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This was the book I mentioned in this post. A very useful primer for both newbies to blogging and for veterans as well. You may have blogged for years but you might not be fully aware of everything to do with blogs. You may not use everything you read but the background knowledge will help.

Part 1 (chapters 1 to 3) covers why people blog, and parts of a blog. Chapter 2 talks about the different ways to get a blog (incuding self-installed/ hosted blogs). Page 28 has a side-bar on “social networking and blogging for kids”. Page 32 has a very useful table comparing the four types of blogging options (“social networks with blogging”, “Hosted blog-only platforms”, “Self-installed platforms”, “Web-hosted with preinstalled blogging”). Chapter 3 covers things like objectives/ reasons for blogging, frequency, “Finding a Voice”, “Using comments in your blog”, “Understanding Trackbacks”, “Promoting your content”.

Part 2 (chapters 4 to 7) covers specific services like MSN Spaces, Yahoo! 360, Blogger.com (at the time of posting, Blogger.com has already devoloped a Beta version), and TypePad. Provides an overview of the various features and services offered. If you’re already using one of those services, these chapters would help reduce the learning curve for the basic features, e.g. getting started, how to publish a post, how to edit, how to publish a picture, changing templates. But it doesn’t cover every single feature (e.g. there was no mention of the comment moderation feature in blogger.com).

Part 3 (chapters 8 to 12) covers more services like Movable Type, WordPress.org (NOT WordPress.com), and Radio Userland. Chapter 8 talks about buying/ owning a blog domain and starting a Web hosting account, the basics of installing a blog program, and initialising a newly installed blog. Chapter 9 covers the features of the Movable Type blog software (posting, editing, plug-ins, adding a side-bar etc.) — this chapter is particularly useful for those who don’t really blog but have to use Movable Type for official purposes (like my colleagues managing the High Browse Online and ASK! blogs, which are currently using the MT platform). Chapter 10 covers the installation, set-up and features of WordPress.org (the open-source version, not the free wordpress.com hosting service). Chapter 11 covers the use and features of Radio Userland. Chapter 12 covers a few specific service providers that offer “hybrid blog hosting”, i.e. allowing a fee-based hosting service with preinstalled tools like MT and WordPress.

Part 4 (chapters 13 to 17) covers other related aspects of blogging, like RSS Feeds (Chapt 13), Blogging customs and culture (Chapt 14), means and techniques of generating revenue from blogging — including using Feedburner and Google Ads (Chapt 15), on podcasting/ audio blogging that includes listening and also producing and distributing podcasts (Chapt 16), audio/ photo blogging and the role of photos, video and music in blog content (Chapt 17). The chapter on RSS is definitely worth reading, as it covers not only the technical aspects in easy to understand layman terms, but also points how to avoid being fired if you blog (p. 276). P. 277 has a side-bar that discusses the comment feature in blogs (i.e. turn on or off?) and also covers “RSS Strategies”. P. 280 has a side-bar on “The inevitability of Ads in RSS”.

Part 5 (Chapters 18 to 19) covers quite a comprehensive listing of Blog engines and directories (Chapt 18) and “Resources for the Power Blogger” (Chapt 19) that includes resources on writing better blogs, and the Google Directory of Weblog Templates.

Last part of the book has a glossary of blog-related terminologies.

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