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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date12 Nov 2008 19:28 CST
placeMilwaukee, WI, USA
tagsblog, web
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I examine blog layouts and design

I've been working to develop my simple blog software to set up preliminary features. I've studied more about RSS syntax and have set up an example feed and validated it.

I've taken great delight in being about two to five years behind the curve in participating in the Blogosphere (actually the term "weblog" dates to 1997). I tell my girlfriend, "I've got a blog!" and she's going to boast to her friends, "my boyfriend has a blog!," and I'm sure they will roll their eyes.

My primary concern is setting up the blog is stability. I want to have static URLs so that no matter what happens (if I change software, for example), any links into my blog pages will still be valid. Over so many years online, I know that static links into my site help increase my traffic over the long-term and are worth fostering and encouraging.

I'm no so concerned about the format or look and feel of the entry pages just yet. I can alter this appearance as I get the basic technical features set up. I'm using XML data files in addition to simple HTML files (that contain the blog "guts") and some simple C software programs to assemble the files, construct the indexes and RSS feeds. Simplicity is the main concern I have!

My plan is to have a set of simple tags that allow the blog entries to be categorized. Specifically, I want to create some entries that relate to my voluntary simplicity book, as I plan to do a new edition for its 10th anniversary. I want to write out some ideas about what I've learned in living a simple life since then.

Photo of the Day Evening MAM

For the blog page layouts, I'll have some better sidebar information, and I am considering how I can integrate some flickr content into the pages. For example, I might want to have a feed showing the day's photos.

I also see that many social networking sites allow a blog feed to be part of the profile. For example, my blog posts can be automatically placed in my Facebook account.

As Nicholas Carr observed, blogging is no longer solely the domain of early adopters. I am wondering if blogging was used as a marker of one's place in the social hierarchy of online communication. Early adopters used it to distinguish themselves much as people adopt clothing fads to show one is "with it." Carr's example of early radio hobbyists as a comparison to early bloggers is an apt one. The amateurs started out, enjoyed the newness and excitement of the technology and the social groups forming using it, but their participation declined as the technology was used professionally.

But the claim that blogging is over is perhaps premature. I heard a similar thing back in the mid 1990's about the Internet itself--some said it would be the "CB (Citizen's Band) radio of the 21st century."

Ten-four, good buddy, and ten-ten - we’ll do it again! [End of Post]

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