Friday, February 20, 2004

What is a blog?

Uniserv Academy Talk (Part 2)

You'll find links here, here, here and here trying to answer the question of "What is a blog?" Here's my take on it today.

  • A blog is to the web like a poem is to a book. A book is just sheets of paper between a cover. It could be a book of poems, a novel or a dictionary. In other words, a blog is not a web site in the traditional sense.
  • Web sites link in, blogs link out Look at the home page for The White House or NEA. The links take you deeper into the site. Links on blogs like Shifted Librarian take you out. So is it take out or eat in? :)
  • Micro Content works on blogs. Ever hear a sound byte in a newspaper? Some ideas don't work in different media as McLuhan taught us. The term Micro Content is being use to draw a distinction. Can you suggest other forms?
  • Beyond content better blogs have other features. Autodiscovery, permalinks, referrer logs, comments, categories, blog rolls and other lists can make better blogs. But as the saying goes, "the poor carpenter blames his tools." Some of the top blogs use Blogger while other bloggers like TypePad.
  • Search Engines. Google loves blogs some much they bought Blogger. Understand that Google ranking which is all important (to some) depends on links and that is what blogs provide.
  • Feeds or RSS. IMHO having a blog without a feed is like a fax machine that is not plugged in. [More next].

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