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Blogs is a development that reminds me Usenet groups but some additional capabilities due to GUI interface. Another similar category is Internet forum software which is closer to traditional Usenet forums.  A blog is a web page made up of usually short, frequently updated posts that are arranged chronologically—like a what's new page or a journal. Quickly conjugated to "Weblog," the shift of a space makes "we blog," and the shortened version is "blog."

Despite the hype from bloggers and journalists about Weblogs becoming the new media, it is nowhere near that level yet, and many information professionals ignore the whole phenomena with few exceptions like Wikipedia.  But that's wrong as you also should consider the content management angle. The software for creating wikies (and blogs) is basic content management software, and it can fulfill purposes well beyond the keeping of an online diary.

One important aspect of system administration that is sometimes overlooked is keeping users informed. Most users like to know when there is new functionality available or when resources are down or not available. Not only does it make users happier to be kept informed, but it also can make your life easier as well. The last thing you want to do when the central file server is down is reply to users' questions about why they cannot get to their files. If you have trained your users to look at a central location for status of the infrastructure first, all you have to do after notification of a problem is post to this central place that there is a problem. The notion of a blog has been around for centuries in the form of diaries, but recently have had an explosion on the Internet. Many times a blog is started as someone's personal journal or as a way to report news, but blogs can be extremely useful for the sysadmin.

Mailing lists also are good for this and most of them have Web interface. Some people, for instance your boss or VP of the company, might like to know what the status is of things as they happen. These updates might not be suitable to send out to everyone daily via e-mail. You could create yet another mailing list for these notifications, but you also might consider a blog.

Wikipedia defined the blog as "a Web site in which journal entries are posted on a regular basis and displayed in reverse chronological order." the important feature of the blog is that each entry has comments space and often accumulate with time valuable comments on the content of the post.

Like email lists blogs can help a sysadmin give users an up-to-the-minute status of what they are doing and what the state of the infrastructure is. If you faithfully update your blog, you easily can look back on what you have accomplished so you can make your case for that raise you have been hoping for. It also will help you keep track of what your coworkers are doing. And, with many blog software packages providing RSS feeds, users can subscribe to the blog and be notified when there are new posts.

It has become the "in" technology of the moment on the Net. While at first glance, a blog may appear to be little more than an online diary of oft-uninteresting personal opinion and seemingly random links, there is much more to the blogging world of which the information professional should be aware.

Blogs are as varied and diverse as their creators. Typically, it is a Web site with frequent, dated entries listed in reverse chronological order. The entries have links and commentary and often an opportunity for others to comment.

For typical layout check Blogs of Note or the Open Directory listings [www.dmoz.org/Computers/Internet/On_the_Web/Weblogs/] and try a few of interest.

 

The software automatically formats and posts the entry. It also automatically archives older ones on separate pages. If categories are used in the creation of entries, the software can also create subject-specific archives based on the keywords used. The site design can be edited within the blog software using pre-defined settings or more sophisticated redesigns.

And while the intent of the blogging software is to create a Weblog, it can be used for many other content management needs. Especially for those without a full content management system, the blog software can be an opportunity to get more people involved in posting content on a Web site. Use it for maintaining a news page, a What's New section, librarian's favorite books, incoming titles, or any other periodically updated page. It can even be used for more static sections on a site.

Weblogs are a fascinating Net development. They have been around for years. If, like me, you have avoided or dismissed them in the past, take another look. With the search capability and the content management capabilities of the blogging software, new possibilities for both make them something to consider in a new light.

There are many block implementations. Among them

  1. Blogger Blogger is one of the easiest Weblog tools available. It takes about 5 minutes to sign up for a Blogger account, you get a tool for writing your blog, space on the Blogger server if you need it, and built-in templates so your pages have style right out of the box. With a subscription to Blogger Pro, you get additional options like spell-checking, image posting, and title fields. Vendor's Site
     
  2. Moveable Type Moveable Type is the blog I have chosen for my own use. It is a publishing system that you run on your own Web server. It can be difficult to install, but once you have it up and running, you'll find it fabulous. It is a free (for non-commercial use) tool, with all the features you expect from blogging software: templates, uploading images, publicity features, pre- and post-date entries, and more.
    Vendor's Site
     
  3. Greymatter Greymatter is another blog that you host yourself. I favor these types of tools because they are more secure with your passwords, and often offer more flexibility. Greymatter lives up to this as "the original opensource weblogging software". If you're looking for a no nonsense Weblog tool with lots of features, this is where to start. I had it installed on my Web server in about 30 minutes. Vendor's Site
     
  4. Radio Userland Radio has one thing that no other blog tool I reviewed had - an actual desktop tool for creating your blog. Radio offers all the features of your typical online Weblog, including promotion and linking, but the software runs on your desktop. And if you need to post and you're away from your computer, you can even use email to post a message to your blog. The cost is reasonable for the feature set.
    Vendor's Site

Using templates, you can post to the blog quickly and with minimal costs without knowing HTML, CSS, or design. Blogs are one of the simplest examples of content management, as they take basic content and do things like add HTML tags and hyperlink URLs so you don't have to.

