Saturday, 5 November 2011

05.11. Post number 100!

Hello and welcome to post number 100! When I started this blog in early January this year, I wasn’t sure whether I would be able and interested enough to continue writing to the end of that month, let alone the rest of the year. And here I am, in November, writing post number one hundred. I find it strangely addictive and it certainly means a lot to me to see the visitor numbers steadily go up and up. I mean, that’s why I am spending all this time making the posts; so that people out there can look at the photos and videos and read my words :-)

And the visitors are coming in a steady stream, not exactly pouring in I must say, but my posts have been read almost 3.700 times so far, by how many people I don’t know; I suspect I do have quite a few repeat visitors which I greatly appreciate, but the blog statistics can’t tell me everything I would like to know. One thing I have noticed is that very few have signed up as ‘Followers’, which I must say I kind of understand, as this blogging feature seems rather strange and poorly designed. You would expect to be notified of new posts as a follower, but that’s not part of it, in fact, all there is to it is to get your name and/or tiny photo on the list of followers. If you have your own blog, you can see any updates on your ‘Dashboard’, but as anyone can become a follower, all those who don’t have a blog won’t really benefit from becoming one. Shame, an email with a message every time the blog has been updated would have been a great service.

I thought I would use this opportunity to write a bit about what a blog is and the history behind it. Do you for example know where the word BLOG comes from, or what it means? I have ‘borrowed’ a bit of info from Wikipedia, an excellent place for anything you want to know.

A blog, a blend of the term web log, is a type of website or part of a website supposed to be updated with new content from time to time. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. Although not a must, but most good quality blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other via widgets on the blogs and it is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites.

Many blogs provide commentary on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries; yet still others function more as online brand advertising of a particular individual or company. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art, photographs, videos, music, and audio. Microblogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts. As of 16 February 2011, there were over 156 million public blogs in existence.

The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase “we blog” in the sidebar of his blog in April or May 1999. Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used "blog" as both a noun and verb ("to blog," meaning "to edit one's weblog or to post to one's weblog") and devised the term "blogger" in connection with Pyra Labs' Blogger product, leading to the popularisation of the terms.

There are many different types of blogs, differing not only in the type of content, but also in the way that content is delivered or written.

Personal blogs
The personal blog, an ongoing diary or commentary by an individual, is the traditional, most common blog. Personal bloggers usually take pride in their blog posts, even if their blog is never read. Few personal blogs rise to fame and the mainstream but some personal blogs quickly garner an extensive following.

Corporate and organizational blogs
Blogs used internally to enhance the communication and culture in a corporation or externally for marketing, branding or public relations purposes are called corporate blogs. Similar blogs for clubs and societies are called club blogs, group blogs, or by similar names; typical use is to inform members and other interested parties of club and member activities.

By genre
Some blogs focus on a particular subject, such as political blogs, travel blogs, house blogs, fashion blogs, project blogs, education blogs, niche blogs, classical music blogs, quizzing blogs and legal blogs.

By media type
A blog comprising videos is called a vlog, a site containing a portfolio of sketches is called a sketchblog or one comprising photos is called a photoblog. Blogs with shorter posts and mixed media types are called tumblelogs. Blogs that are written on typewriters and then scanned are called typecast or typecast blogs. A rare type of blog hosted on the Gopher Protocol is known as a Phlog.

By device
Blogs can also be defined by which type of device is used to compose it. A blog written by a mobile device like a mobile phone or PDA could be called a moblog.

This was a brief introduction about blogs, courtesy of Wikipedia, and I suppose I now should classify my blog; which I guess would be a personal diary and photoblog, although since I have mixed media – videos and slideshows and even a few audio files, my blog could be called a tumblelog…if it wasn’t for the fact that the posts are far from short! I am not known for being short and concise when I write; I prefer to write as if I have a conversation with my visitors and I am not a person of few words :-) I suppose I could invent a new term to fit my blog; a mixed blog, that’s what my blog is!

OK, this page has only words so far, about time to show some photos perhaps? I promised you some different types of photos in yesterday’s post, and here they come. I came across a blog with some amazing photos of lights taken on a slow shutter speed and couldn’t resist having a go myself. On the blog they explained that they had used different types of light sources, but not specified what. The only light source I had was an old torch with what later turned out to be an almost empty battery, but I decided to try anyway. My biggest problem was to find a place in my garden which was dark enough, as when you take photos with a shutter speed of 8-10 seconds, any tiny light source will be quite bright on the photo.

So here is my first attempt to make my own light photos, and all I am doing is standing in front of my camera and waiving my torch! With a brighter torch (read: better battery) I think the pattern would possibly be sharper, with a digital SLR instead of my cheap camera the photos would probably be just as amazing as those I saw on that blog. With my camera I get a lot of digital noise with a shutter speed that long, the camera just can’t really cope with such a demanding task. This is certainly something to try again if and when I ever get a digital SLR, and possibly with a better torch :-)

I had great fun doing this, and although I was a bit sceptical before I started, it actually worked! I wonder what the neighbours must have thought, if they looked out of their windows and saw me standing there in the dark in my garden, waiving a torch around at regular intervals. It was way too dark for anyone to see my camera standing there on a tripod so they must have wondered what on earth I was doing…. not that I really care what they think, but the thought of it makes me smile :-)

So that was post number 100, let’s hope the next 100 pops out just as easily :-) Oh, and if you would like to use this opportunity to sign up as a follower, please do, even if Blogger don’t send you any email updates; it’s just nice to know who you are, all of you who read my posts! And when I am on this subject; all comments are greatly appreciated, this blog was always meant to be interactive and I would like to encourage you to leave a comment if you have an opinion you would like to share with me and other visitors.

That’s it for tonight; see you next time, for post number 101. Take care.

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