WordPress, an open source weblog engine, is what this website uses and from my experience it is every bit as powerful as Moveable Type – but free of charge. I noted earlier that a small organization, Blogsome, was offering free hosting of WordPress blogs. Now WordPress.com is offering the same and I hope (given the name) with substantial backing (though it’s not clear to me how it is that hosting is paid for).
Archive for the 'Weblogs' Category | back to home
If you are or have been a long-term resident of the US or of China, please visit this survey by a student at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. It “focuses on different uses of weblogs in mainland China and the United States and is a first step to investigating the increasing political influences of the weblogs in Chinese civic lives.”
I’m not a big believer in the way blogs are supposed to enable the voice of the little guy to be heard but in this case I have to say the blogosphere has come up trumps. It’s taken 11 years for this superb comic mix of Reservoir Dogs and Greek philosophy by Nathaniel Daw to be once more unearthed. Brad DeLong found it but I heard it from BoingBoing via Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. And now you’re hearing about it from me (though I imagine a lot of you read BoingBoing anyway). To read an excerpt, click on “page 2” (hidden because of hilarious but copious bad language).
I have been involved with many discussions about rules for participation in virtual communities – Speaking to Me: Terms and Conditions does a great job of making fun of the kinds of “community rules” documents that result.
On a slightly serious note it does suggest some of the actual issues that may arise when increasing numbers of people blog their daily lives – eg:
6. By speaking to Tom Peyer, you grant the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, unrestricted worldwide license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, and display the material (in whole or part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed, including in any parallel universes.
The gifted people behind the most powerful commercial blogging tool, Moveable Type, have recently announced their next generation platform, Comet. It promises much more flexible privacy features and better multimedia and tagging support when it launches in early 2006. Sounds like the answer to a blogger’s prayer if they get it right. All that I would ask is that they get around to offering a free (if limited) version.
Just to be l337 I have turned this blog into an instant podcast thanks to Talkr which essentially reads out the text as MP3s on demand – the results are not bad, I think. You can click on the individual audio links or copy this link into your podcasting software of choice. I have recently been trying out quite a few podcasts so expect to hear about more good podcasts shortly…
I just heard about the Blogathon. On August 6th, bloggers will participate in a 24 hour marathon of posting for charity – one post every half hour. I think this is a nifty idea and there are some good charities on their suggested list (though in fact you can blog for any charity you like). I encourage anyone reading to participate themselves, though it turns out I can’t do it myself.
If you are thinking of doing this yourself and trying to find a charity to support, I did some investigation and chose wateraid as my potential beneficiary (when I thought I might participate in the blogathon) because potable drinking water is a basic necessity without which it’s hard to do any further development and the organization appears to be doing good environmentally sensitive and sustainable work in this area.
If you have been reading blog.org before via RSS you may need to update the XML weblink to this (https://blog.org/wp-rss2.php) in order to read my blog now that it has moved. I also don’t know how to give each of my categories its own RSS feed at the moment though I am sure it is possible so you’ll have to read along with everything for the moment.
Traditionally if you wanted a WordPress weblog (open source so free to use and arguably the most feature rich blogging product around) you needed to be techie yourself or at least have a techie friend with server space spare. Certainly it is only thanks to my own connections in the tech fraternity that I have been able to have this blog hosted using first Moveable Type and now WordPress.
Recently, however, I have discovered that blogsome offers a free hosting service similar to blogger‘s so anyone reading this could have a blog like mine. I’m a little concerned that blogsome don’t have any apparent means of gathering revenue to offset the cost of hosting so they could disappear one day – particularly if they get popular – but my guess is that by the time they do there will be lots of other places able to take over hosting.
If you are already running a weblog using another service you may need a little help getting your archives across to this new platform but once you have taken the plunge I’m sure you’ll agree it was worth it to get features like categories, password protected posts and an extensible architecture for people to add features.
Hope you enjoy the new look. Feel free to comment with suggestions and do let me know if there are any problems.
P.S. If you are in the UK don’t forget to vote!