Today I seem to be catching up with the continuing background radiation from scifoo and it’s a good way to wind down the jetlag. Here’s Richard Akerman again showing that we really went to scifoo. This learning session also was responsible for the two very short posts on this blog where we were showing how it works…
This post lists a few basics about blogging (and feeds) and the tools that I use, it also serves as an example of why I blog: sure I could send this as an email, or bookmark links for my own use, but if I’m going to that effort, I might as well just share it with everyone.
Peter Murray-Rust showing his blog
John Santini had the perhaps-misfortune of asking Peter Murray-Rust and I about both the reasons for and the mechanics of blogging, we proceeded to outgeek one another with dueling laptops showing the following:
www.typepad.com is what I use for a blogging platform, you have to pay but that does have the benefit of separating your site out from the unfortunate profusion of spam blogs on
www.blogger.com Google’s free blogging platform
To prevent the flood of spam comments that inevitably flow to all blogs, Peter has a filtering system plus moderation, and I use TypePad’s CAPTCHA system and moderation. It’s unfortunately not possible to filter trackbacks in this way, although you can moderate them.
To track get a full picture of your visitors, you need to track both web hits and (RSS) feed hits. I use StatCounter for my web hits, plus both Peter and I use FeedBurner (now owned by Google) to track our feed hits. Google Analytics is another web hit tracking option, but it’s more for high-volume sites. All these tracking tools are free.
You can also track references to your blog through Technorati and other blog/feed search tools, e.g. here are links to Peter’s blog:
Peter uses Feed Reader to read RSS feeds, I use Bloglines (you can see what I read at http://www.bloglines.com/public/rakerman ).
In terms of reasons and other meta-blogging areas, I blog mainly to have online searchable notes of stuff that I am sure to forget, and also to connect into the library technology community, which I entered only a few years ago. If making connections like that is important to you, make sure to be generous with your outbound links.
John asked about how much of your identity you have to reveal online, you have every choice ranging from fully anonymous to complete disclosure. Depending on your topic, revealing at least your work title may help to establish your position in the community for people who are reading yoru blog.
That’s about it, it’s quite easy to start blogging and through the magic of linking and Google, if you write it, they will come.
Peter has blogged some of his thoughts on the topic in scifoo: blogsession.
PMR: and the photo shows off the CML t-shirt that Mo-seph created for my Christmas present. (His t-shirt style is very individual and I think elegantly simple. But I am not an independent reviewer).