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Blogging?
paynt




msg:923333
 2:13 pm on Dec 14, 2001 (gmt 0)

I've been reading a bit about blogging. Not nearly enough to understand it yet. I'm interested to know if any of you are using blogging for your website content and if so how it works, any ideas, suggestions.

 

brokenwinged




msg:923334
 2:45 pm on Dec 14, 2001 (gmt 0)

not familair with it here, can anyone educate us?

rcjordan




msg:923335
 6:23 pm on Dec 14, 2001 (gmt 0)

Search on 'greymatter' here, we've made two or three swipes at it. Noah Grey's blogger is the best script I've come across, Oilman was on top of that (and told me about it) waaaaay before blogs were so hot.

I think Brett once used a blogger script to create/manage/update the home page of WmW. I'm not sure if that's still the case.

rcjordan




msg:923336
 6:27 pm on Dec 14, 2001 (gmt 0)

<added>

Remembered an old kw for search and found an early, early thread on blogging. wiki [webmasterworld.com] Wonder why Oilman knew so much? Oil, are you a cross-blogger?

oilman




msg:923337
 6:49 pm on Dec 14, 2001 (gmt 0)

hehehe - I've actually never blogged in my life - it just something that grabbed my interest (kinda like SEO did a few years ago :)). I have a buddy running a very successful site running on greymatter - he gets updated on google just about everyday.

I've had the best of intentions of starting up an SEO blog on my site but I've never actually gotten around to it.

rcjordan




msg:923338
 6:57 pm on Dec 14, 2001 (gmt 0)

>I've actually never blogged in my life

Yeah, yeah, yeah... that's what they all say. (Blogger! Why I only use html 2 and that's coded with notepad.)

>successful

I see them as being similar to Links2 in being able to generate spider bait.

oilman




msg:923339
 7:11 pm on Dec 14, 2001 (gmt 0)

>>generate spider bait

To build on that just for a minute. There are a couple points that should be considered for a weblog to be successful in the search engines:

1) static pages. We all know this but not all weblog programs are created equal. Make sure the one you are using generates static pages rather than just pulling data on the fly. It will index better and will also render faster.

2) timing of the archives. Any good weblog will automatically archive your post on a regular basis ie: daily, weekly, monthly etc. Don't let you pages get too long. Set your archive to be run often enough to keep your main page at a reasonble size. Once again it will index better and render faster.

mivox




msg:923340
 7:16 pm on Dec 14, 2001 (gmt 0)

Hmmm... between a blogged tip-o-the day page, and a Links topical directory (lord help me, I may use Z**s to hunt for links), and a searchable product information database... all heavily interlinked to an online store... hmm....

Content O' Rama, with minimal upkeep necessary after the initial site construction.

rcjordan




msg:923341
 7:18 pm on Dec 14, 2001 (gmt 0)

>Any good weblog

Who'd look further than greymatter? Have you seen anything else other than some of the high-$ content management systems that's any better? Are there any notable flaws in greymatter?

rcjordan




msg:923342
 7:22 pm on Dec 14, 2001 (gmt 0)

<added>

>between a blogged tip-o-the day page, and a Links topical directory (lord help me, I may use Z**s to hunt for links), and a searchable product information database...

Yep. Presto! You have a home-grown, browser-based content management system. Except for a blogger, I have all of the above, including a finely tuned spider to hunt for directory content. I use a much modified version of homefree to do some of what a blogger would do.

oilman




msg:923343
 7:27 pm on Dec 14, 2001 (gmt 0)

>>Are there any notable flaws in greymatter

some hosts run disk space reapers that used to cause greymatter to do horrible things. I just popped buy Noah's site and it looks like there is a new version and he's really moving forward with the product. I would imagine that he's closed that hole by now.

chiyo




msg:923344
 8:03 pm on Dec 14, 2001 (gmt 0)

Weve been playing with Movable Type at www.movabletype.org
(watch the spelling and org not com..) We compared several different systems and this seemed to be best, though there are similarities between MT and Greymatter. The flexibility in MT, ability to customise almost anything, and the ability to keep it SE friendly was its strong points.

There are heaps of these "blogs" - blogger, Livejournal, Manila and EditThisPage sites.. etc all over the Web. From observation there is an initial burst of enthusiasm, then they die a slow death in 90% of cases! A lot of creative energy goes into them, not sure how many people read them other than the author, his family and his dog..

That's not necessarily a bad thing of course. I beleive that Andy Warhol's prediction will eventually come true with the Web.. everybody should have their own 10 MGS of fame..

There are several notable exceptions of course. Some are very widely read. But my feeling is most find the rewards don't match the effort. For 6 years we have kept writing our diary type column in good ol' plain NotePad produced HTML, but even old dogs have to learn new tricks some time...

rcjordan




msg:923345
 8:13 pm on Dec 14, 2001 (gmt 0)

>everybody should have their own 10 MGS of fame

Heh! Good one. In my case, it's 10 Gs of infamy.

