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October 22, 2002

Blogging is

I've just finish a solid draft of an entry for the Encyclopedia of Community on blogging. Please read it (click on more...). I'd like some feedback and opinions. Please don't copy it or archive it anywhere. THANKS! Blogging, keeping a blog (web log) or online journal, is the process of creating, organizing, interacting with and archiving posts to a web environment. Blog entries focus on an individual, theme, or organization. They may be posts that explore someoneˆs personal thoughts, update users on a software product, or organize news of the day around a specific issue. Most blogs are updated daily, or more often, functioning as a window onto the authorˆs world. The web site where you keep your journal is called a blog. You are a blogger. And the act of updating your site is called blogging. Blogging is less a private act of keeping a journal than it is personal publishing. Every blog has an audience, intended or unintended. Most sites have comments functions built-in or as add-ons like blogchat and enetation (See Weblogs Compendium.) that allow visitors to contribute to the discussion. Unlike other online tools that allow for dialogue between individuals, blogs are primarily monologues representing the voice of the blogger(s) who run the site. In terms of knowledge community, blogs are conceptual tool for sharing stories and personal narrative, allowing individuals to manage and present an online identity. And many blogs become linked to each other through various means. Most blogs have a permanent link (permalink) for each post which is a link to a specific archived entry. Constellations of narratives and community develop as blogs and specific blog entries are linked in a dynamic hypertext of interwoven communication. Tools such as Blogdex track this web, making it possible to locate an individual within the hierarchy of bloggers. Oneˆs position in the community is determined by who reads you. If a blog maven links to your blog visits can rise from a half dozen a day to thousands. Blogs have be traced back to 1997, though the exact genesis of the term is in dispute. According to Rebecca Blood, they were termed weblogs by Jorn Barger, and only 23 were known to exist when úPeter Merholz announced in early 1999 that he was going to pronounce it 'wee-blog' and inevitably this was shortened to 'blog'.î (Blood, 2000) Blogs are children of older online technologies (Krol 1992), but the blogging revolution comes from the ease at which it is possible to update and maintain a blog. Tools for blogging can be anything that allows you to maintain a chronological lists of entries, and are often open source or free to individuals. Early on, blogs were updated using a text editor, hand-coded html, and FTP. The main tools are Blogger, Livejournal, Moveable Type, Greymatter, Radio Userland, Bloxom, Manila, Zope, Slash. Blogger is the easiest to use. Bloxom is barebones. Live journal has the best community features. Moveable Type excels at flexibility and power. Userland targets corporate and organizational users. Zope and Slash are group environments. The rest fit in between, with specific features and options to make them all the best choice in various circumstance. Blogging is hyped as publishing for the masses. Children and seniors, homemakers and industry executives, programmers and poets are keeping online journals, but these masses are overwhelmingly English speaking individuals in the developed environments. They are relatively technologically literate and have regular access to the Internet. As blogs are inherently about me, they are more of interest to cultures that privilege individualism. Western mountain climbers on Everest keep blogs, chronicling their day with text and pictures, updated by satellite. Their Sherpas do not. There are claims that blogs are without bias, and a location for free speech, because they are not controlled by corporations. However, there is much self and community censoring, and corporations are starting to notice. And viral marketers may already targeting the community. Blogs are also criticized for clogging up the internet with meaningless, irrelevant and irresponsible content. Often this comes from professional journalists and individuals who feel content needs to be vetted, reviewed and edited. Blog Software Blogger - http://www.blogger.com Livejournal - http://www.livejournal.com Bloxsom - http://www.raelity.org/lang/perl/bloxsom/ Manila - http://manila.userland.com/ Radio Userland - http://radio.userland.com/ Moveable Type - http://www.moveabletype.org/ Slash - http://www.slashcode.org/ Zope - http://www.zope.org Group Blogs Metafilter - http://metafilter.org/ kuro5hin - http://www.kuro5hin.org/ Memepool - http://www.memepool.com/ Alienated - http://www.alienated.net Personal blogs Crabwalk - http://www.crabwalk.com/ - Blog personality Meg Hourihan - http://megnut.com ì Blog personality Neil Gaiman - http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/journal.asp ì Fiction Author [thanks for the correct Gaiman URL Kat!] jill/txt - http://cmc.uib.no/jill/ - Academic Joots - http://www.backwash.com/content.php?id=127 - Columnist Catspaw - http://www.insanecats.com/ - Student blog Blogging Tools and misc. Weblogs Compendium - http://www.lights.com/weblogs/tools.html Weblogs - http://www.weblogs.com/ Blogphiles - http://www.blogphiles.com/ blogrolling - http://www.blogrolling.com/ Bloglet - http://www.bloglet.com/ Salon Radio Community Server - http://blogs.salon.com/ Dallas Forthworth Bloggers - http://www.dfwblogs.com/ Blogdex - http://blogdex.media.mit.edu/ Blog Articles Archive - http://edublog.com/~laurel/blogs/index.htm GTA Bloggers ì http://www.gtabloggers.com References Blood, Rebecca. (2000) úweblogs: a history and perspectiveî http://www.rebeccablood.net/essays/weblog_history.html Doctorow, Cory, Rael Dornfest, Scott Johnson, Shelly Powers, Benjamin Trott and Mena Trott (2002). Essential Blogging: Selecting and Using Weblog Tools. Sebastopol: OˆReilly. Krol, Ed. (1992). The Whole Internet. Sebastapol, OˆReilly. Nolan, Jason. (February, 2002) úCeci n'est pas un blog!î E2K http://netauthor.org/e2k/jan2002/features.html111"

Posted by jason at October 22, 2002 02:34 PM