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    Blogging in the Material World! - Part #1

    By Titmowse | Writer @ CozyFrog | JUN.01.2004
I’m new to this blogging thing. I haven’t got it all figured out yet but I promised -in my last article on this subject- I’d keep you posted.

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

First I did some research, which is a cute way of saying I went to Google and typed the word 'blog' in the search box. I also typed phrases such as, blog tools, blog hosts, blog software, blog search engines and blog community. What I discovered is that there’s a heck of a lot of bloggers who use other people’s hosting and software. The two prominent providers being Blogger and MovableType.

"I learned in my research that bloggers love to share. They've got webrings, link trades, blogger search engines and even sites that list and review new blogs."
Blogger is a free service owned by Google. When you register for the service, you get to host your blog on a subdomain, i.e. If you want to, you may also put your Blogger blog on your own hosting account. Blogger is limited because they don’t host images but they do partner with a service named Hello Bloggerbot. If you’re a Blogger member, the Hello Bloggerbot service is free as well. Blogger comes with several add-ons. You can allow others to comment on your entries. You can add polls and guestbooks.

MovableType is software. You have to upload it to your own server. However, MovableType operates a paid service called TypePad. For as little as $5.00 a month you get both hosting and use of the MovableType publishing software. You’re also allowed to upload images and enable user comments for the basic fee. The more you pay the more features and blogs you get to have, all without the hassle of administrating the MovableType on your own server.

The first thing I decided was that I didn’t want my blog hosted on anyone else’s server, so I bought a decent domain name and a small hosting account. The second thing I decided was that I would build my own blog, without the software. Needless to say, I overestimated my own skills.

After I built my crappy little ghetto blog, I submitted it to some places in order to gain some traffic. I learned in my research that bloggers love to share. They’ve got webrings, link trades, blogger search engines and even sites that list and review new blogs. I joined a few webrings and posted the appropriate recip codes on my blog. I joined an online blog community in order to receive attention and critiques from other bloggers.

The main comments I obtained from others blogger was: "Where is your RSS feed?" or "Where is your XML feed?"

Whoo boy! Look, my little Froggers. I’m a clever girl but I don’t know shit about RSS or XML. Okay, I know a little bit about XML. I know it’s the language used to make WAP pages. I’ve worked some with the language and XML is about as easy to learn as HTML. But writing XML pages so they can be distributed via an RSS feed? Whah?

RSS stands for RDF Site Summary or Rich Site Summary. I’ve also seen it called Really Simple Syndication. It’s an application of XML. What it does is render a document into a sort of headline or short text description so that it may be seen with a newsreader, without displaying the whole document. It’s the application that Netscape originally used for the Newsgroups feature in their email client software. When your blog has an RSS feed, each entry can be displayed on newsreaders as well as PDAs and wireless phones.

Untitled Page

The more I read about RSS, the more I realized I was in over my head. It was time to get some software. The thing is I didn’t want my blog to be in the hands of Google. I sure as shit didn’t know enough about MovableType so that I could upload and administrate the software on my own server. That’s when I found a third solution: Easy Blogs.

Easy Blogs is a software program that costs about $25.00. As the name implies, it’s easy as hell to use. It comes with pre-designed templates in addition to a template editor so you can create your own look. It contains an ftp client so you can upload your blog and new entries as soon as you’re done creating them. And the best part, it renders your blog into an RSS format so that people who are looking for blog-only content may find it. Namely, newsreader junkies.

Mind you. There’s a big difference between Easy Blogs and MovableType/Blogger. Blogger and MovableType operate online. The editing/posting/publishing process is live. These two also allow comment posting by readers. I don’t really want comments on my blog. For me, Easy Blogs works fine. It archives my entries, lets me post images from my own server and I can display all my sponsor-related advertising with it.

I’ve learned a lot about blogging. I’ll write more about it in this series. This is my first lesson for you: Choose Your Blogging Software.

If you’d like to learn more about the blog programs I’ve written about in this article, please visit:




** Click Here For: Blogging in the Material World! - Part #2

By Titmowse | Writer @ CozyFrog
Titmowse has a special lily pad as the head writer for CozyFrog and it's family of webmaster resources. She also writes text content for several websites and is the owner of her very own MowseBytes Newsletter.

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