Biz Stone’s “Who Let the Blogs out?”

Just finished Biz Stone’s wonderful book on Blogging: Who Let the Blogs Out? : A Hyperconnected Peek at the World of Weblogs. This is one book every aspiring blogger and anyone curious about blogging should check out. Biz talks candidly about his personal experiences with blogging, his initial experiments at Xanga and how they led him to the prestigious post of Senior Specialist for Blogging at Google. He also takes us back in history and recounts the evolution of the blogosphere with an almost novel-like excitement. Filled with common-sense tips on topics like pseudonymity, terms of use, privacy, etiquette and linking, it is written in a warm personal tone and can infect even the non-believer with the blogging bug. He provides additional encouragement with tips for using blogs in business and with stories of people who made it big from their blogs, like the author of Belle de Jour: Diary of a London Call Girl who got a book deal from her blog.

In Praise of WordPress!

Another shot in the arm for WordPress – PC Mag’s John C. Dvorak sings praise for WordPress:

The [New York] Times standardized all its inside blogs on the superb open-source blogging software WordPress (www.wordpress.org). It is the same software system that I’ve been using on my own blog at http://www.dvorak.org/blog.

The New York Times’s blogs are much slicker than the in-house blogs that I’ve seen from other newspapers and online publications. WordPress is the reason; it’s real blogging software.

Guy Kawasaki on evangelising your Blog

Guy Kawasaki has useful suggestions for bloggers to get more visibility [via Emergic]:

  1. Think “book” not “diary.”
  2. Answer the little man.
  3. Collect email addresses.
  4. Collect links for blog rolling.
  5. Scoop stuff.
  6. Supplement other bloggers with a followup entries.
  7. Acknowledge and respond to commenters.
  8. Ask for help.
  9. Be bold.
  10. Make it easy to join up.

Maybe the most controversial one is where he asks bloggers to be more disciplined and treat their blogs as books not diaries. I think that would be contrary to the whole philosophy of spontaneity in blogging. Anyways, an interesting post and he has some useful links as well…

Inaugural post!

So I finally decided to take the plunge into the delirious and effervescent blogosphere after overcoming a serious inertia – the dreaded "writer's block". I coined the word exertia for the blog – standing for the opposite of inertia – a continuous state of change.

I wish to credit the people/groups who made this journey possible:

  • Rajesh Jain's blog Emergic, of which I have been an avid reader.
  • Several books which I referred to, especially one worthy of note: "We Blog: Publishing Online with Weblogs"
    by Paul Bausch, Matthew Haughey, Meg Hourihan
  • The enthusiastic team at WordPress for hosting such a wonderful free service. Keep it up (no pun intended)!

I evaluated various blogging services and short-listed two: Blogger and WordPress. Both of them had their own strong points but finally I tilted in favor of WordPress especially because of the categorization feature and the in-built stats. Of the two, I feel Blogger is good for beginners but WordPress really comes into its own with its feature-rich package. Here's a very interesting Blog software comparison chart which should help you in making up your mind.