Blogs do have a downside. Blogging does not provide the functionality of web pages, has limits for e-commerce solutions and can be time-consuming with regular posts.

Examples of Business Blogs
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[Sep 17, 2008] NanoBlogger

NanoBlogger is a small Weblog engine written in bash. It uses common Unix tools such as cat, grep, and sed to create static HTML content. It's command line driven and supports archiving by category, year, month, day, and entry. It's designed to be modular, flexible, and independent of external databases.

Release focus: Major feature enhancements

Changes:
This release brings a notable improvement over the previous command line interface that debuted in 3.4 RC1, and features a new command for creating articles and three new modernly designed style sheets.

[Sep 2, 2008] wiki2xhtml 3.3 by Granjow

About: wiki2xhtml can create complete Web pages and uses a clean XHTML syntax. It can insert galleries, a menu, a footer, and nearly all elements you know from the Wikipedia. The pages are formatted with CSS. All designs can be adjusted by hand, and custom ones can be used as well. wiki2xhtml generates the HTML pages from simple text files in the MediaWiki syntax. You can also use own (X)HTML code or other script languages inside; there are no restrictions. The GUI is composed of a Code Paste Window where you can insert wiki code that will be generated live. A click into the result, the XHTML code, copies it into the clipboard.

Changes: The code has been cleaned up and rewritten, wiki2xhtml now works more reliably. The menu system has slightly changed. Basic templates are supported.

[Jan 30, 2008] freshmeat.net Project details for nokjurnal

Nokjurnal is a simple blog w] freshmeat.net Project details for The Chronicle Blog Compiler

Really simple nicely written implementation that consists of a single Perl script.

Chronicle is a simple tool that will convert a directory of simple text files into a formatted and static HTML blog. In short, it compiles text entries into pretty HTML, complete with support for tagged entries, and RSS feeds.

Release focus: Minor bugfixes

Changes:
This release updates all included templates to be valid HTML. Small speed optimizations allow a larger blog to be compiled more quickly.

[Dec 27, 2007] perl.com Blosxoms, Bryars and Blikis

Basic Blogging with Blosxom

When I finally decided that the world would benefit from hearing my internal monologue, I naturally looked around for nice, simple blogging programs. Blogs are, essentially, simple things, and so I didn't want all-singing, all-dancing web-based database-backed content management systems. I knew that if I were going to blog, it would have to be easy for me to do so, and there's nothing easier than firing up a text editor in the next available terminal window and doodling my thoughts into it.

Thankfully, Rael Dornfest has the same sort of laziness as I, and created Blosxom, a very simple blogging tool, which simply reads a bunch of files from the file system, finds the most recent and relevant, packages them up together, and sends them at a browser. That was how I saw blogging.

Getting Blosxom up and running is, in keeping with the whole theme of Blosxom, quite simple. You need to download the blosxom zip file, unpack it, drop the blosxom.cgi file in your web server's cgi-bin directory, and then edit the first few lines of it to tell it the name of your blog and where the entries will live, and you're done.

Posting into the blog is just a matter of creating a file called something.txt in the blog directory. It doesn't even matter what the something is. All that matters is the first line of the file, which becomes the title, and the rest, which becomes the story in raw HTML:

First post!

<p> Today I set up a blosxom blog. It was really easy! </p>

You can then, if you like, style your blog with custom header and footer files, CSS, custom HTML for each blog post, and so on.

[Dec 25, 2007] Blogs as data stores

Sometimes weblogs are really just personal databases, but public.
  • I was talking with a friend and for some reason we got on the subject of blogs. We both sometimes write things in our weblogs so we can store the info. Instead of post-its on the monitor, bookmarks in browsers, or to-do items in PDAs, we have blogs.

    I already "blog for Google", which is the same thing as the old usenet practice of posting a post about some problem I encountered and how I solved it. These entries are not really for discussion, but more for the archives so that the next poor soul can find it. Randal Schwartz tells me this is how it was back in the day when he could read all of usenet in a half-hour.

