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What Are They? What Can They Be Used For? Duncan Smeed duncan.smeed@cis.strath.ac.uk http://www.cs.strath.ac.uk/~dunc/ http://www.smeed.org/. Weblogs and Blogs. What is a Weblog?.

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weblogs and blogs
What Are They?

What Can They Be Used For?

Duncan Smeed

duncan.smeed@cis.strath.ac.uk

http://www.cs.strath.ac.uk/~dunc/

http://www.smeed.org/

Weblogs and Blogs

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

what is a weblog
What is a Weblog?

Weblogs are often-updated sites that point to articles elsewhere on the web, often with comments, and to on-site articles. A weblog is kind of a continual tour, with a human guide who you get to know. There are many guides to choose from, each develops an audience, and there's also comraderie and politics between the people who run weblogs, they point to each other, in all kinds of structures, graphs, loops, etc.

Source: Dave Winer - http://newhome.weblogs.com/historyOfWeblogs

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

what is a weblog1
…What is a Weblog?

The original weblogs were link-driven sites. Each was a mixture in unique proportions of links, commentary, and personal thoughts and essays. Weblogs could only be created by people who already knew how to make a website. A weblog editor had either taught herself to code HTML for fun, or, after working all day creating commercial websites, spent several off-work hours every day surfing the web and posting to her site. These were web enthusiasts…

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

what is a weblog2
…What is a Weblog?

Many current weblogs follow this original style. Their editors present links both to little-known corners of the web and to current news articles they feel are worthy of note. Such links are nearly always accompanied by the editor's commentary. An editor with some expertise in a field might demonstrate the accuracy or inaccuracy of a highlighted article or certain facts therein; provide additional facts he feels are pertinent to the issue at hand; or simply add an opinion or differing viewpoint from the one in the piece he has linked…

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

what is a weblog3
…What is a Weblog?

Typically this commentary is characterized by an irreverent, sometimes sarcastic tone. More skillful editors manage to convey all of these things in the sentence or two with which they introduce the link (making them, as Halcyon pointed out to me, pioneers in the art and craft of microcontent). Indeed, the format of the typical weblog, providing only a very short space in which to write an entry, encourages pithiness on the part of the writer; longer commentary is often given its own space as a separate essay…

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

what is a weblog4
…What is a Weblog?

These weblogs provide a valuable filtering function for their readers. The web has been, in effect, pre-surfed for them. Out of the myriad web pages slung through cyberspace, weblog editors pick out the most mind-boggling, the most stupid, the most compelling.

Source: Rebecca Blood

http://www.rebeccablood.net/essays/weblog_history.html

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

death to blogs
Death to Blogs?

I know blogs haven't even begun to hit the mass market; but the hype-engine is in full swing; forcing conversations about blogs to be about the formats, toolsets, how to write to attract attention, etc. The conversation that we should be having would be driven by what is really revolutionary; the rise of inexpensive, real-time, distributed cross-demographic/geographic/politic conversations that are not ephemeral, and thanks to Google's weighting mechanisms, inherently populist…

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

death to blogs1
…Death to Blogs?

Continuing to discuss "what is a blog" in technical terms makes the whole thing feel like CB radio.

Distributed conversations and the communities that they create/nurture are the killer app of the internet. Let's talk about why that is revolutionary...”

Source: Jonathan Peterson - http://www.way.nu/archives/000244.html#000244

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

weblogs who
Weblogs - Who?
  • Early adopters were avid enthusiasts
    • Very few weblogs five years ago
    • Early webloggers often wrote and used their own weblogging systems:
      • These early systems were relatively unsophisticated amounting to little more than front-ends to HTTP and FTP uploaders
    • Most/all were technologists

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

weblogs who1
Weblogs - Who?
  • Late adopters are just webloggers
    • Hundreds of thousands of weblogs currently.
    • Nowadays most webloggers use a ‘commercial’ weblogging systems - a means to an end, not an end in itself.
    • Technologists are in the minority having been joined by the likes of:
      • Hobbyists, activists, journalists, novelists, diaryists, egotists
    • But are all ‘web archaeologists’!
      • Digging up links and summarising, quoting, annotating, and reviewing them are their raison d’etre.