Before I go digging around in MT, are you using or pursuing multiple editors/bloggers with different access authority levels?

Robert Charlton




msg:923346
 12:41 am on Dec 15, 2001 (gmt 0)

I've never knowingly blogged in my life, but I couldn't swear that I haven't.... In 25 words or less, what is it?

paynt




msg:923347
 12:53 am on Dec 15, 2001 (gmt 0)

Thanks Robert. I feel I entered a techie nightmare ;)

Kidding folks. As soon as I figure out what you are all talking about and check out some of these sources I may then have some questions beyond, duh what?

oilman




msg:923348
 12:58 am on Dec 15, 2001 (gmt 0)

Blogging is essentially journaling online. The blogger makes daily entries and they are posted to a website and are archived once a week or whenever.

Check out Blogger [blogger.com] and click on some of the Blogs Of Note on the left hand side of the page and you'll get an idea of what this is all about :).

mivox




msg:923349
 12:58 am on Dec 15, 2001 (gmt 0)

In my understanding, Robert (from one non-blogger to another) a "blogger" script is one that allows you to enter short text entries through a web-based interface into a semi-automated online "journal" (or web log... hence blog) type page, which archives the site owner's posts at specified intervals.

More than 25 words, oh well.

<added>Drat! oilman, I'll get you for this!!!</added>

chiyo




msg:923350
 5:05 am on Dec 15, 2001 (gmt 0)

Hi mivox.

"blog", (I think) is actually shorthand for "Web Log" which started when people started putting up personal diaries/journals on the Web. Sort of like an online version of the those paper diaries people seomtimes kept before they went to bed = what i did today and what I thought, and what I learned!

They are usually very personal, and link to interesting sites they find on the Web and comment on them. So they tend to be written by indoviduals not origanizations, but having multiple authors in a community effort is gaining steam.

At one stage however it then moves to the next model - that of CMS (content Management system) software like Nuke, Post Nuke, Slash, Webthings, etc etc. The line is blurred but the main difference is that these are more complex with more complex permissions and a hirerarchy of authors, casuals, and "commenters"...

Some more resources I didnt mention before which relate to indexing rather than creating "blogs"...

[weblogs.com...] now has the last "blogs" updated on the Web, no matter what the program or non-program used to build them. Weblogs was the first site to try to bring together links to Weblogs in the same place. An idea of how many blogs there are on the Web - they list the last 3 hours of updated blogs and often this can be 200 and up. That's over 3 a minute, and these are only people that notify Weblogs.com for their updated..! Note for SEO's - <BOLD>Google crawls this page a lot..</B> -:

[daypop.com...] A brilliant simple site which searches for terms in the latest updated Weblogs by keyword. It also finds RSS news too, but that's another story! Just started - a few problems mainly in indexing catch all pages - but we use it it find gossip you wont find in the mainstream news...

These are two great resources for many webmasters running content or information sites...

RCjordan.. yes, we are setting up movable type to use multiple authors with different permissions. One great feature is that each author can use a "bookmarklet". A simple program attached to their tool bar, clicking on it from any page on the Web brings up a small form where they automatically create a "story" using whatever text they have selected and their comment and a title. Of course they dont have to link to a page, they can just enter plain text (or HTML). It publishes it to the site, without them ever having to go to the site! Blogger has a similar tool but i think it only works for the site owner.

paynt




msg:923351
 5:29 pm on Dec 15, 2001 (gmt 0)

I really appreciate the information and resources. What started me thinking along these lines is this overwhelming need I have to cover a subject, such as the discussion I started on SEO hubs, completely. Where I can go on and on and not use up Brettís bandwidth on subjects that are hard to create discussions from. Do you agree that blogging is a possible alternative for me for these situations?

Robert Charlton




msg:923352
 10:57 pm on Dec 15, 2001 (gmt 0)

Paynt - Don't you dare think about deserting us....

paynt




msg:923353
 11:08 pm on Dec 15, 2001 (gmt 0)

I'm not deserting Robert. Brett would have to boot me out on my head and I think he's too nice to do that. I'm absolutely hooked on this place. Thanks for the vote of confidence though.

I just feel that I have this stream of consciousness stuff my college writing instructor planted in my head 20 years ago in college and I canít seem to stem the tide. What I put out here is a tiny bit of what goes on in my head. I drink way too much coffee.

Iím just thinking that blogging would take the slack or something.

My goodness Robert, I respect you so much, I canít get over you writing that ;)

Robert Charlton




msg:923354
 5:46 am on Dec 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

Aw, shucks Paynt... I thought you knew. ;) Thanks for your kind words too.

We can't let our Philosopher Queen of Canonicals go off blogging to save some bandwidth. Stay here with us where you belong... Maybe switch to green tea. It's a slower more sustained buzz, and it's supposed to help you live longer.

