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Re: Blogging

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Gary Hodgson & Associates wrote:

I, too, need an easy explanation for my rather slow and
old gray matter.  And it's Friday, so I get to home also
and celebrate.
Gary

On 13 Jan 2005 at 21:19, Joseph  Grill wrote:

You know, I had never even heard of "blog" or "blogging" before
"Rathergate" (please, no political discussion here).  I'm (besides a
home grown Wyoming bumpkin now a living in Northern Arizona
Bumpkinville") lost on this "blog" thing.  I was pretty naive as a kid
about sex, drugs, and well, I guess I had the drinking thing well
figured out, and as a father at 19 maybe not so naive about sex (at
the moment finishing up the last of the holiday Tom and Jerry batter),
but how about an explanation, for a pushing retirement guy, on this
"blogging thing.  Any of you up to speed "bloggers" up to an
explanation?  You can email me privately if you may be embarrassed
about answering this email from such a "hick".  Is it kind of like
what we are doing on this list or what?  How does it work, and HOW DO
I BLOG?

Wow, way too many quotes, parentheses, and commas.  Hope Gail isn't
reading this!  Had dinner tonight with my wife (that was good) and two
elderly women (I was the only male).  I had to come home for some of
the hard stuff. Water is boiling for another round.

J. Grill


----- Original Message ----- From: "Bill Polhemus" <bill(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2005 8:23 AM
Subject: OT: Blogging


Anyone out there doing a blog?

I just set one up (finally) on my server, and now I'm overwhelmed
with the possibilities. I'm using WordPress
(http://www.wordpress.org) on my Linux machine, and after getting
some bugs ironed out it seems to be quite feature-ful and easy to
administer.

I like the idea of having "full control" of my own server, etc.,
rather than hosting off someone else.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone else is doing this, would like to
share some ideas. Of course, I'm including a section for discussions
related to Structural Engineering as well as all the other stuff.

See ya in the blogosphere.

Blogs have been around for a few years now.. They were very popular with young people who wanted to create online personal interest diaries to document their lives for their friends and to be used on sites that, unlike chat groups, would allow them to go into detail or create fantasies of the person they wanted to be in order to create a "pen-pal" type relationship with others. My granddaughter, who lives with us, had a friend who documented everything about her life on the Blog using a "handle" or fake name except to those who knew it was her.

Soon after the initial extension of the chat-room, others started to see the difference between discussion forums and Blogs. Discussion forums, like this listservice, is intended to hold an e-conversation between members on specific topics. Blogs can expound on topics and allow one writer to publish his opinion for anyone interested in reading it. This spawns comments, which are similar to BBS type forums and allow readers to comment or debates to start. The difference is in the ease of the use of the Blog verses the BBS type forum. Rather than viewing a growing list of subjects to read as you would on a BBS (Bulletin Board System), you can set up a Blog like a Book with categories or chapters and sub-chapters or a table of content.

You can also create a virtual society that is connected by links listed on the side of the Blog or within the topics that allow the reader to find more information online. While you can do some of this (embedding links in forum messages) it is much easier to do in a Blog. Bill Polhemus gives an example where in his post there is an embedded link to the Federalist Papers, so you can click over to read this portion of the Federalist Paper that he refers to in his Blog.

Think of a Blog or Web Log as a publication rather than a discussion forum. You publish your e-zine or journal and then allow reader comments to provide opposing opinions. On each Blog, a registered visitor can take over and create his own addition to your magazine. Assume in this case you are the editor or publisher and the article of the registered visitor is a contributing writer or editor. It really is as simple as picking up a magazine to read.

The Structuralist.Net has four Blogs running: One for the general public on issues related to housing; A tutorial for the Multi-Lat flexible diaphragm spreadsheet that links back to all updates of the software; Structural Online - a feature that I did for SEAOC called SEAOC (and also SEAINT) Online that is now The Structuralist Online and a Professional Blog for general A/E/C discussions.

FWIW, I think WordPress limits you to Four instances of their software on one website - so you can have four separate Blogs as I do or combine your to form one. I would strongly suggest that you separate non-engineering (or non-A/E/C) Blogs from Politics, Religion etc.

The best way to learn is to jump in and try it.

Dennis

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