E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

Metablogging

Qumana – Making Your Content Readily Available in Your Weblog Without Hardly Any Effort

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

For a number of months now I have always been using a third party weblogging tool in order to post content to both of my weblogs, elsua and the Intranet one. So far this tool has been w.bloggar and I must say that my experience with it has been superb! I have gotten so much used to it that I cannot imagine what it would be like to post content to my weblogs without it. I have been using it continuously and somehow I always doubted there would be another weblogging tool capable of being so easy to use and so effective as w.bloggar. Till I bumped into Qumana.

Through a colleague, who has been commenting about it at his own external weblog (Qumana LE), I bumped into Qumana and I just couldn\’t help but to give it a try. More than anything else because I wanted to know if the recently reported issues on xmlrpc API escaping single and double quotes would also be affecting Qumana. So this is the first weblog post using this third party weblogging tool and I must say that while I am writing this post I am finding it extremely easy to use and to set up. It took me hardly any time to create an account for elsua and also for my Intranet weblog, that uses Roller Weblogger, where I have to enter the details manually, as opposed to automatically like it did with elsua . But, still, it didn’t take me more than 3 minutes to sort it out with all the details.

And now while I am actually getting to check the different options available I can see that most of the stuff I have already with w.bloggar are also there but somehow they seem to be showing up a bit more intuitively. I mean, I remember when I first got started using w.bloggar that I had some difficulties both setting up my weblog account and also getting to know all the different options, but with Qumana I guess this is the best you can get as far as a WYSIWYG weblogging editor is concerned. I am glad I found about it today as I was planning to do some further experimenting and try to post into my external weblog through the Admin panel, but I am hoping that now that we have got Qumana it may be able to bypass that issue with Blogsome and post this article into my weblog.

Then if that works I guess I will be continuing to use both of these weblogging tools as see which one would be the winner after some time. Although now that I come to think about it, there is no need for a winner, is there? When I have got two weblogs to maintain and I could use each of them to publish content to the corresponding weblog. Thing is that the one that causes the most trouble would be the one that I would probably hardly ever use from that moment on. We shall see how that turns out to be. First, fingers crossed that this weblog post is going ahead as it is supposed to.

(Quick Update): Well, I knew that the same problem as reported with w.bloggar would still be showing up with Qumana, so I guess this is something that Blogsome would need to have fixed at some point. However, I do like the format in which the weblog post was shared although I still need to apply a couple of tricks here and there. But it will eventually get there. First thing that I notice though is that after posting the content of the article the whole text remains there whereas in w.bloggar it would just post the article and return back a white window to continue posting new content.

Other than that, I think Qumana is really a worth while option in order to post content to your weblog(s), specially if you are looking for an simple user interface but quite effective in how the information gets organised and without having to have any knowledge of how HTML works. Just type as you see fit and publish the content !

Technorati Tags : Qumana, w.bloggar, Weblogs

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RSS: It Is Not Just for Bloggers Anymore

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

I intended to weblog about this particular topic for some time but never got a chance to do it till now. So I am glad I am finally getting my hands on it: RSS: It’s Not Just for Bloggers Anymore. Certainly, this would not be any new piece of news for those folks who are very knowledgeable about RSS (a.k.a. Really Simple Syndication) and who may be using it on a daily basis. However, I would think that lots of people may still think that RSS is just handy whenever you need to follow up on a number of different weblogs; the larger the number, the better. And nothing else. So that would explain why this particular procotol has not had much attention so far, it looks like.

There are a number of different studies that clearly indicate that RSS hasn’t really picked up with Internet users as much as weblogs have done so far. Yet, we see how every day large corporations are paying lots of attention to this new way of keeping up with different sources of information. So why is there all the hype about it ? Why are there quite a few companies looking into adopting this relatively new technology if it really hasn’t got that much attention from the Internet end-users? You would expect that would be the other way around, wouldn’t you?

Specially, when the latest one to show their support for Really Simple Syndication has been Microsoft with the recent announcement Microsoft will be introducing RSS with Longhorn and IE7. Although there doesn’t seem to be any significant changes from that announcement it would be interesting to see how it develops. More than anything else because it would just come out when RSS probably has moved on already into other areas of expansion. This way, end-users would need to find new roles for what RSS is and how it is supposed to be used, thinking that there are plenty of businesses looking forward to their implementation.

