Blogging and brown-bags
By nickstephen on Jun 22, 2007
One of the activities I get up to at Sun's Grenoble Engineering Center
is to organize weekly "brown-bag" discussions to talk about
something with a subject-expert. This week's brown-bag was on blogging.
The name "brown-bag" comes from similar meetings that have been held in the bay-area campus at Sun, where people bring along their sandwiches at lunchtime (in a brown bag) and come and discuss. Here in France, bringing a packed lunch to a meeting isn't really in our culture, so instead, we have the meetings just before lunchtime, then let people go off to real food (as they say in French, "ca se mange, ca se bouffe pas".
This week's brown-bag was on blogging, and was lead by Ludo Poitou, architect of Directory Server, who's an active blogger as well as being the creator of the planetidentity blog aggregator for everything around identity management.
It was an interesting and informative discussion, covering how to be a blog author (creating a blog, writing articles, responding to comments and using trackbacks, measuring hits, etc), how to read blogs efficiently - reading individual blogs or reading aggregations of blogs, aggregating these together (directly in your browser or using feed readers such as Google reader or Sage) and tagging them to forward them on, and searching the blogosphere using tools like technorati
Ludo also talked about the ATOM / LDAP mash-up that was demoed at JavaONE - ATOM and APP are becoming more and more synonymous with RESTful web-services. I'm also doing some very interesting stuff in this area - more on that another time.
Personally, I read blogs using Thunderbird, or of course, using the results from a search engine, but I'm finding the approach is more than showing its limits. Thanks to Ludo, I think I'm going to switch to a web-based aggregator which will mean that I only need to look in one place, and can access this from anywhere. I was glad to learn about the ability to export and re-import my list of blogs that I was subscribed to using the import/export feature of many readers and the OPML file format... using that, I was able to switch out of thunderbird and into a web-based aggregator and it took me all of 2 minutes!
Thanks Ludo for an interesting and informative discussion!