A Web LifeA Web Life

BLOG INFOJohn December's blog on Web publishing, voluntary simplicity, cities and urbanism, digital photography, life, and various observations

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date18 Nov 2008 18:08 CST
placeMilwaukee, WI, USA
tagsblog, blogging, web
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I'm intrigued by how blog parts and networks fit together

Having considered the term web 2.0 as just so much hype years ago, I've now discovered many useful web applications that enable me to build a blog and share information online. In working to cobble together my blog content management system, I'm finding various Web services that competently serve different purposes (comments, bookmarks, tracking, feed subscription, and publicity). I'm also finding the RSS feed of my blog can be part of my profile on some social networking sites. The result is that I can see the pieces of web 2.0 applications adding up to results that are more than just the sum of the parts, but are supportive of useful and interesting streams of content and connections.

I put pieces together for my MKE Album

My fascination with social networking sites didn't take off until I experienced how adding to my flickr account provided a continuous stream of photo content that I could share with others. A critical mass of contacts and participation in online (and offline) discussions and meetings meant that my photos had some social significance to me as well. I could post photos online very quickly using the flickr uploadr and then integrate these photos into my MKE Album using tags and RSS feeds (RSS-to-HTML scripts). I could also place links to yelp reviews into these same album pages as well as use a google application to prepare maps of the album locations and nearby locations (as my own software figures out nearby sites and sends a request to the google software for the map). (For an example album page, see my MKE Album page for Alterra Foundry Cafe.)

By putting pieces together for my MKE Album, I see how I can create a system of information--consisting of maps, photos, text, and links--that allows user interaction and participation (where applicable, in the case of yelp reviews) that tap an existing critical mass of people (not just readers of my Web site) and content which does not have to be managed by me. I can add value to the photos and information that I've gathered by careful organization, editing, and systematically working to take photographs of (and identify) significant sites around town. I have had to spend some up-front time to learn these applications and develop the software and HTML templates to fit into my existing Web site content management system, but once these links and services have been set up, I can focus on the content. I am grateful that many of these applications are competently put together, actually work, and have simple options for making simple interfaces for simple content applications and use.

Photo of the Day blogfeed

I brought my blog feed into social networking sites

In looking at social networking sites, I registered with Plaxo and saw how it serves as a kind of meta-network of feeds: I can link a variety of sites that I regularly contribute to (flickr, yelp, twitter) to my Plaxo account and thereby get those items automatically included in the feed. Similarly, Facebook now allows a user to integrate his or her flickr and blog feed into wall posts. I therefore can write a review on my yelp account, or post flickr photos, or make a blog entry, and those actions will show up on my Plaxo and Facebook feeds. I suspect there may be other social networks that likewise accept these feeds as part of the user profile information. It is a wise decision for these social networks to do this, as critical masses of users have gravitated to specific sites for specific purposes (e.g., flickr for photo sharing). By allowing open integration of these streams of content into their site, a social network can allow users to tap all the effort they've put forth to develop content or make a network (e.g., even twitter integrates into Facebook feeds). [End of Post]

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