So it is then when you bump into weblog entries like this one: RSS is Not Only for Blogs, when you come to realise, really, about the huge potential RSS has for not only the Internet end-users but also for the business corporate world. In that particular weblog post over at RSS Specifications there is a large enough list of items and applications that would benefit from implementing Really Simple Syndication. And clearly from that post onwards, I doubt that people would be associating RSS feeds with the concept of weblogs. It all started with weblogging and its syndication, but then things seem to have expanded and improved and therefore there is a whole brave new world out there that would just basically work on developing and implementing RSS feeds for something else than just weblogs.

So if you haven’t seen yet what you could get out of Really Simple Syndication I would strongly suggest you get to read RSS is Not Only for Blogs. I bet that once you have finished reading through it your opinion about RSS will change and, hopefully, we shall get to see what will be happening in the short / medium-term. Definitely, it will no longer be associated with weblogs alone but with a whole bunch of other different tools and web sites available out there. The possibilities are almost endless. And while reaching out for the information that matters to you we will continue to see how things improve, not only from the quality of the content feed, but also from an end-user point of view.

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TagCloud – The Power of Folksonomy and Tags at Your Fingertips

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

Yesterday, while I was playing around with the template from elsua, trying to fix an issue with the Blogroll, I thought it was also a good opportunity to add a new feature into my weblog. That new feature is called TagCloud and if you are into Folksonomy, then you will know exactly what it actually does. However, just in case you may not be familiar with it, TagCloud is an automated Folksonomy tool that allows you to categorise collaboratively freely chosen keywords. In this particular case, from my weblog.

So you if take a look into it, down below the template, you will be able to see a number of different keywords that I have been using all along in elsua while I have been creating all the different weblog posts. And the way it works is that the more I get to use a word the larger it will show in the cloud. And whenever you would be clicking on a particular word it will actually be showing all the different related posts where that keyword can be found. This is what in many other contexts it is well known as Tags.

The great thing about tags and Folksonomy is that it is probably one of the most powerful ways to navigate through weblogs in order to find interesting patterns, themes and conversations on particular topics. This is certainly a very powerful collaborative way of building up relationships, since TagCloud, for instance, allows you to gather that list of tags not just from your own weblog but also from a number of weblogs that you may put together.

Thus with this particular offering you will be able to build up multiple clouds with multiple feeds and still be able to manage it all in a very effective and visual way, because as those feeds continue to build up and put forward those key words the clouds will become more and more relevant in how those tags are put together. So you know that whenever you look into a particular cloud you are just looking at the key important items that one of multiple authors may be weblogging about.

Perhaps the biggest example of how tagging works and what effects it has in the Blogosphere is Technorati. However, the great thing about TagCloud is that you can have that same powerful functionality with the tags within the reach of your own weblog since you can have it included as part of your template, however complex that may be, like you can see with elsua. So if you are planning to build up your interests in a number of different weblogs I would strongly recommend that you give TagCloud a try. I am sure you will enjoy the experience of knowing first hand and through an extensive period of time which hot topics are discussed in one particular weblog or in multiple weblogs.

Finally, just wanted to mention that it is a free offering and it would be too bad if you do not give it a try. You cannot imagine how much you can learn about your own weblog -and others- through the usage of such superb offering as TagCloud.

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IceRocket Relaunch of BlogScour

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

This weblog post will surely be very interesting to folks who may have been familiar all along with this superb search engine called IceRocket. In the past I have been weblogging at my work weblog a couple of times about one of my favourite search engines, and in this case it is not Google, but IceRocket, owned by Mark Cuban (By the way, if you haven’t subscribe to his weblog already you may want to go ahead and do it. He is quite some interesting read!).

Anyway, what I wanted to share with you folks is that IceRocket is about to launch BlogScour, focusing more than anything else on weblog searching. And this, indeed, is quite interesting since it will be targeting a different audience with different needs, pretty much like Technorati is doing at the moment. So we would have now another search engine that we can use to provide us with some good quality results pretty much like IceRocket was doing at the moment for general web searches.

