Of Blogs and Blogging II

Yesterday I laid some background work on what a blog is. Today, I’ll go into more in-depth analysis, using pictures where necessary.

Some of the common features which most blogs have include permalinks, two-way communication and syndication.

As the content of a blog’s home page is pretty dynamic, visitors to a blog need access to previous posts. The links to these posts are called permalinks — or permanent links — because theoretically they do not change.

The two-way comment system is basically a post and feedback system. When you make a post on your blog, visitors who’re interested in your topic usually leave comments on the site through a form or might link to a topic on your blog when making posts.

If you’re active in the blogosphere — as I am — you visit a lot of blogs everyday to check for new content and make comments. As the number of blogs you visit becomes larger, it becomes quite tedious. Most blogs syndicate, or offer an alternate format of their content called a feed. The two most common formats for syndication are Atom and RSS.

It’s a format which contains post titles and either excerpts or complete posts from a blog. As posts are made, the ‘feed’ gets updated. Using compatible software like Google Reader, Newsgator, Microsoft Outlook, or RSSBandit you can be kept updated on posts as they’re made and decide which ones to visit and comment on. People do not have to physically visit a blog to find out what content it has — usually, by looking at the titles in the feed, you can tell.

(Hint: if you’re using Internet Explorer 7 or any other browser, take a look at the address bar. You should see an icon like this RSS if the blog has at least one feed).

Blog screenshotThe structure of most blogs is pretty much the same — a header, a sidebar and a content section with an optional footer. Typically, the header contains the blog title and description, the content section the posts, the sidebar contains links to other blogs (called a blogroll), and links to previous posts called archives. The footer contains copyright information. Click on the thumbnail to view a labelled profile of a blog, using mine as an example.

This is pretty rudimentary stuff for now. You may be wondering why you should blog. In my next post we’ll look at the advantages of blogging.

<spoiler>
<![CDATA[ Don't worry, o ye advanced bloggers (Vera take note!). When we get to Part 4 we'll discuss techniques and I'll be there to explain some stuff using Blogger and WordPress with lots of screenshots. We'll talk about pinging and XML-RPC, and some other mundane things. Never fear all ye ladies -- I won't 'geek-talk.' ]]>
</spoiler>

Article Index

  1. Part I — Introduction
  2. Part 2 — Features
  3. Part 3 — Blogging basics
  4. Part 4 — Advantages of blogging and problems
  5. Part 5 — Advanced Blogging
  6. Part 6 — Conclusion

Comments

  1. nilla says:

    Bless you! I’m really learning a lot :-).

  2. Afropinay says:

    Blogging Professor Indeed.:)

  3. candy says:

    hmmmmmm, he who knows 2 much shall hav a lil taken away from him. I didnt say tha sha. so no gunpowder pls!

  4. AmaraEee says:

    This your blog lecture is too technical…do you have “blogging for dummys” series or not? We only want to use the blog not to become professors…

  5. Azuka,

    Strangely enough, even though I could use RSS to check whether there’s an update to a blog, I choose not to. Why? Well, it’s a bit like the reason I don’t open a present that’s been given to me before the appointed time – I like the suspense of not knowing what to expect when I visit the blog. Plus it means more AdSense dollars for you. 🙂

    And stop

  6. Afropinay says:

    Well the functionality of the RSS feeds varies. For business blogs and news wires, thats where the functionlity of RSS feeds are very important, because they are fed through news wires and press releases.
    Also, its a faster way for business men and people on the go who don’t have time.

    [email protected] Some readers couldnt be bothered as long as they read the latest news, thats all that matters!

  7. Its all a learning curve. Nice to have you put together this blogging course.

  8. Azuka says:

    Nilla
    Thanks. I’m glad to be of service.

    Afropinay
    Professor? The only professor I know who blogs is one crazy friend of yours :-P. And you’re right on about the RSS.

    Candy
    You said it. My offer to transform your behind to a prominent protrusion via cane-induced steatopygia still stands.

    AmaraEE
    I was only laying groundwork. Thanks… I’ll try to lighten the note in future.

    Atala Wala Wala
    Hmmm. I’ve got about 50 blogs I visit everyday. I think RSS feeds are the best for me…

    Life of a Stranger
    I’m honored to have you drop by.

  9. endi says:

    I have this friend who was impressed that i got a blog.I helped him set up one courtesy of his consatnt prodding….but since then, it was like i “murdered sleep”!.thanks for helping out…i will direct him to your blog when next he comes for blogging lectures from me! Hmm…what a relief! Great job, man! Great job!

  10. Azuka says:

    Endi

    Great! I’ve added another article to the series. I hope he finds it useful.

  11. Nino says:

    Hello,
    I love your course baout blogging.

    Would you authorize me to translate it into french and put in on my blog http://nino.akopo.com ?

    If yes, please, answer me back.

    Regards,
    Nino

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