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The Internet: The Missing Manual by David Pogue, J.D. Biersdorfer

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Chapter 19. Your Own Blogs, Web Sites, and Podcasts

Back in Ye Olden Days of Mass Communications, you had to wait for the radio to play what you wanted to hear, wait for your newspaper to arrive, and wait until after supper for Walter Cronkite to come on the CBS Evening News. Thanks to the great Web Stampede of the 1990s, that all changed. No longer did you have to wait—and more importantly, no longer were regular folks restricted to watching others deliver their news and entertainment.

Problem was, though, Web sites could be a hassle to create and maintain. If for some odd reason you didn't want to master HTML, CSS, FTP, and a host of other techno-geekery, you were consigned, once again, to watching producers and broadcasters prance around on this new digital stage.

Not anymore. The three most popular forms of online self-expression—Web logs (blogs), Web pages, and podcasts (amateur radio shows)—are now about as technically complex as sending an email message.

Blogs

A blog is an online diary or journal. It looks like a series of short text blurbs that appear in descending chronological order on a Web page; links to monthly archives of older posts are on the page, too. (The term blog is a shortened version of Web log, so called because of its resemblance to a ship captain's log—a written record of daily activities and documentation that describes a journey.)

Each blog post can be three screens deep or three lines long. Blogs can be about anything at all, from world politics to life ...

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