Friday, May 4, 2007

Blog's Eye View

Just in case some of the content of the presentation went over the heads of attendees:

A blog is a website with periodic chronological updates that you can subscribe to for notification of updates. A blog can be text, audio, images, video, or a combination of all three (an audio or video blog is called a podcast). Commenting is a popular but optional feature that allows blog readers to communicate with blog posters and the community responded to them.

A feed is a data sent out from a blog to let subscribers know the blog has been updated. The title and post are sent as an attachment. Feeds may be in RSS or XML format. A feed is added to a feed aggregator - just like you need a mailbox to collect letters, catalogs, and packages, an aggregator collects blog content. One sifts through the aggregator to decide what to read, watch, view or listen to.

An aggregator may be a plugin added to your brower, like Sage for Firefox users, a download that you install and use on your computer, like FeedReader, or a web application like Bloglines where you create an account and log into from anywhere. Many browsers are incorporating live bookmarking, which means when you save a site, if it has a feed, they show up as individual bookmarks under the main bookmarks.

Jessa Crispin, Bookslut
Jenny Levine, The Shifted Librarian
Michael Stephens, Tame the Web

Michael spoke about why we blog: to build community, primarily. A blog can be a personal information manager for remembering things.

For a blogger code of ethics, turn to Imaginon in Charlotte, NC:
  • Respect Yourself
  • Respect Others
  • Respect the Space
Jenny talked about how software made blogging easier - from handcoding on one machine, to being able to type into a form accessible from anywhere, to migrating from just text to media rich content. She emphasized that we wouldn't we where we are in the discussion of Library 2.0 without the biblioblogosphere.

Jessa spoke about the shift from blogging part time to making a career of it, and about the unexpected things that have fallen into her lap, such as insight into the publishing industry.

I really wanted to pick their brains on how to develop a voice. Their advice? Say something different. Say something honest. Be fearless! Be authentic. When disagreeing, focus on ideas, not personalities. A consistent voice allows your audience to evolve with you. Finally, develop a personal blogging mission statement, even if you don't post it on your blog.

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