Tuesday, January 04, 2005


500 Channels and Nothing's On

How do you find blogs that are interesting to read? There are a lot of blogs out there (me and my dog, me and my computer, me looking for love, me lost in love, my cats and me, etc., etc.), but not every blog is one you want to read.

There are a bunch of different ways to find a blog. Here are some of the ways:

* know the address of a blog and go there
* use the random 'next blog' button at the top of the screen
* click on the username of a person who comments on your blog
* use the links in your profile to find like-minded people (or hike-loving, Nietzsche-reading, jet-skiers from Illinois...)
* browse the links in someone else's blogroll
* use a blog-specific search engine, such as Feedster

And there are probably a whole lot more ways to find blogs that I don't know about!


All is Vanity

So, you're posting to your blog every day, and you're being very clever. But how do you know if anyone is reading your stuff??

Some people install a site tracker on their blog, that can record every visit to their blog and what path the person took to get there. (I don't know how to do this yet.)

Another way to tell if someone is reading your blog is to find out who has added you to their blogroll. You can search for your URL (the address of your blog) using Technorati, to see who has links to it.


Making a Blogroll

A blogroll is a list of blogs that you read a lot, or blogs that you like. If you are a techie, you can code a blogroll into your blog all by yourself. However, if you're like me and don't know your HTML from your HAT, then you probably need assistance with making a blogroll.

One blogroll-making service that is out there is called Blogrolling, where you can make one free blogroll for your website.


Blogging Ethics!

I just heard about this Bloggers' Code of Ethics yesterday in an e-mail newslist that I get. What a great idea.


Where to Make Your Blog?

You can pay for a blog or you can create one on one of the free blogging host sites. These are a few of the free blog-hosting sites that I've found:

Blogger (Blog*Spot)

Movable Type

There are a lot more blog hosts out there, but you need to look at them carefully to decide if they have the features that you want. You also need to read carefully to find out if you have to pay for the blog-hosting service or not.


Blogging Books at the Library

These are two books on blogging that you can borrow from the library, if you want to learn all the gory details:

Doctorow, Cory [et al]. Essential Blogging. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly, 2002.

Stone, Biz. Blogging : Genius Strategies for Instant Web Content. Indianapolis, Ind.: New Riders, 2003.

On a related note, we also have books that you can borrow on journaling/diary-writing, and on general English language usage as well, just to keep your blog on the up and up. After all, we don't want the author of 'Eats, Shoots, and Leaves' to track us down for any major grammatical sins, now, do we?


A Blogging Glossary

New concepts need new words. There are a lot of new words developing because of blogging. But what are they? What do they mean? Here's a great glossary from the 'blogosphere' - Samizdata

I especially like the word 'blurker', which is a word for people who visit a lot of blogs but don't ever leave a comment - so you don't know that they have been there (just like 'lurkers'!)

Another blogging glossary that is out there is published by the Guardian. It's not as slick as Samizdata, but it has a few very basic terms that make it useful.


'Blogging in Saskatoon' Takes Flight

T. and I are teaching a class at the Library to adults next week, on how to blog. This blog is going to be our jumping-off place. Sort of like 'Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump' - to stick with the Prairie theme - except hopefully with less blood...

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