Blogs, aka weblogs, are web sites with content primarily arranged by time, where the content provided by an author is not interfered with.

Blogs compared with:

  • Web sites. Webs are usually arranged by topic, alphabet, etc. Blogs are primarily arranged by time but the content can also be other wise arranged as well. By arranging content primarily by time, the freshest, newest content is at the forefront. Time is linear, eternal, and universal but arrangement by subject can be complex and can change.
  • Wikis. Wikis have multiple people working collaboratively on content. Blogs site can have multiple bloggers but content is more serial and separate, i.e. no one overwrites or edits your material.
  • Message Boards. Message boards allow people to comment on a piece via comment threads. Blogs and web sites can add this feature too, plus they are not just text based.
  • News Management Software. News Management Software, like Vignette and Interwoven, manages content from multiple contributors, who are usually professionals, on behalf of an organization. Blogs are usually by individuals who have full control over their own content. Blogs that accept blogging from multiple contributors must "promise" to not edit contributor's.

Blogs are usually by a single author. However some blogs are by multiple authors. The multi-blogger sites may have closed-membership, closed-membership with guest bloggers, or open-membership. The key thing is who decides who can blog on a particular blog site.

The later generation blogs are made via blogging systems/services. Here are some of the features that blogging systems provide.

  • System basics.
    • Weblog Posts. Whereas Web sites use a "page" as the unit of measurement, Blogs rely on the "post" as the unit of measurement. Weblog posts have 4 basic elements.
      • Timestamp. This is the only one required on systems and it is usually automatically generated.
      • Title. Optional. Avoid markups.
      • Link(s). A post may link to 0 or more other things. Often times a permalink to the real meat of the content.
      • Description/Summary. Optional. Markups allowed.
    • Automated archival. When posts are made, they are archived chronologically automatically. The RSS rendering of posts notes the timestamp.
    • Automated permalinks. The archived content is static and thus permalinks, links that are good practically forever, can be used to access the content.
    • Automated Calendar. Users are provided with a calendar interface to access all archived posts.
    • Make Categories. Posts can also be ordered and accessed by category but that process is not automated. An RSS rendering of posts notes the category.
    • Enable Blogroll. Most systems enable the creation of a short little list of blogs and sites that the current site or content provider like. This can enable viewer to get a feel of the site's or content provider's outlook. Note that the site BlogRolling.com does not blogroll per se, what that company does is provide a quick way to add links to your site.
  • Wiki like features.
    • Shortcuts for making link. Some systems allow quick url entries via a shorthand version of HTML.
    • "Edit This Page" button. Usually for the author of that specific page. If this is available to more than just the author, than the site is a wiki and not a blog.
  • Viewer access.
    • Web accessed. Blogs are web sites viewable by any Internet connected browser.
    • Automated viewer notification. A more personal variation of pining. If content changes, then entities on a list are notified via email, IM, etc.
    • Enable Comments. Most blogging systems include a way to collect viewer comments and thus generate comment threads. Generally each post is one thread. Sometimes a discussion group is made that aggregates threads, possibly from different categories within the site.
    • Enable Viewer to email author. Viewers have an interface to email the content poster, esp. without displaying the poster's email.
  • Implementation.
    • Web entry interface. Content can be inputted and managed over the Web with simple browser interfaces. This eliminates the need for proprietary software and provides mobility since this can be done from any Internet connected browser. This is probably the main reason the rise of blogging.
    • Different media types for content. Most blogs are text based, but it is certainly possible to focus on other media or to mix media just like Web sites. After text-based blogs, image blogs come second. Media types include text, images, audio, video, flash, etc.
    • Rendering templates. Content is entered via the Web using rendering templates. Rendering templates decide how the content looks. That way a contributor can focus on content not presentation. The templates are flexible are customizable.
    • Static or dynamic rendering.
      • In static rendering, content exists in files that can be pointed to. EGs: Movable Type, Blogger, default for Radio.
      • In dynamic rendering, no file exists but content is generated from a data source. EGs: default for Manila.
  • Miscellany
    • Site Users and Roles administration. Systems administer content makers and site viewers with a user and roles system comparable to network user and roles administration. This controls read and write rights as well as list users for notifications about site changes.
    • Automated author info pages. If a page is made for contributors, that is usually accessible by clicking on the author's name when they tagline their content.
    • Enabling Syndication. All the content or specific categories of content can be retrieved via an RSS feed.
    • Automated Pinging. When content is updated, sites that track changed blogs (EGs: WebLogs.com, Blo.gs) can be automatically notified.
    • Automated Trackbacking. If site A has content X, and it supports trackbacking, and site B discusses content X, then when site A is trackback pinged so that site A can list an url to site B.

Blogs bloomed in an era of news frenzy: 2001/09/11 and the fall of the World Trade Centers in New York City which built up to 2003/03/19 and the invasion of Iraq by the US and the UK. Move on people. Get on with your lives.

  • Blogs is a type of One-to-Many communication. It is only effective if you have excellent content or a ready audience. Please do not be afraid to go for quality instead of quantity if you are going to blog.
  • Blogs is a type of Many-to-Many communication. This only happens if your site is involved in a popular topic. Please do not be afraid to communicate with a broad range of people.
  • Blog content is transient. It cannot replace the presentation of content, knowledge that grows and build with time. For that web and wikis are better.


GeorgeHernandez.comSome rights reserved