Today, after reading Dave Pollard’s post on TrackBack, I commented on my lack of understanding of the concept. I tried it earlier, now I understand, and I will use it more frequently. Later as I read my RSS feeds through NewGator, I found this post on Weblogging tools. I’ve tried many of them, but found my Radio experience less than satisfactory, because much of the functionality was hard to implement and instead of fiddling with my blog software, I would rather be writing. This post lists a lot of good tools, with explanations for their use.
Weblogging can be as simple or as complex as you choose to make it. I hope that the technology will become more and more transparen as it evolves. allowing greater access to all knowledge-sharing, knowledge-accessing features to people in an underserved category (i.e, those who have substantive interest but low technical interest/skill).
In this entry I share with other webloggers, some of them new to the enterprise, a partial listing of the kit of tools that I am presently using. I list and explain, speak of my own present uses of each tool and project possible other uses. I hope that in so doing I help others use their own weblogs more fully. <p>
[Warning: this is a "brand specific" and, to a lesser degree "purpose specific" write-up. Since I use Radio Userland's Weblogging software (almost exclusively), this entry will be about what I do and/or think can be done with Radio to forward the knowledge-making, knowledge-disseminating enterprise. Further, it's a changeable, evolving "work in progress";depending on my interest and experience any given facet that I discuss below may, or may not, get further attention. Responses and/or questions would tend to encourage further attention to a given feature :o] ! Whether there is much or little discussion with readers I will have served an important personal purpose; writing this entry it will remind me of all the tools I have for achieving my weblogging goals].
General Purpose of Tool
My Present Usage
By itself: journaling with others -- the centerpiece of a complex of powerful knowledge-building tools
As a journal (a little) as a small (growing?) public, yet personal, workspace to develop and make known thoughts in areas of my concern and/or interest.
As an interface to a fuller individual or group knowledge making set-up. For example, a plone site with included zwiki wiki as workspace for one or more coworkers. The weblog, in this case, would be a space in which more finished products are summarized. Public criticism and or idea support would be drawn to the organized group space where it would affect the quality, the fullsomeness of the end result.
Gets you a record of when a blog entry has been used (by you or another). Enables follow-up
Read other entries (if trackback not mine). Respond directly or incorporate into a blog item.
More systematic use of trackback as a means of enchaining related developments as per interests of developers.
Allows readers to engage you in conversation over one or more of the points you have made.
Source of Critical/ Developmental Input. Process involves read and thinking: ultimately some amount of rethinking occurs followed by a written response draft, and some level of editing. (Must admit, when faced with quality of product other bloggers put out, that I have to do better copy-editing).
Still within the more comprehensive group/individual knowledge development enterprise, comments would remain technically the same but would now be one of several means for giving feedback to germinating knowledge artifacts.
Blogstreet/ Technorati etc
Web applications, two amongst many, which track web traffic to your site.
Gives me a chance to find sense in my web readers preferences amongst my writings.
Not sure where I will take this as a further step
News (Rss) Aggregator
Collects entries from webloggers and news sources and puts them in one place for your review.
I used my aggregator to collect entries in one place, as stated to the left.
Over time--as I have developed knowledge of my own repeatedly demonstrated (as opposed to theoretical) interests the aggregator collection has been modified, at least as I use it, to reflect the changing (hopefully more focused and sequential) focus of my own knowledge-making enterprise.
Will try to get aggregations to be categorical so that I may focus my readings on only one category at a time.
Right now my reading experience has me reading all weblogs in the several of my categories of interest at the same time. Much mental sorting needs to be done and information is lost.
While outlines themselves are seen as a great personal thought/ knowledge organizer, the Radio Userland outliner is an underused ( Or so it seems in the set of Radio bloggers that I read.) online knowledge-building, knowledge-disseminating tool .
(There is also Radio's Instant Outliner. This has the potential for being used by members of a common workgroup. Each member working on different aspects of a task and subscribes to the outlines of other group members. AIM or Jabber can be used to instantly notify subscribers to the fact that your outline has been updated.)
In general terms: I use the outliner to create and publish an articulated complex of ideas and use blog, email or a static site to point out (and link to) it's existence.
I have not yet deployed the Instant Outliner with fellow workers on a common task.
