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Blog design solutions
Sherry P., Budd A., Collison S., Heilemann M., Rutter R., Powers D., Davis C., Oxton J., Friends of ED, 2006. Type: Book (9781590595817)
Date Reviewed: Aug 23 2006

Blogs are one of the most significant phenomena on the Internet. A blog is a personal homepage in a diary format that permits millions of people to publish and share their personal ideas, thoughts, and even their lives with millions of others around the world. One important factor for the enormous popularity of blogs is that everyone can easily create his or her own in a few minutes by using a blog engine. But for those who have the desire to learn more about the ins and outs of how a blog works and wish to have more control over their blog designs, this is the right book.

In this book, renowned Web designers give all the details on how to set up a blog-testing environment with PHP: hypertext preprocessor (PHP), Perl, and MySQL on a local machine; how to create and customize a blog using the most popular third-party blog engines (ExpressionEngine, Moveable Type, TextPattern, and WordPress); and even how to build a blog solution from scratch by writing code with PHP and MySQL. Even though each chapter is written by different authors, the whole book is well structured and organized. The writing style and format are consistent throughout the book. The language, though filled with much technical jargon and programming code, is quite easy to read and follow.

The authors state that the book’s major goal is to help readers create a blog that will stand out from the rest and attract more visitors. However, I don’t feel this is fully accomplished. After reading this book, a beginner will undoubtedly have a much more solid understanding of how to set up a blog. Yet, the vision, the topic, the contents, and the interactions with the readers also play an important role in creating a successful blog. I wish the authors had also shared their personal experiences on these “soft” issues. Additionally, in introducing the four most popular blog engines, they should have included a summary chapter comparing the strengths and weaknesses of these systems. This would provide readers with guidance on which engine they should choose according to their goals and needs.

Overall, this is a handy reference and guidebook for a beginner who wants to gain more technical knowledge on blogs; yet, for researchers and people who have more Web programming experience, this books lacks depth.

Reviewer:  Xianjun Sam Zheng Review #: CR133217 (0708-0769)
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Group And Organization Interfaces (H.5.3 )
Online Information Services (H.3.5 )
Organizational Impacts (K.4.3 )
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