Thursday, June 09, 2005

Sink or Swim: the Daunting Sea of Blog Semantics

The dive into the blog pool is one into the deep end. I mean, it's relatively easy to setup a blog (aside from finding a unique site name) but trying to separate and understand the terminology is dizzying.

Initially, on recommendation from Stephen Downes in a presentation he did at the 2005 This is IT conference on how to be a good learner, I created a bloglines account. From what I understand, bloglines is an aggregator which helps you to read other blogs through their RSS feeds. Okay, works good, cool. So, I'm reading and learning, and it isn't long before I see an item that I want to clip/blog. Clicking on that link prompts me to create my own blog on bloglines and wow, there's my post - except that it appears that no one can comment on it. A blog that isn't a blog? For me (remember, I'm a novice), blogs are tool for social interaction - I'd like some feedback on some of my posts, exposure to new ideas and criticisms that will help me grow and learn.

I've also created a Jots account which is a web-based social bookmarking application. In using it, I find myself sliding into 'blogging mode', wanting to publish some comments to accompany the link, to give my personal take on the site and why it's worth mention.

And so now, here I am, with Blogger.

I really wish there were some / any guides out there that compared these different technologies, illustrating when you would use one over the other. I'm also worried about etiquette - if I want to blog (or link?) to an item on BlogY that I've actually read on BlogX - how so? is there a prescribed method for this? where would it go? blogger? bloglines blog? jots?

I find myself struggling to swim in this sea of new technology (more precisely, the semantics thereof). As I'm brand-spanking new to the scene it's unlikely that anyone will throw me a life preserver anytime soon. Until then, I guess I'll keep treading and search for a pair of waterwings.


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