Home > Articles

  • Print
  • + Share This
Like this article? We recommend

Blog Software

Unlike forum software, which grew out of an existing technical and social model, blog software is decidedly a child of the Web. The rise of independent publishing in the late 90s drove the interest, and a crop of software began to emerge to fill a distinct need: assist independent publishers to quickly and easily update particular pages on their sites. This is the heart of blogging: updated content. Community has occurred on blogs as a side effect of sorts. Unlike forums, blogs were not created on the premise of a broader community; rather they came about as a means to represent an individual or a small group of individuals.

Technical Differences

The history of blogging and blog software has definitely shaped the technical aspects of how blogs are delivered. The first and foremost required feature is a means of publishing content directly to the Web with as little mucking about with code as possible.

After that primary feature, blog software differs in what it can and can't do, but major technical features associated with blogs include the following:

  • Trackback/Pingback. Trackback and Pingback are technologies that allow you to send a notification from your blog to other blogs upon publication of a new entry. This allows for outreach and links conversations on similar topics from one blog to another. They are de facto technologies for blogging software; forums rarely offer this feature.
  • RSS and Atom generation. RSS and Atom are technologies that are often referred to as aggregation or syndication languages. They are a means for the blog author to excerpt or publish the entire entry in a format that newsreaders and newsfeeds can pick up and interpret. These technologies alert subscribers to a blog's feed when a new entry has been published. Forum software developers are beginning to implement aggregation technologies into their software (Slashdot has RSS feeds, for example).
  • Complex templating languages. Robust blog software typically uses either a proprietary tag language (such as Movable Type) or an existing language such as PHP (as in the case of WordPress). These languages allow extensive modification to the various pages within a blog, allowing the blog to drive multiple pages or blogs within a given site. Forum software can often be skinned to match the design of a parent site, but blog software specifically supports this kind of customization. Both blog and forum software in recent times have paid attention to the implementation of Web standards, which is very good news because they generate better and more useful HTML, XHTML, and CSS, allowing both types of systems to be easily modified and maintained.
  • Archiving systems, filtering, and search features. Because the primary use of blog technology is to regularly update content, some means of archiving that content and making it searchable are regularly offered via blogging software. Categories and subcategories for topic organization are easily defined in today's blogging software.
  • Comment systems. Only one feature from a list of many, a comment system is what turns a blog from a publishing system into a community. Comment systems, which are typically built into the blog software, allow broad and granular control to authors. If I want to never allow comments or always allow comments, or decide entry by entry whether I want comments to be open, I can control that behavior from within the software. If I want to close an open comment group, I can do so at any time. On the other hand, users have precious little control—maybe being able to use some HTML in their comments, preview their comment, and edit it are the extent of user controls in most blogging environments.

Social Aspects of Blogging

As you are likely beginning to notice as a result of the technical differences between forums and blogs, blogs tend to be more concerned with connecting content and aggregating content. Blogs become communities only when comments are turned on and some discourse begins on that site.

In the case of blogs, the conversations can be very diverse because post entries tend to be diverse. I might publish a poem to my blog one day; then a detailed article on Web standards the next. Clearly, the comments and ensuing discussion for each will be radically different.

Unlike forum discussions, blog discussions are far more decentralized. Also unlike forums, blog commentary is focused on the individual (or individuals, in the case of group blogs) doing the writing. So blogs are more personality-oriented and as a result, the conversations can be more bidirectional than the group discussions that occur on forums. What's more, comment systems are not always appropriate for certain blogs (high risk of offensive spam, don't have moderation resources, and so on), and then the comparison becomes pretty moot because the community activity on the blog simply doesn't exist.

With Trackback and Pingback, another kind of social discussion occurs via blogs. Let's say I see an entry on someone's blog that really interests me. Instead of using a comment system to publish my response, I can write an entry to my own blog and then send a notification to the other blog about it. If set up for it, the responding blog will then automatically publish an excerpt of the entry with a link, allowing visitors to come on over to my place and read my response.

So blogs have a determinedly aggressive social agenda: They are not contained environments as forums are. The goal with blogs is to push the content out to as many venues as are interested, making the entire "blogosphere" a conversation. Whereas forums tend to remain more interested in the internal social connections.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020