    Someday, when we get our heads wrapped around unstructured data stores, there may be Perl modules called DBI::bloxsom and DBI::PerlMonks to bring together this stuff. Until then we have blogs and Google, and blogging about blogs.

  • mowyw writes your websites

    Perl-based

    Mowyw is an offline content management system, which means it is a kind of preprocessing system specifically designed for Web sites. It uses a very simple, easy to learn syntax, and is intended to be rather flexible. Headers and footers, includes (like SSI includes), and menus are implemented, with more features planned.

    Two aphorisms and a few notes

    Rough Type Nicholas Carr's Blog

    Aphorism #1: To a man with a blog, everything looks like fodder.

    Geert Lovink ends his 2006 essay Blogging, the nihilist impulse with this remarkable paragraph:

    Can we talk of a "fear of media freedom"? It is too easy to say that there is freedom of speech and that blogs materialize this right. The aim of radical freedom, one could argue, is to create autonomy and overcome the dominance of media corporations and state control and to no longer be bothered by "their" channels. Most blogs show an opposite tendency. The obsession with news factoids borders [on] the extreme. Instead of selective appropriation, there is over-identification and straight out addiction, in particular to the speed of real-time reporting. Like Erich Fromm (author of Fear of Freedom), we could read this as "a psychological problem" because existing information is simply reproduced and in a public act of internalization. Lists of books that still have to be read, a common feature on blogs, lead in the same direction. According to Fromm, freedom has put us in an unbearable isolation. We thus feel anxious and powerless. Either we escape into new dependencies or realize a positive freedom that is based upon "the uniqueness and individuality of man". "The right to express our thoughts means something only if we are able to have thoughts of our own." The freedom from traditional media monopolies leads to new bondages, in this case to the blog paradigm, where there is little emphasis on positive freedom, on what to [do] with the overwhelming functionality and the void of the empty, white entry window. We do not hear enough about the tension between the individual self and the "community", "swarms", and "mobs" that are supposed to be part of the online environment. What we instead see happening on the software side are daily improvements of ever more sophisticated (quantitive) measuring and manipulation tools (in terms of inbound linking, traffic, climbing higher on the Google ladder, etc.). Isn't the document that stands out the one that is not embedded in existing contexts? Doesn't the truthness lie in the unlinkable?

    From this perspective, the blogosphere, and indeed the entire link-denominated Web, is not a machine for exposing the truth but rather one for hiding it. For Google, and for its users, the unlinkable does not just lack value; it doesn't exist. The overriding goal, for bloggers and other purveyors of online content, is the creation of the linkable, the link-worthy: that which will immediately attract approval or disapproval, that which is easily assimilated. Bloggers break the mass media bauble, then spend all day in the nursery playing with the shards. Lovink guotes Baudrillard: "If there was in the past an upward transcendence, there is today a downward one. This is, in a sense, the second Fall of Man Heidegger speaks of: the fall into banality, but this time without any possible redemption."

    A rephrasing: Does truth begin where the long tail ends?

    Twitter is often referred to as a "micro-blogging platform," but twittering seems more like antiblogging, or at least an escape - retreat? - from blogging. Blogging is the soapbox in the park, the shout in the street; Twitter is the whispering of a clique. You can easily see why it's compelling, but you can just as easily see its essential creepiness. (At least it's up-front about its creepiness, using the term "follower" in place of the popular euphemism "friend.")

    Aphorism #2: To a man with a Twitter account, every action is a pretext.

    What are you doing? is the question Twitter asks you to answer. But in the world of Twitter, there can be only one honest answer: I am twittering. Any other answer is a fib, a fabrication - a production.

    As with other media of the self, Twitter makes the act subservient to its expression. It turns us into observers of our own lives, and not in the traditional sense of self-consciousness (watching with the inner eye) but in the mass media sense (watching with the eye of the producer). As the Observer Effect tells us, the act of observing the act changes the act. So how does Twitter warp the lives of twitterers? If truth lies in the unlinkable, does life lie in the untweetable?

    Yet if Nietzsche's typewriter pushed him further into the aphoristic mode and set the stage for some of his greatest works, might not Twitter be an empty cage awaiting its resident genius? It's worth remembering, in any case, one of Nietzsche's aphorisms: "Talking about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself." That's a tweet worth twittering.

    freshmeat.net Project details for My Blog

    My Blog aims to be simple to use while taking care of many advanced features for the user. This includes automatically resizing pictures when uploaded, pagination of blog entries as specified, and truncating and formatting of text as specified. The admin chooses from posting via the secure online script or via email, making blogging via camera phone possible. The admin is emailed when visitors post comments.

