Blogs--or weblogs--are a huge phenomenon on the internet. From ultra-personal diary entries to specialized information on a wide variety of subjects (teen ranting to presidential campaigns), blogs are the new way to create a virtual community that can effect real-world change. It's not hard to set up a blog, but it can be difficult adjusting to life in the "Blogosphere."
One of the first blogging experts, who helped found the weblog community Xanga, Biz Stone will help readers:
--learn the origins of blogging
--discover why blogging is so popular
--explore the etiquette of the blogosphere
--bring traffic to a blog
--make money by blogging
--use a blog to become influential in any industry
--maintain a blog and keep it fresh
With internet heavies like AOL, Microsoft, and Google already providing weblog software, blogging is moving out of indie geek culture and into the mainstream. Who Let the Blogs Out? is a next generation blogging book for anyone who wants to get started or anyone who wants to keep their blog blooming.
This overview of Web logs, the currently voguish online journals, begins with a tale about a Buddhist monastery "long ago" that used strings to connect documents in a prototypical Internet. The episode is typical of Stone's approach: facts may be interesting enough on their own, but why not dress them up with snazzy distortions? In this work, Stone emulates the worst qualities of many of the unpolished blogs he celebrates. The prose, reading like it was churned out on the fly, is terminally in love with its own hipness, mistaking generalization for profundity and a lack of critical discrimination for democratization. Some of the claims about blogs, such as the notion they are "hooking people up with book deals willy-nilly," are hyperbolic, while others are simply ridiculous (e.g., despite Stone's assertions, "traditional web pages" had "context" long before blogs became popular). As a "senior blogger specialist for Google," Stone's cheerleading is not unexpected, but its clownishness is an overwhelming distraction from the kernels of useful information about the various blogging software manufacturers and their tools.