My Blog Ain’t No Stinkin’ Diary
Image by Looking For Fish Tacos At ELI 2006
If one considers blog software as a "lightweight content management" system or a template driven web publishing platform, the possibilities are only bounded by our creativity.
* Once past the land of "blogs as diaries", what is there?
* What are the essential characteristics of blog software, and how can their applications be extended?
Hand coding HTML for web pages works fine for a few "pages", but loses effectiveness when the numbers hit 3 or 4 decimal places. What blog software provides for anyone publishing web content include:
* separation of content (stored in a database) from formatting (more and more web-standard designed templates)
* built in keyword search
* built in creation of RSS feeds
* built in commenting
* flexible organization via ctaegories defined by users
* editing via a simple web browser interface, w/o need for special software
* a shift to focus on the content from the formatting
* extensibility of functions via plug-ings
In April 2001 Dave Winer foresaw the Read/Write Web– The Web is a Writing Environment— In the meantime, the one revolution that the Internet has totally delivered is a fundamental change in the way written information and ideas flow. As people get more comfortable with networking technology, and as engineers learn how to do easier user interfaces, there will be more people writing on the Web.
* Weblogging: Another kind of website by Chris Ashley, IST—Interactive University. One day in mid-March of last year, Raymond Yee of the Interactive University (IU)  thought it would be a good idea to buy and experiment with Manila, a web server application capable of supporting literally thousands of weblog websites. A bargain-priced education license was purchased, and Catherine Yoes (then at IU) downloaded and installed it on a rather ordinary NT server. Within weeks the IU experienced a revolutionary change in thinking about what a website is, how they’re hosted, what they’re used for, how they’re built, and who owns them. A year and a half later, all of the IU’s websites are being produced using weblog technology, our team communications and sharing have been vitally enhanced, and a number of our team members are regularly writing on the web, as are many of our University/K-12 projects and the K-12 teachers we work with. (emphasis added)
* Weblogs, part II: A Swiss Army website? Chris Ashley, IST–Interactive University. This second article is an overview of a number of areas in which weblog software and the weblog model of content production and platform interoperability are proving to be increasingly useful and powerful, pushing and inspiring innovative developments for, and uses of, the Web. These areas include: content, information, and knowledge management; community building; publishing and journalism; teaching, learning, and collaboration; and course management systems (CMS).
* The blog as resume and autobiography (Jon Udell) The idea would be to explore the professional blog as a literary form that grows out of, and extends, two traditional forms: the resume and the autobiography.
* What Blogs Are: A Collaborative, Open Model For Information Exchange Robin Good, MasterNewMedia
* Using WordPress as a CMS (Ruminate) lists a few examples
* Beyond the Blog (The Prequel) A screencast (43 MB QuickTime) that demonstrates some educational blogs that push the common perceptions of what a weblog does. See also the companion wiki.
Education Support / Department Sites
* LEAP– a student support resource site at UBC
* Bowie State University School of Education site (WordPress)
* Building a School Web Site One Blog At a Time Rob Wall describes using WordPress to create the CELTC School Announcement System . See Several more examples in the comments:
Journals, Newsletters, Books
* MCLI iForum – online publication at Maricopa Community Colleges (published in WordPress). See technical details.
* Culture Corner Horace Mann Elementary School (MovableType)
* Classroom Notes at Lewis Elementary School . Using a Weblog to Facilitate Paper Publishing Tim Lauer describes how his Elementary School uses MovableType to assemble stories from teachers for publishing in electronic and print format.
* Pulse The Coming of Age of Systems and Machines Inspired by Living Things by Robert Frenay"This is a networked book. We’re releasing the full text of Pulse to the public via RSS, email, and on this blog. You can even get a from-the-beginning feed if you come late. In a first, the text is fully linked and tagged."
* Wisdom Quotes a reference/resource site (MovableType)
* Low Threshold Applications (MovableType)
* Into the Blogosphere (University of Minnesota) "This online, edited collection explores discursive, visual, social, and other communicative features of weblogs. Essays analyze and critique situated cases and examples drawn from weblogs and weblog communities. Such a project requires a multidisciplinary approach, and contributions represent perspectives from Rhetoric, Communication, Sociology, Cultural Studies, Linguistics, and Education, among others."
Activism / Citizen Journalism
* WikiPedia definition
* J-Learning "your how-to site for community journalism"
* The Thunderbird UBC’s blog-powered School of Journalism online publication.
* Philly Future – Philadelphia Blogs – "The News YOU Write
* The 11 Layers of Citizen Journalism PoynterOnline
* We the Media "grassroots journalism by the people, for the people"
* Stormwatchers citizen journalists covering hurrican Rita
* I, Reported
* Staying Ahead of Your Patrons With Weblogs and RSS by Steven Cohen (Blogger). See his notes, www.librarystuff.net/2005/02/presentation-about-weblogsin…
* More Than Cat Diaries: Publishing With Weblogs by Alan Levine (Blogger)
See more examples and resources in the notdiaries tag stream.
Image Credits: Mock-up of SciFi book cover created by Alan Levine, derived from Creative Commons licensed flickr image by "Spatial Mongrel"