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Entries in Blogging (59)


Blogging Gone Mainstream?

Today I read an interesting article at CNN, talking about blogging going mainstream. More of these kinds of articles seem to be appearing lately, following Google's recent purchase of (Blogger is a company which is popular for its free and paid blog services).

I find it intriguing that a phenomenon like blogging can be happening below the radar for quite some time, until a singular event (like Google buying Blogger) brings it to the attention of the media and general public. This process seems similar to the way musical acts are "discovered" even though they've been doing local or national tours for years and years.

I had a friend ask me what I thought the real deal with blogs was. He wanted to know if I thought were they just a fad like pet rocks, or if I felt there was something of substance to them. My answer was both.

Blogs do seem to have a momentary faddish aspect to them. In fact, many are starting blogs with great enthusiasm that will probably stop posting once they discover nobody is reading their work. As an example, check out this Wired article about weblogs abandoned by their owners.

On the other hand, there are many useful blogs that provide journalistic-level coverage on current events, some that specialize in research on very specific topics, and still others updated by developers, who share details of their development process with users and colleagues.

I think just as email, web browsing and chatting have all grown up and settled into a groove, blogging will settle into its own niche too. Once the fad has run its course, blogs will find their place in the web and become another staple for those who use and enjoy them.

I think the biggest problem facing a world of blogs is the sheer number and variety of them. There are just so many resources out there, no one reader will be able to see them all. Over time I think the better, more dedicated and more focused bloggers will prosper while bloggers who lose interest in blogging will falter. This is the normal way of things -- the best naturally rise to the top.


Palm Blogging Update

Well, had a few days to think over my ideas and chat with a few folks regarding the Palm-based blogging tool concept I posted last week. Here are some updates:

1. A developer friend suggested that it might be more practical to develop a powerful web interface that can be accessed by today's powerful Palm browsing tools than a Palm app. Using a Palm browser with JavaScript support, I could access browser-based tools like Blogger and Blogger Pro for posting and editing past posts.

2. I learned that Blogger Pro ($35 yr. subscription) has an email posting feature that would work with SnapperMail or another web-capable Palm email tool (assuming you have net access with your Palm).

3. I've now setup an RTF file on my Mac to sync with WordSmith. This way I can write posts away from the Mac, HotSync my Clie then copy and paste any new posts from the RTF file. I'm also testing this setup with Quickword on reccomendation of John over at MyPalmLife as Quickword has HTML tools built in.

4. For budget-conscious bloggers, the trusty Memo Pad will work well for getting text from a Palm to a blogging tool, as long as your posts are 4k or less.

5. Palm-blogger PalmDoc mentioned an AvantGo posting tool called PocketJ for offline posts, though it's incompatible with Blogger. Still, this idea has inspired me to experiment with iSilo and AvantGo to try and access Blogger. I'll keep you posted on that.

6. There is a stand-alone Palm blogging app called handX Weblog that works with an weblog app you load on your own server. However handX is a proprietary system and will not (as of yet) support Blogger or Blogger Pro.

7. Another stand-alone Palm app is Kablog, though it relies on Java and a direct net connection to work. I'm not fond of Java apps running on top of the Palm OS, though I suppose this package could work well.

So, it appears there are several ways to post via Palm... I hope even more solutions will appear as blogging continues to grow in popularity. As I learn more I'll post new solutions here.


Palm Blogging Tool

As a Palm guy, I've been thinking lately about how I can use my Sony Clié as a blogging tool when I'm not here at my Mac pounding away.

After some thought and working with Mac blogging tools like NetNewsWire from Ranchero Software I've started a wishlist of the details I'd want in a perfect blog tool for the Palm. Here they are:

1. A word processing app for the palm with menus or buttons to generate common and custom codes such as links, image tags, bold, italic, etc.

2. Would store your access preferences for at least one blog account, preferably multiple blog accounts, just as mail apps SnapperMail can store info for multiple email accounts.

3. Probably a good idea to make the app password protected in case your Palm is ever lost or stolen.

4. The app should be able to work in offline or online modes; if in online mode, the preferences entered for your blog (username/pw) would let you post directly to the blog server should you have a wired or wireless connection.

5. If in offline mode, the posts would be saved in a hopper of sorts, and posted to your blog via the conduit (Mac or PC) something like how AvantGo or Vindigo can connect to the web and send/post info.

6. Should also have a 'drafts' option which would save posts on the Palm app, which would be great for posts you want to start but need research or maybe further thinking to complete. These draft posts could then be marked for posting by pressing a 'Post' button on screen, or maybe a 'Post' checkbox. Then the post would either be posted immediately (if connected to the net) or sent via conduit as explained above.

7. A really nice option feature would be the ability to subscribe to RSS news feeds from news, blog and other websites that offer this. Currently there are many sites with RSS feeds. In this sense, the app would act more like an email client or Newsgroups reader.

8. If an RSS news feature were added, It would be important to allow the user to grab a news item and include that in a post with the blogger's comment.

9. A nice but optional feature might be a matching (optional) client for the PC and Mac with similar functionality to the Palm app. Or maybe collaboration with existing Mac and PC clients.

10. One last 'option' that would be cool: the ability to preview and grab a JPG picture from a VFS card (SD, MemStick, etc.) and include that in a post. It would be really slick if this feature were integrated into the image tag generator, so that you'd select a JPG image, the size would be automatically entered in the IMG tag and then this could be included in a post. I suppose for direct posting this would be doable, though I don't know if adding the picture post from the card option would get complex in the offline/conduit mode.

If you have anything to add to this list if wishes or you're a Palm developer interested in creating a tool like this for the Palm, drop me a line!


Get that Weblog a Rollin'

Hey guys, here's the Blog, still in progress. I still have some things to do with the HTML template but I'm feeling it's getting close. I suspect I'll be tweaking this thing even after the launch. :-)

So, now I need to locate and decide which links belong in the Links column and I have to begin converting the remainder of my site to the new look. I'm thinking I want to wait a while to fully convert -- I fear there's alot more on the site than I realize!

Ok, I'd love to hear any comments you might have to share about the blog. Just drop me a line...


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