Indianapolis: New Riders Press 2006) by DL Byron & Steve Broback, Blogging for Business: Everything You Need to Know and Why You Should Care (New York: Kaplan 2006) by Shel Holtz & Ted Demopoulos and Blog On: Building Online Communities with Web Logs (New York: McGraw-Hill 2002) by Todd Stauffer are similar exercises in digital boosterism.

Essential Blogging (Sebastopol: O'Reilly 2002) edited by Shelley Powers covers software: Blogger, Radio Userland, Movable Type and Blosxom.

The final page of this profile offers a brief explanation of some blog jargon.

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