- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books; 1st edition (July 2, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 073820756X
- ISBN-13: 978-0738207568
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,643,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Weblog Handbook: Practical Advice On Creating And Maintaining Your Blog Paperback – July 2, 2002
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From Library Journal
A weblog, or blog, is a frequently updated online personal journal. Boasting a foreword by Blood, a web consultant and creator of Rebecca's Pocket weblog, We've Got Blog is a collection of 34 essays that explore this rapidly growing trend. Contributors include such noted bloggers as Joe Clark, Cameron Barrett, and Giles Turnbull. The discussion covers the history and community of weblogs, contrasts weblogs and traditional journalism, and offers advice on starting a weblog. If you have been following weblogs for the past few years you've probably come across many of these articles online, but having them available in one collection gives them context. A glossary and good references round out this well-edited anthology. Blood's enthusiasm for the subject carries over to her own work, The Weblog Handbook, which is not the do-it-yourself technique book you might expect. Instead, Blood takes on the role of mentor; she's been there and done that and has much wisdom to share. She is eager to convert readers into bloggers and offers good advice on finding one's voice, observing etiquette, and living online. Unfortunately, a lengthy afterword that focuses on the culture of weblogs seems a better fit for We've Got Blog. Appendixes offer a brief glimpse of creating a test weblog and working with links, but this book is written for someone who has flirted with the idea of starting a weblog and feels comfortable jumping right into the format. These titles are unique, as the publishing world is just catching up to the subject of weblogs. (Look for similar publications in the near future.) Both books are suited for public and academic libraries, but smaller public libraries might want to hold off to see whether a more practical do-it-yourself guide on blogging emerges. Academic libraries are advised to add We've Got Blog. Colleen Cuddy, New York Univ. Sch. of Medicine Lib.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
In a world moving as fast as the cyberworld is, a book written in 2002 and reviewed now in 2007 is bound to show its age. The Weblog Handbook does so.
Yet for sheer, innocent (but not inexpert), joyful description of a weblog community that discovered itself almost accidentally between 1999 and 2002, this delightful little book is both a period piece and a still-useful introduction to weblogging for novices.
Seven well-written chapters make the experience of reading this old-media production (ironies abound) a pleasure.
'What is a Weblog?' (chapter one, pp. 1-25) does what its title makes obvious. Along the way, the author utilizes her impeccably accessible prose to highlight the serendipitous, communal, and artistic-creative aspects of most blogs, or at least of those that set the movement afoot.
Blood's second chapter (her generous first-person style makes a reviewer who has never met her refer to her simply as 'Rebecca'; 'Why a Weblog?', pp. 27-37) dispenses wisdom regarding how the beast can take over the life of the beast-er. She indicates three motives for blogging: 'information sharing, reputation building, and personal expression', with careful attention to what the practice does for the writer as well as for the reader. The secret is to align what one already does with one's life as Daily Chronicler of Something.
Chapter three ('Creating and Maintaining Your Weblog', pp. 39-57) puts the 'p' in the first word of the author's subtitle. A newbie in the field will appreciate the absence of condescension as Blood introduces him to the nuts and bolts of his new hobby.
Every successful artist or otherwise public persona experiences that memorable moment when she understands who she is in her given role and why that is a natural place to be. According to Rebecca Blood, bloggers are no different (Chapter four, 'Finding Your Voice', pp. 59-76). Though she gives due attention to the blogger-audience dynamic from several angles, she is very much aware that a blogger who wants her craft to be an integral aspect of her life finds her voice (including the topic upon which she can write knowledgeably) and sticks with it.
Rebecca concludes 'Finding an Audience' (chapter five, pp. 77-99) with this judicious and provocative statement: 'If your objective in keeping a weblog is to gain a wide audience, I advise you to quite today. Webloggers who care about the size of their audience are always unhappy.'
By the time she has worked her way to that declaration, however, she has provided twenty pages of helpful guidance to, well, finding and building an audience. One gains the impression that here is a woman of balance, willing to help you do the thing you want to do but aware that it may turn out to be something other than that. Kudos to her for writing a professional manual that takes itself with appropriate levity.
Blood utilizes her sixth chapter to blend garden-variety journalistic ethics and etiquette with the peculiar idealism of the early weblogging community (chapter six, 'Weblog Community and Etiquette', pp. 101-125). Though she breaks her counsel into 'do not do' and 'do' categories, her approach is not rigid. Rather it is altruistic, idealistic, and communal. Even if those traits do not guarantee a better world, they are better than their alternatives. Blood capably guides the novice through the unspoken expectations that linger like minefields before the new weblogger who is clueless, belligerent, or some combination of the two. Reader beware.
Chapter seven ('Living Online', pp. 127-145), provides Blood with her clearest opportunity to disclose what the experience of doing what the title suggests has meant to this civil and entertaining author of 'Rebecca's Pocket'. As with so much of what she has written here, the basic principle is common sense, even if that uncommon virtue must now be applied to a recent and uncongealed new medium of public disclosure. Living online does not mean that the blogger or his friends, acquaintances, and even the defenseless objects of his drive-by observations do not preserve and need a private life. Blood offers sensible guidance for observing those limits and avoiding the unwelcome intrusions to which technology has added such unwelcome afterlife.
An afterword and several appendices complete a fine introduction to what in the hands of some must be regarded as a craft.
When entering theological seminary many years ago, I was urged to read Helmut Thielicke's A LITTLE EXERCISE FOR YOUNG THEOLOGIANS. That slim, heartfelt volume did not teach anyone how to be a good theologian, yet it punched above its weight by setting a course for decent progress by practitioners of a craft who would now be more aware of self and community than would have been the case had Thielicke kept his pen locked away.
Rebecca Blood's little book does the same for aspiring bloggers. Perhaps all that one has with which to repay her are five well-earned stars.
One of the ways to measure the value of a book is to ask if the reading of it has changed the way one does things. The question is not so much "What did I learn?" but "What impact did this have on what I do?"
The answer, of course, is person bound; a book that has changed the way I behave may have no impact on someone else's actions. Rebecca Blood had a direct influence on my projects. For example, WikiDiction now has a space for linking to relevant quality blogs; added after finishing the chapter "Finding an Audience".
Nice work Rebecca.
Did I end up starting a blog after reading a book? Not yet. I still haven't been able to answer for myself the question posed by Rebecca, "If you spend 8 hours + a day in front of the computer for work, are you willing to spend an additional few hours in front of a computer at home writing your blog?"
I am an instant fan of Rebecca Blood and her website because of this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Blood's book is a book about ideas, not the nuts and bolts.Read more