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May 18, 2008


Rebecca Blood's The Weblog Handbook

A basic reading: Rebecca Blood’s The Weblog handbook. I needed to read this book when I started writing my blog and I think it could be helpful if I explain some of the ideas contained in the book.
Nine years ago, Rebecca Blood started his blog, What’s in Rebecca’s Pocket and she was ask to write a book about this new way of expression.

The book starts with a comprehensive history of blogs since 1993, long before the term were invented.

Then she states that there are three kind blogs: the diaries, the short articles and the link as a filter.

Blogs, always as Rebecca Blood argues in her book, born in Internet, filtering information and framing it in an appropriate context. They have an impact in traditional mass media, sometimes as an alternative point of view and always an invitation to critical though. As a relational media they promote participation and communication. The blog is a new method for reality check, aside journalism.

Why we must blog?
Because it increases our writing capacities, allows self-expression (and second thoughts), critic ideas, maybe fame, and is a great way to inform all employees in a firm.

Who must write blogs?
Writing a blog takes a large amount of time. If you already expend a lot of time in Internet, well, you may be are a blogger. An advise by Rebecca Blood, Blogging will short your time in other Hobbies. You also must consider writing a blog if you are an expert in some areas of knowledge or in your work field. Of course, if you write a lot in your emails or in Messenger, then why not blog your ideas in your own personal page?

Blog means selection and reflexion. Is a point of view, link discrimination and your living experience all in one place. It allows self-expression, contact with other people, share with then information you have and may be a new way of relate to others.

Rebecca Blood is very interested in ethics. Make no evil to no one. Enjoy your work but consider that you are writing in a public place: define yourself, enjoy with your posts and allow yourself with the benefit of the mistake. Always be great, funny and insightful.

As a writer you must discover your public.
Register your domain, use a webring and add your blog to lists and to trackers
Use wisely your profile (if you are in Blogger, you already have one), try to appear in list servers and in communities.
Be useful, gather to the community events, email and link to other blogs, use via… whenever you cite someone, communicate through your blog with other blogs.

You must not do the following (all of them are Rebecca Blood’s advises). Never talk about other blogs in hope of being linked. Never abuse talking about blog revolutions and never try to be noticed or get noticed.

Rebecca Blood, as I have already stated is interested in ethics. Therefore she creates a series of rules involving etiquette. Never attack others, never troll, don’t ask for a link and never complain about little traffic and little hits.

Instead, acknowledge the ownership of the links you insert in your page, make public your publication time, give the right acknowledgements and answer whenever is possible your mail and comments.

Ethics, What ethics?
Publish what your think is true.
Always link to the sources
Correct any information that was untrue.
Never change a word. Add information, but never rewrite.
Show conflict of interests.
Mention political tendencies of some of your sources if it could help the reader.

Blogging is living online.
Rebecca Blood considers that a blogger must plan his/her post in advance because all post lives forever. Everyone of us, who write in a personal blog must put aside our real life when we blog. Therefore we must keep our privacy and protect that of others. And, when we get tired, take a break for as long as we need to.

The book ends with what Rebecca Blood considers the needs of the community of bloggers. First, Stronger links between different groups. Second, more independent thinkers and Third, more irreverence, take ourselves not so seriously.

As an addendum, She explains in two pages how to create a blog in Blogger (Why more pages, if it is quite simple) and how to Link. I must say that the she explains it is the easiest way of doing it.

A curious thing. We, as bloggers, are publishing in a newspaper! We have ISSN and credentials if we want to.

Thank you to Rebecca Blood for her Blog and her book. I think you must visit it and buy the book, because they are very interesting and handy. Nine years of blogging means a lot of information and expertise.

A final thought: the cover of the book shows the word Weblog not as Web-Log but as We-Blog. That’s what I want to do. I will blog.


Anonymous said...

Well, not only have we to read books to write blogs, but we have to do it in foreign languages... No, thanks, I wont. My blog will be everything but comercial, everything but read by hundreds of people, everything but tied up to rules and regulations.
I will start the no-blog one.

VN Recording Company said...

Please, tell me where to find this anti-blog!

I'd love to read it!


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