blog tools and how-tos

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Blog Accessories

Bloggers are, by nature, expressive people. A whole host of accessories have emerged that can be used with a blog:

  • Imood: Imood is a clever little service that replicates the mood icons of LiveJournal for other blogs or any webpage. You create an account and log into imood and then set your mood. It then generates the HTML code you need to include your mood on your website or blog. The disadvantage of this service is that you need to go to imood to change your mood while with LiveJournal you set your mood in your journal; however, imood also has an interesting advantage. It uses the collected moods of its users to determine the mood of the internet. As of this writing, the internet is feeling tired.

  • Weather Pixie: A web service that fetches your local weather info to generate an avatar-like graphic for your blog. You can select from several stock graphics of people (covering many different genders, races, and styles of dress) and then the clothes on the graphic adjust to reflect your current weather conditions.

  • Blogger Code: Blogger code follows in the footsteps of the geek code and the bear code (for hairy gay men into hairy gay men) by generating a nearly incomprehensible code that details you as a blogger. Typical blogger code looks like: B7 d++ t+ k- s- u- f i o++ x+ e+ l c.

  • BlogAmp: This is a plug-in for the popular MP3 player Winamp. BlogAmp works from within Winamp to publish the songs that have been playing to your blog or website.

  • BlogBack: BlogBack is a hosted commenting service, meaning that users can add comments to a blog maintained by a service such as Blogger and those comments are stored by BlogBack. However, currently it is no longer accepting new users because of the enormous demand for this service.

  • BlogKomm: BlogKomm is a commenting script written in PHP, a computer language (like Perl) that was created with the web in mind. Since it is a script, it takes some knowledge of script installation and configuration to use.

  • Enetation: This is a service similar to BlogBack, offering hosted commenting for blogs. The service is free and appears to be relatively easy to set-up and use.

  • MozBlog: MozBlog is an offshoot of the open source development project, Mozilla. Mozilla was started by Netscape and is a community-driven effort to create a web browser with open code that anyone can view and help develop. MozBlog allows you to blog while surfing the web with the Mozilla browser.

  • BloggerBot: BloggerBot is similar to MozBlog in that it allows remote posting of blogs. In this case, it allows you to blog from AOL's Instant Messaging program, AIM.

  • Google: Blog Hosts: Most blog services such as Blogger and LiveJournal offer hosting; however, Google has a lengthy list of sites that offer hosting for blogs.

  • Bloglet: Bloglet is a syndication service. Your blog visitors can register to receive your blogs via email.

  • BlogTree: BlogTree is an interesting and ambitious project that allows users to create a genealogy of weblogs by designating parent, child, and sibling blogs. If someone starts a blog because of your own blog, they become a child blog. If more than one person starts a blog because of your own blog, those child blogs are related to each other as siblings.

  • BlogChalking: BlogChalking is another fascinating project. It's related to the development of warchalking, which took the idea of the visual, ephemeral language used by hobos to map out free wireless networking. BlogChalking is a an effort to map the virtual space of blogs just as warchalking maps the real space of networks and hobo language mapped locations of danger and survival.

  • BlogHop: BlogHop is a blog rating service. After inserting the BlogHop code into your blog, visitors can rate the quality of your blog and its entries.

  • YACCS: YACCS is another free commenting service for blogs that don't have commenting built-in.

  • ZonkBoard: ZonkBoard is a free "blabber board." This service is similar to commenting in that it allows visitors to leave messages on your page and allows you to respond. However, these messages are not related to any one specific blog entry.

  • is a collection of templates you can use for your blog. In order to use a skin, you download it and then install it manually in your blog service, which may require at least a passing familiarity with HTML.




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