A Short Course Book
Displaying & Sharing
Your Digital Photos

Publishing Your Photos—Photo Blogs

Click to visit a photo blog.
Making an entry in a blog is as easy as typing it in, selecting a photo, and clicking the publish button.
Here are some of the templates from which you can choose when setting up a blog at blogger.com.
A blog—a contraction of Web log—is a web page that's easy and fast to update chronologically. It's instant Web publishing at its best. Typically made up of brief entries as in a personal journal, newer posts are displayed at the top of the page, pushing older ones down the page and eventually into an archive. The content of these public journals is as varied as the people who create them and some have become extremely popular— check out a popular blog on gadgets at engadget.com. In addition to posting their own content, many people post links to other interesting information on the Web including other blogs. Over time, blogs have divided into a number of categories. For example, a photoblog is simply a blog where photos are the sole, or at least an important, component. A variant is a moblog, or a blog created with sounds, photos, and text sent in from a mobile wireless device such as a camera phone. For many people, photo blogs take the place of diaries, journals, trip logs, and the like. Some blogs even allow visitors to add comments. This is a great way to share your photos with a group and get feedback.

To create a blog you first select a hosted weblogging service. Some are Webbased and after opening an account, whenever you go to their site, a form appears in your browser. You just click in the edit window and type text, format it, add photos and click the Publish button to send your new posting to your Web server. Not only is this simple, you can make entries from anywhere you can get access to the Internet—even from a cyber cafe in Istanbul.

There are also services that let you install software on your own computer, or even put the blog on your own Web site, but these usually take some basic understanding of how your Web site works. If you don't have experience creating a Web site, you'd probably be better off selecting a service that uses on-line forms to make your entries because they do all of the necessary work for you. Once your blog is up and running, you can invite people to view it by sending them the Web address. You can also get others to link to it and promote it on some of the on-line listings such as www.photoblogs.org.

Photoblogging is so new it's just now getting ready for prime time. There are no really big (Microsoft-like) players involved yet although Google runs Blogger.com. With the field so new and wide open, innovation is occurring everywhere so you have to visit sites frequently to see what new variations are on offer.

When looking for a photoblog hosting service, here are some things to consider:

  • Templates? You can have an attractively designed site just by selecting one of the many pre-designed templates supplied by your service or others. These templates provide not only graphics, but also the layout of where posts, links, and such appear on your blog.
  • Free or paid? Many Web log services offer both free and paid versions. The free services are fairly basic, often run ads, and don't let you post photos. To move beyond the basics you may have to pay a small fee.
  • Does the service automatically resize images? If so, to what size?
Leanne Ashley, spending a school semester in Rome, updates her blog with some help from Marco Patrizi at the Internet Cafe in Piazza Piscinula in Trastevere in Rome.

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