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Blogging 101

Blogging 101

612 views Since it was Spewed out 14 years, 1 month ago at 4:10 pm

So you want to do this thing called "Blog". By now most have heard the term. Like "::wikipedia("podcast", podcast)::" being the new word of the year a year or two ago ::wikipedia("blog", blog):: was the it word. Amazing how the english language is transformed. There used to be a difference between web logging and online journaling. From web logging came weblogging and pretty soon we just got lazy and shortened it to blogging.Made further more popular by ::wikipedia("Pyra Labs", Pyra Labs)::, the original developers of Blogger before it was bought by the monolith Google.

Well I started journalling and logging way back (approx 1997) when they were still fairly seperate affairs. I started out updating a webpage adding to it, then soon discovered server side scripting in the form of ::wikipedia("Miva", Miva)::. So soon I embarked on programming my own little "blogging" script. It was pretty basic and robust, however I did manage to link it with a database (albeit an outdated format *dbf*). Looking for something a little more user friendly in terms of managing the numerous updates and files and more developed than my own script. I stumbled upon a doctor who’s hobby seemed to be scripting in ::wikipedia("Perl", Perl)::. Anyways Dr Grohol had created his own script driven out of his own journalling and need to maintain his files.

This was pretty commonplace, site owners would pretty much code their own scripts to fill their needs. The web was still not very user-friendly when it came to webpages. Sure there was the geocities & tripod freebie sites out there providing web pages, however if you wanted something more advanced you were out of luck unless you were tech savvy.

Anyways Dr Grohol was also one of the few people to release his script as opensource and still provides it as such to this day. (Grohol Open Journal).

With that perl script I moved on, in times of laziness I tried various other scripts and creating my own, moving from Miva to ::wikipedia("Cold Fusion", Cold Fusion):: and ::wikipedia("ASP", ASP):: and now to ::wikipedia("PHP", PHP)::.

So anyways you want to start a blog? Here’s a few places to get started. These here following blog sites are hosted for you.

With Google’s group of programmers and developers now behind Blogger. This is the obvious choice for free, fast and good. They’ve done a great job in giving it universal appeal to both web/tech savvy users as well as technopeasants. As well they’ve developed their hosting portion Blogspot a lot more these days with Google running the show. So with an integrated hosting solution and constant development and very useable features, this is a great place to get started. It’s only as complicated as you want it to be, so you can develop your blog as you become more knowledgeable.

If you like the whole online community of blogs type of idea (so affectionately known as the ::wikipedia("blogosphere", blogosphere)::) then you might like Livejournal. When they say it’s simple, they definitely mean it. Have fun trying to customize your blog design. It can be done but it’s not very friendly in that particular manner. It used to be invite only which I think explains the number of users. That’s definitley a great marketing ploy. Just like gmail (Which they seem to give me an endless supply of invites to dish out) the invite only aspect makes everyone want it more…even if it doesn’t seem like it’s all that great (livejournal that is). If you’re uber beginner and would like simplicity here it is.

If you’re tech savvy and want more control with something that is hosted for you and you like the easy to use livejournal system (I believe they are using some of the open source livejournal code) then this site might work for you. They also offere gallery,media and various other logging. So check it out.

I won’t even justify it with a link.

3 is good for now. Once you’re done fiddling with those sites and you’ve gotten a little more well versed with websites and blogs and what not you might want to look into a self hosted option. Course this starts to cost money. You’ll need a host and a domain name. However this is where it starts getting good because there’s many wonderful Open Source (free) scripts you can install on your own site that offers far more flexibility.

Here’s a few of the heavy hitters.

Moveable Type is a quick, easy and fully customizable blogging script. With many features and a very active plugin community. Sixapart is the company behind it and they actually aquired Danga the company behind Livejournal. If you want to try this script out on a hosted platform check out TYPEPAD. This is a paid host and so costs money.

This is also another blogging script however WordPress focuses on aestethics and ease of use while staying web compliant. It’s extermely easy to customize the way it looks and to use and is very very popular. Not to mention the install process takes only 5 minutes.

And here’s one that’s billed slightly differently.

This one is a little different from the rest. It’s classified as a Content Management System however it is very heavily geared towards blogging. It’s extremely easy to use, lightweight as well as extensible with plugins. Templates are easily modified and the site can be quite heavily tweaked. Another easy to use script you might want to consider.

Well that should get you on your way to blogging whatever your heart desires.

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