    Plugins for the My Photo Gallery and My Calendar scripts are available, and the admin can write his own plugins. The templating scheme is simple and compatible with all of the other scripts. Visitors can also subscribe to email notification of new posts.

    freshmeat.net Project details for 4est's Weblog

    4est's Weblog has pseudo code, emoticons, a censored word list, and time zone offset support with an option for a multi-user interface. Security is provided through a password protected post screen. You can enable or disable commenting.

    freshmeat.net Project details for MaBliki

    Mabliki is a bliki (a cross between a blog and a wiki) implementation that uses HTML::Mason. It allows multiple blikis with a single installation and implements several wiki formating options, including numbered and unnumbered lists, bold, italic, and monospace fonts, code blocks, headlines, and mathematic formulas.

    It is internationalized and themable, and includes three themes.

    freshmeat.net Project details for WebGUI

    WebGUI is a content management framework built to allow average business users to build and maintain complex Web sites. It is modular, pluggable, and platform independent. It was designed to allow the people who create the content to manage it online, rather than content management taking up the time of busy IT staff. WebGUI comes with a full discussion forum with the functionality of phpBB or FUD Forum, plus events calendaring, a photo gallery, a Web log (blog), FAQ and Link List management, and a very configurable user privilege and profiling system.

    Recommended Links

    Softpanorama hot topic of the month

    Softpanorama Recommended

    Top articles

    Sites

    Also review my Blog Software essay for links to other background resources and how to articles on blogging, which I may later split off into a separate page.

    I have added a few links here to dynamite articles that explain "What is Weblogging", or what is some aspect of it. I tentatively plan a later article that has just that stuff, but I not yet decided if I shall call it "Blog Articles" or what. in all probability I shall want several separate stories focusing on different aspects of the subject.

    [Radio Free Blogistan] QUOTE

    Adding to my 'to review' list. I got my copy of We Blog from Amazon today, and I received Jesse James Garrett's The Elements of User Experience, a beautifully designed explication of his seminal model of the same name. For reviewing purposes, though, I'm afraid these go behind my reviews in progress (The Weblog Handbook, We've Got Blog, and Essential Blogging.

    UNQUOTE [Radio Free Blogistan]

    Recommended Articles

    O'Reilly Network: Understanding Weblogs [Dec. 30, 2002]
    You read 'em all the time, but what makes a weblog a weblog? And how can you quickly jump in and start publishing your own? Wei Meng Lee shows you the blogging ropes.
    Context: ...weblogs tend to be technology-focused. But other weblog sites, such as Boing Boing, or Brian Jepson's Radio Weblog, cover a wide array of topics. On...
    [December 30, 2002]

    O'Reilly Network: Help me add link type values to O'Reilly Developer weblog links [Jul. 02, 2003]
    To links in your own weblog entries and to links in others' weblog entries!
    Context: ...Developer weblog links Bob DuCharme Jul. 02, 2003 07:05 AM Permalink Print Email weblog link Discuss Blog this In an earlier...
    [July 02, 2003]

    ONJava.com: Building an Open Source J2EE Weblogger [Apr. 17, 2002]
    Learn how David Johnson built a weblog application using XDoclet, the Castor framework, Struts, and the Velocity code-generation engine.
    Context: ...called webloggers: applications that make it easy for you to maintain a weblog, also known as a blog -- a public diary where you link to recent reading...
    [April 17, 2002]

    webservices.xml.com: A Weblog API For the Grassroots [Aug. 05, 2003]
    In his latest column Rich Salz discusses the grassroots weblog API, variously known as Atom and Echo , and makes substantive suggestions for how it should be changed to use SOAP.
    Context: ...A Weblog API For the Grassroots by Rich Salz August 05, 2003 Last month I looked at the Necho message format. I compared it to RSS, its...
    [August 05, 2003]

    O'Reilly Network: What We're Doing When We Blog [Jun. 13, 2002]
    Many journalists who write about the blogging phenomenon miss some of the key elements of this medium. Meg Hourihan, a respected blogger herself, discusses both the structure and the intent of weblogging ... just to set the record straight.
    Context: ...we can observe the common ground all bloggers share -- the format. The weblog format provides a framework for our universal blog experiences, enabling...
    [June 13, 2002]

