Thanks for taking the time to explore my moderator blog.  I know that for some folks this whole blog world may be brand new and my just need a little basic knowledge before jumping in to the fray.  Below is a quick introduction with contributions from some blog friends who have also offered some input.  If you have some additions, corrections, etc. please feel free to leave a comment, link, etc.

Thanks and peace.

Thanks to the following people who helped to think this through: [jim] [shawn] [daniel] [tyler] [rodger] [robin] [adam] [carol].  In the words of my six-year-old, “You all rock!”

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What is the blog and Web 2.0 stuff anyway?

A “Blog” – short for weblog – is a series of thoughts and reflections called “posts” that make up a particular type of online experience.  Blogs began as individual online web diaries, and they’ve quickly grown in numbers, topical scope, and readership.   Some are in the form of personal diaries while others are more ranting and and yet others focus on a particular area of technical expertise.  What makes a blog unique is that their intent is not just about one-way dissemination of information, but are meant to create some kind of focused interaction thru some unique characteristics:

  • (1) posts in which a writer (or blogger) can develop new content on a continual basis,
  • (2) comments in which the reader can respond to what’s been written, and
  • (3) a blogroll where the writer can link to other blogs and websites.

Since bloggers borrow and share information constantly, they increase communication and collaboration, which can result in forming a web of interesting relationships, igniting insights into the church, and helping to bring about social change.

What are comments and how do I leave one?

Comments are the bread an butter of blog interaction.  While not everyone covets them or leaves them, it is the primary way to engage with the writer/s of a blog.  While everyone has different expectations about comments, it is safe to say, that most folks do not want spam or abuse on their blog.  When you leave a comment you may also be asked to leave some kind of identifying info: eMail, blog, name, city, etc.  Some comments are also moderator, so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away.

How do make sure I don’t miss new posts?

If you want to be sure to be notified when a particular blog has some kind of update, you need to use what is called a Aggregator, basically this is a service that keeps track of any blogs that you subscribe to.  Each blog has what is called a “feed” which these aggregators track and then update for your reading pleasure.  Using one of these is a way that you can avoid trying to remember to visit blogs because new posts just show up in your reader.

What is a widget?

Widgets are all those things that exist on a blog to give them more functionality and personality.  These are generally located on the side of the blog and are often crated by a third party, and not the blogging service.

This is cool, how do I start my own blog?

Great.  There are a few options you have depending on your technological ease, involvement in other networks and if you want to spend any $$.

    • You can usually take advantage of the blogging features that are part of MySpace, Faceobok, Friendster and others.  If you are already involved with one of those, that is  the easiest way to get started.
    • Free blog service via Google – Blogger.  This is pretty basic, easy to set up and connected with your Google account, should you have one
    • Free blog service with WordPress – May require a little technological savvy, but there are many many many site out there to help.
    • Paid service.  For the past three years I have used TypePad, and have been very happy with this service.

Other links that might be helpful for those who want to dive in a little further.

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