Bloggercon III session – Newbies : Excellent listen, my comments and my own thoughts on blogging tools and trackback

Listened to the newbies session of Bloggercon III, hosted by Rebecca Mackinnon, hosted by IT Conversations

I have only gotten halfway through it, due to being interupted by arriving at work.. *grumble* . but I found the first half of this session extremely intersting and thought-provoking.

I have some comments on it so far.

First off, it seemed to be that there was not much clarity about the difference between hosted blogging services, such as, for example, Blogspot/Blogger and Livejournal, and self-hosted blogging ‘tools’, for example, Movabletype, .Text, Typepad, etc.
I wonder if the distinction became at all clear to the newbies, as its a rather important distinction, especially to those who find the technicality of blogging a hurdle to overcome. Also, so far, I have not heard being mentioned how some blogging services make a feature seperation for paying and non-paying subscribers. (Remember that I have only listened to half of the discussion at this moment, I may revise this post later)

Another important distinction that should be made is readership relating to hosted blogs. Right now, having started blogging in June, I would never ever considder hosting my own blog on my own webserver, even though for me, it would be rather simple to do so.

The reason that I dont host my own blog, is that most of my readership comes from the fact that I am on, which enjoys a high tech-readership, and is indexed by a lot of other sites and sources. Within the bloging community, Geekswithblogs is a major player in the development and IT industry blogosphere, and many people simply subscribe to the main rss feed, which includes all of our posts, – or visit the main page, instead of even bothering about individual blogs.  I do the very same with the main feed, Microsoft community blogs and Microsoft MSDN blogs, of which there is significant overlap by the way.

Ideally, I copy the content of my blog into the main page of my own website. I did this with Sharepoint and an rss reader webpart until my portal collapsed on me, but I will be setting it up again. I would, however, enjoy the flexibility of doing it the otherway round, hosting my own blog, on my own server, but having my Geekswithblogs blog import from that, instead of geekswithblogs being the source. This functionality should be a standard part of serviced blogging tools, I think.

Being a member of Geekswithblogs gives me a sense of online community that I was sorely missing, even though most of the ‘geeks’ seem to be developers, instead of sysadmins. I ‘feel at home’ here, and that is a very very important part of the (community) blogging experience, and the sense that people are actually reading your stuff, as it is probably in their general field of interest.

Something I thought that could have been elaborated on more from the discussion about Trackback, at least so far, was that level of support for trackback in the tools community. An example of the kind of lack of support here and there is very evident in .text, right here at Geekswithblogs, where I have no place at all to add a trackback url pointing to someone elses blogpost, though on the other hand, .text does automaticly ping other blogs if I link to them… but it doesnt always work, especially if the target blogging site uses custom trackback urls for incoming pings, instead of building that logic into the same url as the ‘permalink’, as some other tools do indeed do.

I will no doubt add to this post once I have listened to the rest of the session.

Some links for the trackback and such:

New Venture Marketing, Robin Stavisky, Bloggercon III post

Software Only, Jeff Calvier, Bloggercon III post

Blog Wiki Rebecca Mackinnon’s Wiki with resources related to blogging.

Seedlings & Sprouts, Julie Leung, BloggerCon III post seems to be down..  so no link for now.