    O'Reilly Network: bIPlog: Berkeley Intellectual Property Weblog [Mar. 07, 2003]
    Students from UC Berkeley's Computer Science, Law, School of Information Management and Systems, and Journalism Schools have launched bIPlog -- a weblog covering modern intellectual property issues. The weblog is the product of two months' prepration...
    Context: ...bIPlog: Berkeley Intellectual Property Weblog Scot Hacker Nov. 15, 2002 02:58 PM Permalink Print Email weblog link Blog this...
    [March 07, 2003]

    O'Reilly Network: Weblog Journalism is Hard, and it Smells Funny [May. 28, 2002]
    Sure, weblogs are great (I have one or two), but are they really going to bring down the sinister ivory towers of big media? Maybe I was the only person left to think so. Why'd I change my mind?
    Context: ...Weblog Journalism is Hard, and it Smells Funny chromatic May. 28, 2002 10:44 PM Permalink URL: http://www.microcontentnews.com/interviews/p2pj.htm...
    [May 28, 2002]

    O'Reilly Network: Blogging for Dollars: Giving Rise to the Professional Blogger [Aug. 12, 2002]
    What about the notion of paying people to blog for commercial sites covering genre-specific content? By providing financial incentive for great bloggers to publish, we remove economic constraints and enable them to devote their energies full-time to ...
    Context: ...Selecting and Using Weblog Tools By Cory Doctorow, Rael Dornfest, J. Scott Johnson, Shelley Powers, Benjamin Trott, Mena G. Trott Table of Contents...
    [August 12, 2002]

    O'Reilly Network: Berkeley Hosts Weblog Panel [Mar. 07, 2003]
    I'm currently participating in (doing tech support for and advising) a class at Berkeley on intellectual property, using the weblog as a vehicle. As part of the class, we're hosting a panel discussion titled Weblogs: Challenging Mass Media and Society...
    Context: ...Hosts Weblog Panel Scot Hacker Sep. 09, 2002 11:29 AM Permalink URL: http://journalism.berkeley.edu/events/weblogs.html Print Email weblog link...
    [March 07, 2003]

    O'Reilly Network: Clickz Weblog Business Strategies Conference: Day 1 [Jun. 10, 2003]
    I'm taking rolling notes from the Clickz Weblog Business Strategies Conference and posting them. Interesting stuff.
    Context: ...Clickz Weblog Business Strategies Conference: Day 1 Timothy Appnel Jun. 09, 2003 06:57 AM Permalink Print Email weblog link Blog this...


    [June 10, 2003]


    Weblog Madness Roll Your Own

    Steven's Weblog

    knowledge management

    Easy Content Management

    Weblogs.Com Top-100 Links from Weblogs

    Joel on Software

    What is Scripting News

    Nothing ever really dies (Score:1)
    by $$$exy Gwen Stefani (654447) on Sunday March 02, @02:19PM (#5419654)
    (http://slashdot.org/...n%20Stefani/journal/ | Last Journal: Sunday March 02, @06:53PM)
    There are companies that are still using very old, antiquated operating systems and software. The reason is justifiable though -- they still work for what they need them for.

    I'm sure Dell's CIO was just stating that for Dell UNIX is dead, and sure, he's probably right that Oracle+HP UX is more expensive than PostgreSQL+Linux even though they can both do the same thing. No one would argue against this.

    I mean, just look at Slashdot. There are several other codebases for dynamic websites that are now incredibly more complex than Slashdot's own Slash code project. But they still use Slash code because it fits their needs mostly, and porting it over to PostNuke or Scoop would be a lot of unnecessary work.

    So yeah, UNIX is dead in terms of new solutions. But somewhere, somehow, there'll always be a VAX computer, or a COBOL program, or some other very old legacy code that still works wonders, even today

    Etc

    Serendipity Weblog System

    Serendipity is a weblog/blog system, implemented with PHP. It is standards compliant, feature rich and open source (BSD License).

    Serendipity is constantly under active development, with a team of talented developers trying to make the best PHP powered blog on the net.

    Serendipity has so far also proven 100% PHP5 compatible.

    PostNuke

  • PostNuke is an open-source content management system written in PHP and uses the MySQL database. PostNuke can be hosted on Linux, Unix, Windows, and Macintosh OS X servers - as long as it runs PHP and MySQL, it can run PostNuke! PostNuke provides developers and novices with an advanced set of tools to create a customized user experience. PostNuke goes beyond managing content, it provides you with the tools to manage a community!

  • PostNuke.com -- Make It Your Choice!

    PostNuke Navigation



    Etc

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