WebLog

Web-based writing environment, similar to an online journal or diary. Very chronological in nature.

References have been made to the idea of the Commonplace Book. Dan Bricklin compares them to Revolutionary-War-era pamphlets .

What's the point? What are the defining characteristics of the media/software?

  1. easy enough to update that you're willing to do so many times a day. This encourages more updating, which is often a good thing (to the extent that writing is a tool for learning).
  • uh, what does easy mean? (comparisons: (a) complete hand-tooling, (b) previous personal-website tools like Trellix...)

    • the mechanics of getting chunks of words onto a remote server so that it can be requested by others (FTP upload, etc.)

    • semi-automatically maintaining a home page which contains the most recent set of items, in reverse chronological order.

      • Older items "fall off" into archive files with little effort.

      • At the time of creation, each "item" gets a permanent URL which will work even after the item falls off the homepage, so that links to it will work forever.

        • these links (and thus traffic) will generally come from (a) a Search Engine or (b) links from other blogs (typically made when the target item was fresh).

          • for Search Engine relevance, I feel it's important for each "item" to stand alone, rather than grouping all items for a day or month together. Because of I search for 'semantic wiki' in Google, I want those 2 words to occur in the same basic thought, not in 2 separate thoughts which happened to occur on the same day ('semantic bolognese').
        • I don't find the chronological interface to archives to be a big benefit. Some sort of listing is necessary, but how often do you scroll back a day at a time through a blog's archives?

      • a decent blog tool should allow use of basic HTML styling without resorting to tags - bold, italic, lists, etc.

        • The richer the palette (font names, colors, sizes; ...) the more complex the tool becomes. One can argue that such styling is adding little information. And that there is greater likelihood of breakage when browsers start expecting, say, XHTML v2. (Hence my preference for some sort of SmartAscii.)
      • some sort of templating feature so that a non-ugly style can be used consistently throughout the site. And that style can be changed later, updating all the pages in the archives. (Ideally, the tool generates some sort of MetaTag with a mod-date, which doesn't change just because your template changes!)

  • while most blog writing is appending, editing is meant to be very easy as well. This allows for an informal approach of throwing up an idea at its birth and then refining a bit later.

    • I'd argue that a strength of Wiki is that it allows this process to happen forever, while a blog tends to focus on the current day.
  1. Hmmm, I guess there is no number2!
  • to play in the BlogWeb, you probably need your WebLog to have an RSS feed. But it's worth remembering how few blogs actually have this feature.

Some blog tools generate static HTML which can be handled by the cheapest of hosting providers. Others require the ability to run dynamic code like an Application Server.

Most blogs involve a single author, though there are exceptions. Also, some blogs provide a Comment (Group Discussion) feature.

Dave Winer on What makes a weblog a weblog?

  • Dave started blogging in Oct'1994.

Sam Ruby kicked off a wiki-based discussion on the essentials of a Well Formed entry.

I had a WebLog elsewhere (using Userland Manila). I later morphed this Zwiki in such a way that it can combine Wiki and WebLog features into a single Thinking Space (WikiLog).

Some WebLog tool creators are Dave Winer (UserLand) and Evan Williams (Blogger). See also MovableType, Live Journal, Diary Land, Xanga/WebCrimson, JournUrl, etc.

Some WebLoggers include: Dan Gillmor, Doc Searls, Dave McCusker, Mark Bernstein, Victor Lombardi, John Robb, Wes Felter, PeterMe.

Big database of scrapings: http://www.blogcensus.net/?page=Download


Some collection-of-blogs words


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