Blog research for No Limits Media

What is a Blog?

A blog is a website in which items are posted on a regular basis and displayed in reverse chronological order. The term blog is a shortened form of weblog or web log. Authoring a blog, maintaining a blog or adding an article to an existing blog is called “blogging”. Individual articles on a blog are called “blog posts,” “posts” or “entries”. Blogs can be hosted by dedicated blog hosting services, or they can be run using blog software on regular web hosting services.

How blogs differ from traditional sites

A blog has certain attributes that distinguish it from a standard web page. It allows for easy creation of new pages: new data is entered into a simple form (usually with the title, the category, and the body of the article) and then submitted. Automated templates take care of adding the article to the home page, creating the new full article page (Permalink), and adding the article to the appropriate date- or category-based archive. It allows for easy filtering of content for various presentations: by date, category, author, or other attributes. It usually allows the administrator to invite and add other authors, whose permission and access are easily managed.

Difference from forums or newsgroups

Blogs are different from forums or newsgroups. Only the author or authoring group can create new subjects for discussion on a blog. A network of blogs can function like a forum in that every entity in the blog network can create subjects of their choosing for others to discuss. Such networks require interlinking to function, so a group blog with multiple people holding posting rights is now becoming more common. Even where others post to a blog, the blog owners or editors will initiate and frame discussion, manipulating the situation to their specifications

Digital media

While straight text and hyperlinks dominate, some blogs emphasize images and videos (videoblogging).

Some textual blogs link to audio files (podcasting).

Steve Garfield…Massachusetts own father of the Vlog. An article on the Boston Phoenix

http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/news_features/top/features/documents/05145823.asp

http://homepage.mac.com/stevegarfield/stevegarfield/menu.html

RSS

RSS, Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication, depending on what you believe, is a method of publishing recent content entries on many contemporary web sites which can be posted automatically to countless sources by a simple aggregation script. In short, stories from NLM have the potential to automatically appear on other sites and computers without contacting the administrator.

Recently the RSS platform has evolved to include enclosures in the published text files so that media, including images, audio and video, can be carried across RSS feeds as well. There are a flurry of video and audio RSS aggregators in development.

This is an interesting feature because it allows automatic downloading of new content (a new video story), but it doesn’t necessarily attract people to the site.

An important thing to keep in mind is – whatever you set up to deliver video should consider using RSS so that people can subscribe to the feed. You don’t need to have a Blog to use RSS.

Hosting – Free Hosting / Shared Hosting

Free Blog Hosting

http://blogger.com – Owned by Google. A free basic(no media) hosting service.

http://wordpress.com – similar to blogger

There are video podcasts, aggregators, hosting and sharing services appearing at an astounding rate. One of the best video podcast aggregators is Mefeedia

http://mefeedia.com

Many of the video hosting sites are in beta and are quite slow and not always easy to manage. Additionally, many require that you have an existing blog as they don’t offer that service. They only provide the media hosting, which again can be quite slow.

http://ourmedia.org/ – I have experimented with an account here and it seems to be one of the easiest to use with many features. Unfortunately it’s extremely slow.

http://archive.org/ – a public nonprofit building an “ Internet Library” – works in conjunction with our media(use the same e-mail address to register).

http://videobloggers.org/ – content and blog hosting. again, extremely slow

http://blip.tv/ – seems interesting and not as slow as the others (probably not as popular). They don’t seem to have any blog features built-in

http://vblogcentral.com/ -lets you host video and audio content for your already existing blog.� doesn’t seem to be as slow

With most of the previous services you have to create a blog with a hosting provider. If you are interested in hosting your own you could, using freely available sotware, create a site that has a custom look and feel, with many of the same features.

Alternatively, you can get fairly creative with different blog hosting services that indeed more flexibility and administrative features – these often cost money

http://typepad.com – Paid service using a modified version of the MovableType software that can be downloaded and configured for free. Created by http://www.sixapart.com/

Summary

Free blog hosts offer an interesting opportunity to experiment with RSS but do not provide enough flexibility to create a site intent on creating and sustaining a community. Blog-like software can be used within the site to add functionality.

Many of the free media hosting services are slow or in beta and I would not recommend using them for commercial or professional purposes. There may be paid video hosting/streaming services available that can be used in conjunction with your site to provide the media content in a speedy fashion.