Dispatches from Blogistan

Dispatches from Blogistan: A Travel Guide for the Modern Blogger, by Suzanne Stefanac is a good introduction for anyone who is considering a blog.  I found the first chapters of the book to be a well-told history of free speech.  Blogging is the next expansion of the power of the printing press, whether you are getting a free blog account at WordPress.com or Blogger, or if you are setting up your own domain as we have done in Center this semester.

Stefanac then gives a tour of the different types of blogs you’ll find on the web: linkfests, diaries, clubhouses, newsrooms and soapboxes.  Each type has examples and some good ideas for you depending on the type of blog you are thinking of creating.  She then provides an overview of the technologies that support today’s blogs, including permalinks, trackback, wysiwyg editors and spam control.  There is a review of different blog services, both free and for a fee, as well as blogs that you can set up if you have your own server.  There’s a chapter on “Writing That’s Engaging”, and information on legal issues.

I also like the fact that Stefanac is encouraging despite things like spam, comment wars and even legal issues like copyright and libel.  If you take a reasonable approach to your writing and management of your blog, you’ll find the rewards easily outweigh the liabilities.

I’m going to get some additional copies of this book so we in the Center have something we can pass to faculty who are thinking about blogging.  It’s a quick and entertaining read that answers many questions.  It should also provoke some additional conversations among interested faculty as they think about using blogs as their own printing presses to capture research while extending the conversation globally.

Thanks to Brian Alexander and Barbara Ganley for mentioning the book in their EDUCAUSE pre-conference workshop!

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One Response to Dispatches from Blogistan

  1. suzanne says:

    So kind of you to write such a nice review. Blogging signals a new form of publishing and we’re all just beginning to grasp its import. I welcome any and all comments either here or on the book’s blog.


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