If you are looking for more information details on this recent announcement check out the CNET article and Micro Persuasion’s weblog post about the launch.

I must say that in the past if I was looking for weblogs content I would normally go for Yahoo! Search since I felt it is much better than Google in providing more extensive results but by the looks of it I will start using IceRocket some more from now on. Specially, since it has got a couple of other neat features: Tags and an RSS Builder option. And also have you checked out Blogs Trend Tool ?.Quite interesting indeed if you are tracking a particular topic. IceRocket continues to rock the place as far as search engines are concerned and certainly there doesn’t seem to be a limit to it, at least, not yet.

So as you can see not everything out there is just Google, Yahoo!, MSN or AskJeeves. There are some other interesting players out there and some of them, IceRocket and BlogScour in this particular case, are worth while a look just in case you may not be aware of them.

Finally, here is quite an interesting weblog post from Mark himself on the subject: Using Blog Search for Business. Quite enlightening, to say the least.

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Are You Ready to Vlog?

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

Ok, folks, are you ready to vlog? Apparently, this is one of the latest trends out there in the Internet that is grabbing more and more momentum by the day. It is called vlog or vlogging and it is the short name for video blogs. There seems to be a huge hype going around vlogging more than anything because of its cool factor of allowing folks to create, edit and publish their own videos on the Internet where people could subscribe to.

Katie Dean, from Wired, recently wrote an interesting and intriguing article describing the phenomenon itself: Blogging + Video = Vlogging and while reading through it I just couldn’t help thinking if eventually vlogging would become as popular as weblogging is at the moment. I know that there are not as many vloggers out there as webloggers but with options like the Yahoo videoblogging group, Vlogdir or del.icio.us tags you could expect that things will continue to grow and that we will get to see more and more vloggers as time goes along.

I am not sure if elsua would be a good candidate for such new trend. I would need to think about it, but something tells me that I am not sure I would be jumping into that wagon, at least, for the time being. Maybe at a later time when it has settled down a bit and it has consolidated itself some more I may think about it. But how about you? Are you ready to vlog ? Are you vlogging already?. If you would want to share your vlogging experience with us just contact me offline or drop a comment here. I am sure we would be more than delighted to hear some more about how different the experience is from regular weblogging.

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Blogging 101 – You Don’t Need a Blog

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

I normally don’t do this, I mean cross posting a weblog post from one of my weblogs to the other but I thought that the topic around this particular post would be worth while enough to comment on in both of my weblogs. And certainly, this one is going to be fun, folks, for sure, to say the least, and I am sure it will provoke some controversy apart from giving a good reason for those who might not be brave enough to make the jump into weblogging just yet.

Last week a good friend of mine, who is consciously not weblogging as much as he could do, sent over to me the following weblog post: Blogging 101 – You Don’t Need a Blog. And, goodness!, did I enjoy that post or what ? I mentioned this in the past and it looks like I wasn’t too far off from being almost accurate. Not everybody will be keen on weblogging, nor apt to do it in a way that can trigger enough attention to keep it going and so forth. However, in this case Matt Wood is providing a whole lot of reasons why people may think about it twice whenever they would want to get started with creating and maintaining a weblog.

The main item I took from reading that post was that basically weblogging is all about commitment, your commitment towards the people you want to keep informed and how you would want to do that without really caring too much if they would be commenting on your weblog posts or not. After all, like it is said in one of the comments “[…] just because someone isn’t talking to you doesn’t mean nobody’s listening.”. You gotta love that quote ! I couldn’t have agreed more with it, to be honest. Sometimes you would get a whole lot more reward from the people who are reading your weblog than from those who are commenting on it. That is the silent mass of lurkers who, whether we like it or not, are the main ones who keep a weblogger running. Everything else is just circumstantial and a nice add-on.

So if you find out that you want to keep a weblog going but do not get to receive plenty of comments that is no problem. Those will come, some day. Not to worry. The important thing is that you are committed to your readers, silent and non-silent; you are committed to your weblog and sharing what you think is most important to you and to the ones who you know do care.

So are you up to the challenge ? Will you keep weblogging ? … I will.

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