Robert Charlton




msg:923355
 4:56 am on Dec 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

rcjordan just started a thread here [webmasterworld.com] on content management software overview by OJR which links to an excellent article that includes thoughts about the future of blogging. Thought it was worth a link from here.

volatilegx




msg:923356
 5:25 am on Dec 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

I wrote a blog script about three or four years ago but I didn't know anything about blogs at the time. I thought I was writing a script for a client that updated a news page but I guess it's essentially the same thing. Does that make me a blogger?

Robert Charlton




msg:923357
 5:43 am on Dec 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

Maybe a preblogger... I'm beginning to wonder whether these blogging tools can be used to enable clients who don't know html to update certain sections of a site... Any thoughts?

SmallTime




msg:923358
 6:05 am on Dec 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

For a news section I think they work well, most are quite open to any html customization. - But other possibilities are interesting- still trying to get a grasp of it.

New versions of Radio Userland and Frontier should be out very soon, with some new features
[radio.userland.com...]

JoshS




msg:923359
 10:04 pm on Dec 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

I recently added a weblog to my business site as a way to keep customers who can't actually visit our store regularly up to date on events and things of interest that are going on. I started this about a month ago and being that my business is garden/nursery related, there hasn't been a whole lot to report this time of year. However, my plans are to incorporate photos into my writing as a sort of "PhotoBlog".

I use GreyMatter for the script and found it to be highly custimizable. It did take a bit of tinkering to figure out all the templates. I have it set so it just displays a short "teaser" blurb on my home page with a link to the entire entry.

As a side note, here's an article I found some of you may find interesting:

[interactiveu.berkeley.edu:8000...]

Seems there are many uses for blogs...

idiotgirl




msg:923360
 11:06 pm on Dec 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

A couple personal observations regarding blogging:

While still in the midst of a site re-do, I've been absorbing all I can about not just the standard CSS specs, but trends using CSS and XML to present content in a flexible manner. I've found some wonderful, wonderful examples, including Noah Gray's. I don't think I'm alone when I say "we" designers sometimes get in a rut of our own style - and then you see a new trend or a new style done really well and you sit back and go, "Oh yeah- the world isn't flat AFTER all..." With renewed enthusiasm, you dip into a little of this and a little of that and, hopefully, "Art-meets-HTML" and it's something to shout about.

So, I think that some of the blog sites have been an inspiration and I've learned a lot by looking at them. Some really thoughtful use of css, javascript - and it works.

Okay- the bad side of blogging e.g rant:

I am sick to death of reading the inane ramblings of pseudo Shakespearean bloggers. Just what kind of ego thinks that misspelled crap is art, relevant, or remotely interesting? For crying out loud - when I went to school "I" was capitalized and the the numeral two wasn't shorthand for "to" or "too". Don't even get me started on some of the poor taste I've seen reflected under the guise of personal expression at many of the blog sites. <eww yuck>

Okay - okay - *I* have a mouth that would make a sailor blush - but that doesn't mean I'm going to scrawl it all over my web site witha casual, "in your face" attitude. I'd feel like I was "slacking" if that was the best I could come up with to share with my viewers.

I'm for the minimalist approach to everything. That includes <ahem> blogging. Restraint is the better part of valor.

Overall purpose?
I've looked at LOTS of blog sites lately. In most cases I haven't seen that a 'blog' is anything other than an ego gone rampant, lacking content, class, or anything close to style. It's all about "me, me, me!" What's on my mind! What I think! Look at me! It reminds me of a parakeet bobbing his little head up and down at the mirror. Except the mirror is actually web page.

Conclusion:
Me thinks blogging is interesting from the technical standpoint, and useful for several applications (latest updates, news, etc.), but you'll have to dig deep for quality of content when visiting the bloggers en masse. It's a jungle out there.

heini




msg:923361
 11:22 pm on Dec 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

>you'll have to dig deep for quality of content when visiting the bloggers

the exact same thing is to be said of forums, private sites, web diaries...

Blogging is just a form of presenting content. A technique doesn't generate better or worse content, as the attempts at hypertext-literature etc have shown.

chiyo




msg:923362
 4:28 am on Dec 29, 2001 (gmt 0)

Well idiotgirl, you are right to some extent though I wouldnt have expressed it so lucidly :) There are jewels amongst the crass. Weblog software makes it EASY to publish personal ramblings AND make it *look* pretty - and to automatically archive this stuff for all time - so it's easier to publish crap OR easier to publish good stuff. My observations previously still stand with me. Most weblogs are highly active for a few weeks and months - then die a death. Weblogs wont survive if nobody reads them - democracy at work - As RC said, maybe its 10 MGS of infamy rather than 10 MG's of fame!

I also note one webloggers sig line "Being unpopular at school is no excuse for Weblogging" :)

Weblogs sure have brought out the introverts who can rant in public and let out their frustrations without risking physical exposure or having to defend themselves socially.. In some ways this is good, - social "outsiders" can have their own say at last But on the whole you are probably right - It's the American ideal of individualism and free speech gone mad... That's been known to produce America's greatest triumphs - and greatest disasters..

But there are some very very very good weblogs out there.

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