blogs are interesting. I like how easy they are to update, and the
informality of being able to mention a topic without having the
overhead emotional commitment required to have that topic justify its
own new webpage/url.
When you see the "feed icon"
on a web page, it should be a link
to the "rss" file which can be used by your blog reader.
My website has a blog running down the middle of
the home page; these are ephemeral topics including responses to
interesting news items or stuff I see elsewhere on the web.
Tech note: my index.html file has a line like this:
to tell my webserver (Apache in my case) to include the
contents of my blog.html file
(which is updated by blogger)
into my main index.html page. Make sense?
You can my blog posts with a blog reader which can read
more permanent items have their own web page URL and are linked from
the left column on my home page.
My first blog (now offline) was a community blog I created with
blogger on 9/12/01,
and I don't have to tell you what that was about.
I think some professions should consider requiring blogs, e.g.,
teachers and students could blog new learnings, important lessons,
etc. (Just think how
Falling on Cedars
might have turned out if lighthouse guys used blogs
instead of paper notebooks.)
I once had the opportunity to meet with
the inventor of the web. He told me he was disappointed that the web
evolved to become read-only, where 99% of people do not publish. His
original vision was that web technology should allow more people to
publish, and having relevant stuff easily findable by people
interested in it. It seems blogs help solve the former (ease of use
for publishing) and Tim is working on the
semantic web (via "RDF"
etc) to help solve the findability problem.
Here are some changes I'd like to see with personal
- Volume of submissions; most blog tools only produce good
blogs if you post a lot; what about blog tools for folks that only
want to post something every few/several weeks? How would those sites
be organized? Also, when I post something, I should be forced to pick
a "priority" for that posting (default to normal), so that over time,
my slow changing website will show the important stuff first, not just
the most recent thing (which could be weeks old and low priority).
- Auto-hide stuff that visitors have already "seen"
before. To do this most effectively, blogs should be rendered to fit
on my browser without scrollbars, and fit in a single column. Then an
item which has been displayed, unobscured, on my screen for N seconds
could be marked as "seen", so the next time I go there, I by default
will only see stuff I've not yet seen.
- Indices should automatically be created and maintained by
title, broad subject and date. The current default behavior of most
blogs to organize by date is either arrogant and/or naive, assuming
all readers are faithfully reading my diary regularly, and assuming
that all of my posts are of equal value. Most people, those who would
not post daily, should have the default view of their blog be posted
by subject, not by date.
- Found FYI functionality would allow me to see something I
like on the web, and to click an FYI button (or favorites link). This
would bring up a form where I would have to enter at least a sentence
about why I found that article interesting, and maybe confirm the
broad topic of the article (science, philosophy...). Then it would
send "notice" to my "colleagues" of that interesting article, as well
as posting a link to it in my own personal blog. By notice, it would
send email by default, but then letting each recipient customize how
they want to receive future notices if at all. E.g., real-time email
for each one, appending to a reading-list for that person to scan
later, as well as their level of interest by broad topic (and perhaps
by friend as well).
- Wrote FYI would be similar to the above, but would be
triggered automatically each time I wrote something in my blog. I
would confirm broad topic, and people interested in my postings on
that topic would be notified in the way appropriate to them. New
readers could signup without my involvement (except a possible
confirmation or FYI email to me if I wanted).
- Boring Filter would remove all blog content that says stuff
like "well, today is boring, i don't know what to write" or stuff like
"well, i played around with my background image and moved the search
box over to a new column". However, if there was such a filter, would
there be anything left to read in most blogs?
Blog Related Software
- Blogger is perhaps the most
popular free blog editor, run from your browser (no software to
download or install) and hosted on your space or
It is insecure since you have to give them your ftp
password. If they get cracked (which has happened), bad guys have your
- Movabletype is blog
client software, pretty, and used by a bunch of my friends.
- FeedDemon is a great
- Bloglines is a web-based
- BlogBridge is
being created by my friend Pito.
is the website of Dan Cederholm, and it has some nice little
software for attractive postings etc.
- Plone.org has a Python-based
content management system.
- Zope.org is an open source
application server, including content management etc.
- GNU slash
is a database-driven news and message board, using mod_perl
- bloghop is community ranked
blogs; cool, but spend half an hour to do some voyeuristic browsing of
best rated blogs, and you'll see that most blogs are really boring.
And bloghop uses frames, which is really annoying.
- blogchalking is a cool
idea for putting a standard "chalk" logo on your site with standard
meta tags about yourself, so it is easier to search for blogs by
certain standard criteria.
- blogdex aggregates
- radio userland
is starting to become popular in some circles, it is geeky software
you download and install and then run from your web browser, served
off your pc. I'm playing with this now, here is my
- klips seem cool.