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

weblogs why
Weblogs - Why?
  • Weblogs are the ultimate personal publishing system. There are three main reasons why weblogging has mushroomed in the past few years:
    • Ease of Use
    • Ease of Use
    • and…

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

weblogs why1
…Weblogs - Why?

Ego!

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

weblogs where
Weblogs - Where?
  • “Where to Weblog” can be interpreted in several ways:
    • Where would you need to be to weblog?
    • Under what circumstances would you weblog?

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

weblogs where1
…Weblogs - Where?
  • Where would you need to be to weblog?
    • This depends on the type of weblogging tool you use
    • Tools basically fall into one of two categories
      • A centralised weblogging system
      • A semi-decentralised weblogging system

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

weblogs where2
…Weblogs - Where?
  • A centralised weblogging system
    • Uses a front-end (usually a browser) to a server-hosted, usually dynamically generated, weblog.
    • Creation, editing, administering, etc.,of weblog posts are server-side operations.
    • Can be used from any browser, anywhere, anytime.
    • Potentially lower cost ‘per user’ but issues of load and scalability server-side.

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

weblogs where3
…Weblogs - Where?
  • A semi-decentralised weblogging system:
    • A front-end (sometimes a browser) to a client-hosted weblog, that is mirrored (usually as static pages) to, and served from, an ‘upstream’ server.
    • Creation, editing, administering, etc., of weblog posts are client-side operations.
    • You need access to the client. Use restricted to when you have access to your own desktop/laptop.
    • Potentially higher cost ‘per user’ but lower load on server hence better scalability.

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

weblogs when
Weblogs - When?
  • Under what circumstances would you weblog?
    • Whenever you wish to capture some knowledge or information

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

weblogs how
Weblogs - How?
  • Several ‘Hows’ come to mind:
    • “How to Weblog?”
      • Use one of the many weblogging systems now available!
    • “How can weblogs be integrated with institutional websites?”:
      • Integration by Toleration
      • Integration by Invitation
      • Integration by Syndication
      • Integration by Transformation
      • Integration by Interrogation
      • Integration by Assimilation

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

weblogs how1
…Weblogs - How?
  • Integration by Toleration
    • Just allow weblogs to exist and link to them as they are!

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

weblogs how2
…Weblogs - How?
  • Integration by Invitation
    • ‘Invite’ webloggers to present their weblog in a way that is consistent with institutional policy before links to them would be considered.

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

weblogs how3
…Weblogs - How?
  • Integration by Syndication
    • Make use of the syndication features of most current weblog systems, e.g. RSS, to incorporate content.

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

weblogs how4
…Weblogs - How?
  • Integration by Transformation
    • Make use of the repurposing capabilities of most weblog systems to incorporate content

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

weblogs how5
…Weblogs - How?
  • Integration by Interrogation
    • Make use of the search and/or RPC interfaces - such as XML-RPC and SOAP - of some weblog systems to incorporate content.

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

weblogs how6
…Weblogs - How?
  • Integration by Assimilation
    • Embrace weblogging as a primary means of content creation and delivery. How likely is that? ;-)

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

weblogs which
Weblogs - Which?
  • There are many popular weblog tools
    • Blogger - http://www.blogger.com
    • Conversant - http://www.free-conversant.com
    • Movable Type - http://www.movabletype.org
    • Radio Userland - http://radio.userland.com
  • My favourite is Conversant
    • See http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002 ;-)
  • Not all have the same capabilities/functionality

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

weblogs protocols apis
Weblogs - Protocols/APIs
  • The protocols/APIs supported include:
    • HTTP
    • FTP
    • SMTP
    • NNTP
    • XML-RPC
      • e.g. Blogger API, MetaWeblog API
    • SOAP
  • Not many weblogging systems support all of the above!

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

weblogs syndication
Weblogs - Syndication
  • Most weblogs support RSS to enable syndication
  • Other syndication formats include:
    • OPML
    • Others?

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

weblogs conclusion
Weblogs - Conclusion
  • Weblogs are currently under-rated
    • Most often dismissed as ‘vanity’ publishing systems
  • Some weblogging systems are, in fact, highly sophisticated personal content management systems
  • Judge for yourself
    • http://www.weblogs.com
  • Create your own and/or subscribe to mine!

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002

weblogs discussion and q a
Weblogs - Discussion and Q&A
  • Discussion and Q&A…

http://duncan.smeed.org/iwmw-2002