At this point I write/edit/update various outlines.. save in my outlines folder and they are published as html via Marc Barrot's activeRenderer (see below)
Subsequently, its changes can be pointed out--probably automatically--though I don't know how to do that-- to those signaling interest. Example: I keep an outline of major ecological principles in my outlines folder (translated into html by activeRenderer-described on next row) changes in outline are automatically published because part of my Radio site. Rss aggregators could collect the full outline if date of content is within, say, past week.
A set of subprograms and routines that translate a Radio outline into various forms of html.
Author: Marc Barrot
I'm really attached to this feature-- for nonsubstantive reasons. Marc's formatting of the outline allows people to consume content as their level of interest and knowledge dictates.
In the case of activeRenderer in html form.. The user clicks on any given heading to get an expanded presentation. A simple explanation can be expanded to a full-fledged training manual (or anything in between)--at the discretion of the reader.
My present uses: class notes, syllabi, links etc., and any other idea sets that I consider important and or 'evolving'. Others-- link sets by category, ecological protection hypotheses, system theory statements and hypotheses, etc.
For an explicator (e.g., writer of training manuals for complicted consumer products) or an educator.. this can be a the difference between huge success and more of the same (i.e., the manual is not lost in some pile of nonused items... and crucial use skills aren't developed).
Create a few usage conventions (e.g., high level headings have the least complicated, yet still useful, explanations . The lower the level the fuller [and more complex] the explanation) and you have the possibility of a knowledge access device that is one size fits all.
A multipowered outliner with great interface (however, for Mac only). Can be used to make outlines for publication and to edit those already in your outlines file. Will save in html format for those using other blogging tools which don't have outlining built in. Once saved in html format can be used in similar fashion to that I have described for Radio outlines (See Inspiration and/or Pivit for Windows systems.)
Wonderful expansion of my knowledge-making, knowledge-disseminating, etc. software.
Why? Works with Word, works with Radio.
Will also save directly to html.
Because it allows full-screen and attractive interface I have come to prefer editing and composing outline material here (as opposed to using Radio's bare bones outliner interface).
An on the fly topic generating and sorting engine for Radio's weblog.
Auther: Matt Mower
Allows me to generate 1 or more categories or, even, tohave the software suggest categories based on content of the entry.
I will occasionally have to recategorize entries based on developments that I couldn't predict. Also, I may end up consolidating categories when I see that I've put generated duplicates of categories under a synonymous label.
I would like to move to a more general universal category generator. i would be willing to consider some variation, for example, on the Library of Congress, the Dewey Decimal or other premade category system. I am willing to add new categories but want my search of web material, and others' search of mine, to have more hits than, I think, will be produced by an on the fly system with only one individual generating extemporaneous categories.
While definitely not Word, Nisus or Word Perfect, etc. BBEdit is a capable partner in the weblog writing process: a)allows big window for work., b)will check or provide common standards-compliant html, c) has a spelling checker.
BBEdit comes in several forms. BBEdit lite is free. But it doesn't check your html for you.
BBEdit -- full version--also allows edits (even on separate servers)of site materials fetching, editing and replacing painlessly. Thus you have saved the price of 'Fetch' or 'Transport' in the process of acquiring the full BBEdit
I will do more as I learn more html.
BBEdit is a natural companion for Dreamweaver(see below); the linkage has been built-in.
A major piece of software at considerable expense. Interfaces well with all browers and with BBEdit (above). His built in access to the multiple programming languages, scripts, etc. for making professional grade material for publication on the web.
When I want to work on a complex table or position a graphic "just so", etc. This will leave less to chance than trying to do it in Radio or Radio + BBEdit.
Did I mention expensive? I don't know if I would purchase even with its extreme capabilities if I were only weblogging
Since I use Dreamweaver for non-weblogging activity anyway (part of instruction online) I will use.
I will extend my control over the look and feel of my weblog pages via a slow and gradual enhancement of html skills.
This growth is considerably enhanced with the help of Dreamweaver
All purpose graphics program. Re weblogging: allows the production and insertion of pictures in weblog(however, for Mac only - see Inspiration for Windows systems). Subitems in picture can link from portion of picture to ANY meaningful web content [with an address- see box to right]. (e.g., ideas to which you refer in your entry).
I now use Omnigraffle to illustrate processes in my weblog and/or to capture and then add to (i.e., lable, annotate)illustrations found elsewhere on the web
Better drawing skill seems to be developing.
Am looking forward to some adaptation of <a href="http://www.mind-map.com/images/larser1.gif";>mind mapping</a> with links to develop/explain ideas