Sebastopol, CA--Blogging (from the term Web Log) has exploded. Some people estimate that there are 500,000 blogs online and another 1,500-3,000 blogs coming online every day. One of the reasons for blogging's irrepressible growth is that anyone can run a blog--a web site offering commentary that can range from personal diary entries to political analysis to technology observations. Elvis Costello, RuPaul, the guy in the cubicle next to you--they're all making their voices heard around the world with blogs.
The only thing potential bloggers lack is detailed advice on how to choose, install, and run blogging software. Written by bloggers who use the tools every day (and, in the case of Movable Type and Blosxom, who wrote the tools), the new book, Essential Blogging (O'Reilly $29.95), is a no-nonsense guide to the technology of blogging. The book gives detailed installation, configuration, and operation instructions for the leading blogging software: Blogger, Radio Userland, Movable Type, and Blosxom. It also includes practical advice and insider tips on the features, requirements, and limitations of these applications.
The authors of "Essential Blogging" are all leading bloggers and creators of blogging software. J. Scott Johnson is the leading documentor of Radio Userland, Cory Doctorow runs the high-profile boingboing.net, Ben and Mena Trott wrote the popular Movable Type blogging software, and Rael Dornfest is the author of Blogger.
"The world is a book written on water. It seems like everything I know about any given subject is wrong about twice a week, requiring a complete overhaul of my understanding of the universe," says Doctorow on why he blogs. "My blog is an outboard brain, a way for me to keep and share notes as I attempt to keep my nose about the crashing ocean of technological and social change. At least half my brain is stored on my blog."
"Our goal wasn't to be definitive and show you everything that these tools are capable of, but instead to give the beginning blogger enough to be dangerous. Did I say dangerous? I meant productive," says the book's editor, Nat Torkington. "The book isn't aimed at people who already blog, although many such readers will find useful information such as customizing their blogging software. Picture your coworkers who haven't discovered blogging yet--they know how to work their computer, they've seen a couple of blogs and they want to run one themselves. 'Essential Blogging' will educate them about choices of software and hosting, and walk them through installing and using their chosen software."
"Essential Blogging" is an indispensable guide for anyone who has internet access and a voice to share, or who has ever wanted to be even a little bit dangerous.
Chapter 6, Advanced Blogger is available free online
"Essential Blogging" is also available on Safari Books Online
Related title: Running Weblogs with Slash
By Cory Doctorow, Rael Dornfest, J. Scott Johnson, Shelley Powers, Benjamin Trott, Mena G. Trott
0-596-00388-9, Order Number: 3889
260 pages, $29.95 US $46.95 CA
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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