Damian Maclennan Blog

Damian's Datalog

Weblogs 101

It's great to see a bunch of the SQLTeam regulars signed up for a weblog here. I've noticed a couple of posts from people along the lines of "I have no idea what this weblog thing is all about or what I'm supposed to do." So here are a couple of things you might want to know about. (If you already know about this stuff, feel free to ignore this)

What is weblogging all about ?
The basic definition is a web based journal. This might give you a little bit of history and perspective. Obviously here the idea is to write with an SQL Server focus, but the rest is up to you.

What is going on here ???
The .Text weblog software is set up to provide a platform for a community blog. Readers have the option to read your individual posts or a combined feed. This is where it differs from most weblogs. To see this format in action, take a look at the ASP.NET Weblogs which is where this software has been developed and evolved.

What is RSS ?
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It is an XML format designed to syndicate blogs and news content.

What is a News Aggregator ?
A news aggregator is a client application designed to pull together multiple sources of RSS content back to the desktop so you can read many blogs in the one place. There are many free and commercial aggregators around (here is a list of some of them). SharpReader and RSSBandit are popular free ones but I use Newsgator which turns Outlook into a news aggregator.

Can I use a News Aggregator to post as well ?
With some of them you can, but configuring them to work here may be fiddly. Newsgator works pretty well with .Text, or you can use W.Bloggar which is a Windows client just for blogging. If you want to configure W.Bloggar to work here, these screenshots might help.

That should be enough to get everyone started with exploring the blog world. Have fun!