Technology Article, Issue XII

TECHNOLOGY MINUTE…The power of Blogs. Web Logging (or Blogs as they are called for short), have taken over the Internet like a raging storm. Blogs are essentially online journals. Anyone can maintain a blog very easily. All you need is access to the Web. It should also be pointed out, that blogs are published on the web. To anyone who is still scratching his/her head as to what blogs are – consider the following. You are attending a conference – and are there as a reporter; covering the events as they unfold. Traditionally you had two ways of informing the world as to what is going on in the conference, (a) Email – which you would send to all those colleagues who are interested (maybe they are not interested), or (b) Post your comments on a Website. In order to do so on a website, you would need to know HTML, have a website, etc. and chances are you won’t be doing this yourself, you’d probably be engaging the services of some techie. Now consider the fact what about the people not on your email who are interested in learning about the developments taking shape at the conference – how do they get to be on your list? How do they find you? What if they don’t know how to find you? – they are then essentially deprived of the information you so very much want to disseminate. The website updating option also has its drawbacks. For small companies, etc. it may be easy to hire a techie to update the site – but what about the odd hours – like 2:00 AM? Surely the techie would not be soliciting update requests at that hour! What about people who don’t work for any company – have no techies. What about them? Are they simply left out in the open, because they cannot afford to hire the services of an IT specialist who can work the web? What about all the enthusiast who may be covering the conference or amateurs, students, freelance journalists, etc. ? There has to be an easy answer! Its called Blogging!

Well what if I told you that if you type text and hit a “publish” button, the solution is that simple. Now lets take the example of our hypothetical attendee of the conference. She logs on to a website – gives the User ID and Password – writes her article or comment, or whatever she wants to write and simple hits the submit button – and voila – her comments are instantly transposed onto her website – which has a unique identity (meaning web address). She can do this as many times as she wants at her own convenience and pace. The whole idea of blogging is that its meant to be effortless. Keeping the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid!) philosophy in mind, thousands of Blogging companies have sprung up. Each offering its own flavor(s). Some of these are free to use, others employ a paid-for (subscription) model. Next thing you know – millions flocked! Embracing blogging with open arms – armies of writers are now populating the blog boards all over the planet at lightning speeds. In fact – truth is – news is now spreading faster thanks to blogging that it was before (this includes rumors too). Blogging have been used for whistle-blowing, enthusiast, critics, writers, journalists, etc. People have literally stopped writing their daily diary and are now blogging their thoughts so that it can be shared with family, friends and those with a curious nose. Almost all the people famous in their fields like artists, technology gurus, politicians, hobbyists are maintaining their own blogs. Even high-end companies have also embraced blogging. Bill Gates is known to reach out to his entire company via his own internal Blog – its simple, intuitive and above all pragmatic. Search engines are indexing blogs so finding something of interest to you is also now very doable and straightforward. Blogging has dramatically increased the amount of content on the web that before. Every conceivable subject is now being blogged somewhere by someone.

One of the most famous free blogging service is that offered by Blogger (see www.blogger.com), if you type the word “blog” into your favorite search engine – you can see a list of all the companies offering blogging services. Companies like MSN are and AOL are now also offering free blogs to their registered members. Advance users have an option to sign up for paid services where many more extra features are bundled in your blogging software, like themes, multiple authors, RSS feeds, subscriptions, etc. Sign-up today and write down your thoughts. For what its worth – you can also read my blog at faisalkhan.com. Enjoy!

DOT.COM
It happens more so now than ever. Whilst watching a movie, reading an article or listening to the radio, I’d hear a word or phrase that I have no clue as to what it means. It sounds English, but who knows – could very well be Spranlish (mixture of Spanish and English). It’s the new talk of the town and everyone’s talking about it – but I’m left out, cause I don’t know what it means and moreover, I don’t want to be left out, I “needs” to know now! Relax – help is on the way. Log on to www.urbandictionary.com and chill ya’ll. The slang dictionary with your definitions. Ever hear a story from your friend about an Urban legend and it got you wondering if it is true or not? Well why don’t you find out. Check out www.snopes.com and learn how this planet of ours loves to tell tales just for the heck of it. From those chain mails with sob-sob stories or those forwards about how some guy is dying and was saved by some miracle drug, to those twisted pictures we get in mail which make you gasp and wonder if this is true or not. You can check them all out at Snopes, and if you have something to share – which is not listed at Snopes, send it across to them and they will let you know the facts. By the way, for the record, most of these urban legends usually end up being false. So start up your browser and quench that curiosity bug in you so you can sleep easy tonight.

This Article was originally written for Money Magazine

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