Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Learning to Speak Blog

I did well in school, mostly B's. I got better at school the longer I was in. No I was never in one grade more than once. And I think I am a well informed adult. I read newspapers, the occasional magazine and I do listen to NPR. Obviously I know enough to start a blog and to occasionally post. 

I was at a gathering of authors talking about blogs yesterday and I was surprised how many words they used that I did not understand. And how often the definitions they provided included even more unknown terms. This morning I decided to look online for a glossary of blogging terms. I was certain my friends had been showing off and upping their vocabulary. A quick perusal of terms revealed that my friends had been simplifying compared to what I found online. Here are just a few terms I lifted from

  • Captcha - short for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”. Those word and letter verification images you need to type in to show you are human and not a bot. 
  • Ping – Short for Packet Internet Grouper. Blog and ping helps to notify other blog tracking tools for updates, changes and trackbacks.
  • Trackback - A system by which a ping is sent to another blog to notify that their article has been mentioned by you
  • Pingback - See trackback.
  • Permalink - A link to a specific article
  • Tags - labelling / attaching keywords to collect similar posts
  • Tag cloud – Displaying tags lists or keywords in a blog.
  • Blogroll - list of links to other blogs in your sidebar. Also see
  • Sideblog - A smaller blog usually placed in the sidebar of a blog.
If there is good news it is how wonderful it is to learn new things. If there is bad news it is I am not sure I can keep up. 
The next step is to see if I can or maybe already have pinged, trackedback and tagged. Can I or have I already created a Tag Cloud, a Blog roll or a Sideblog. I have Captch-ed but I usually don't get it right on the first try. 


  1. It's crazy trying to keep up. Would you believe that CAPTCHA was an acronym? Longest one I've seen since USA PATRIOT Act. Yes, that is an acroynym! (Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act).

    Thanks for the blog, Stuart. I had fun upping my vocabulary!

  2. You're using Blogger, so I can answer a lot of those:

    - That trackback stuff is probably more than you want to worry about. DISQUS (an alternate commenting system that I use) used to support it (and probably still does, but I can't find it), and I've never found it particularly useful. You can get the same _sort_ of information from the Blogger Dashboard. Stats will give you an overview of how many people are looking at your blog, what they're looking at, and how they're getting there.

    - To display a Tag Cloud, go to your Blogger Dashboard, click Layout. On your sidebar, you'll see Add a Gadget. Click that, and look for "Labels." This will generate the list or cloud based on the tags you've applied to all of your posts ("blog, blogging, writing" on this post) automatically.

    - It looks like you've got verification on. What you've got is as good as it gets with Blogger's commenting system; it works fine.

  3. Whoops: forgot to comment re: Blogroll & Sideblog. In both cases, from Blogger Dashboard go to Layout, then Add a Gadget as with the Labels (Tag Cloud).

    For a Blogroll, you can use either the "Link List" (into which you feed links of other blogs you want to link to), "Blog List" (which is sort of the same thing, except it posts links to recent posts from the blogs you're linking to), or "G+ Followers" (which plugs into the Google+ social network if that's something you want to use) Gadget.

    For a sideblog, if you want one, add the "Text" Gadget if you just want to maintain free text or the "HTML/Javascript" Gadget if you want it to use HTML in it (I suspect you don't).

    In any case, add them, then drag them around to rearrange their positioning. Click Save Arrangement. From that point on, you (as the blog's author) will see a little Edit icon in the corner of the gadget. Click it and a popup wil come up that you can use to manage the Blogroll/Sideblog/etc.