Alexander Moskalyuk reviews below the new O'Reilly title Essential Blogging, which he points out is available not only for purchase through conventional purchase, but also with O'Reilly's Safari Online subscription, where it's available for a mere 1 point. Read on for his take on how useful Essential Blogging really is.
Blog, Blog, Blog.Recent media infatuation with the blogging effect seems to be overwhelming. It seems that newspaper journalists have just discovered the ability to post and comment messages on the Internet, while most of the computer aficionados and heavy Internet users just shrug their shoulders when told about personal Web journals that link to other articles on the Web.
Blogging Essentials is mostly a generic guide to setting up and running your own Weblog using the software available out there. It doesn't require as much technical knowledge and Unix experience as Running Weblogs with Slash, and doesn't have a nice preface by CmdrTaco, but for a person who is determined to keep a daily journal available on the Internet, it would provide helpful reading material.
Blogger, Radio Userland and MovableType are the primary products discussed in the book. Each of these packages has two chapters dedicated to it, one for beginners' introduction and one for description of advanced features. The main difference between these three products is in their hosting capabilities - Blogger wants you to keep the journal entries on its Web site and provides Web interface, Radio UserLand keeps the posts on its own server as well, while providing desktop interface, while MovableType assumes the user has a Web server on which to install the blogging software. Both Blogger and Radio UserLand allow for self-hosting, which is also covered in introductory chapters.
Another chapter is dedicated to server-based Blosxom, and in the review of desktop clients such blog utilities as BlogScript, BlogApp, BlogBuddy, W.Bloggar and Slug are covered.
What's good and what's bad
While the depth of covered material is surprisingly large for such a narrow topic, a lot of book pages are spent on displaying screenshots of the blogging software, and showing other people's blogs. The only thought that never left my mind while reading this book was "Who would buy it?" Why would you need 264 pages to explain you how to set up your own journal and run it? People who find satisfaction in running their own customized versions of online journals already know most of the material, and those who don't would probably opt in for easier Web-based interface like LiveJournal.
The book seems to be just a quick walk-through of the manuals, and if you consider that all of the reviewed products have pretty good help and FAQ sections, the need for such book decreases even more. I can hardly name anyone to whom I would recommend this book.
Table of contents can be viewed on publisher's Web site.
You can purchase Essential Blogging from bn.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.