Having recently launched http://www.myverdict.net, I've been advised that I should have built it as a blog, to make use of pingbacks and increased rankings. I installed a Wordpress blog as part of the main site and on comparing the two, I find I have inadvertantly created a sort of blog with about 25,000 categories. I can see definite correlations between the blog and the main site but they don't mesh exactly.
Can anybody explain exactly what makes a blog a blog. Is it maybe the coding in the head part to do with rel links, rss and such. In addition, do you think it makes much sense to redo the whole thing within wordpress.
Thanks in advance
My Interpretations of a blog In simple terms, a blog is a web site, where you write stuff on an ongoing basis. New stuff shows up at the top, so your visitors can read what's new. Then they comment on it or link to it or email you. Or not. Really when some one visits a blog they know when it has been updated, unlike a website were you have loads of pages to look through to find updated content a blog gives you that direct feed. They are also like a blog is a personal diary. A daily pulpit. A collaborative space. A political soapbox. A breaking-news outlet. A collection of links. Your own private thoughts. Memos to the world.
On my site i use squarespace inc. which is a unique publishing platform were they manage to integrate blog & websites perfectly.
I was really after a more technical description and wondering if there were some sort of code I could add to parts of the main site that would give it blog characteristics. I've attempted to provide an rss feed but it doesn't light up the icon in the browser, so I'm obviously not quite there.
Took a look at that link, I don't think that's what I'm after. I also downloaded squarespace a few days ago and I am already using wordpress for the blog part of my site.
I don't want to totally redesign the site within a blog program at this time, what I'm after is to incorporate those aspects of a blog that deal with pingbacks, feeds and such into some pages of the main site.
Where a blog allows authors to publish articles, it also gives them access to manage those articles. Not what I want. I realise I can change permissions but it still gives too much access.
How is my site like a blog?
Around 25,000 administrative divisions equates to that many set categories/sub-categories.
I allow for unlimited authors who post questions and supporting arguments, which equates to threads.
Users' country, county etc are set at registration and equate to permissions.
Users can post further arguments which equate to comments or replies.
I have essentially built a blog.
I have built the supporting database and learned enough sql and php to make the site fully dynamic.
Most importantly I understand how it all functions.
What I can't get a handle on is, what specifically is it about blogs that generates traffic.
There is nothing specific about blogs that generates more traffic. Unless you have something interesting to say and enough interested people to visit frequently; a blog will generate no more or less traffic than any other site. Things like RSS are only useful if people actually care enough to 'watch' your channel, which implies they are interested in the source of the channel, i.e. your site.
Pingback seems like more of an egotrip than anything functionally useful. I can get a relatively good idea of 'who' links to my pages by logging the HTTP referer request header, and any other website developers who care enough should be able to do the same to find out if I link them.
What you're describing ( allowing other people to come in and edit pages freely ) sounds more like a Wiki to me. Blogs are usually interlinked articles by one author, with perhaps user submitted comments under each article. Wikis on the other hand, are like a public free-for-all; the information is added and maintained by visitors and resident admins if necessary. Forums are about halfway inbetween. I prefer forums, personally.
There's very little 'technical' about a blog to be honest. User comments don't make something a blog, or not a blog; so if I wrote my daily workings in plain old HTML and uploaded them somewheter, I could still legitimately call it a blog - a (we)blog is just a fancy word for an online diary, basically.
You've put my mind at rest. I'm now convinced that redesigning my site as a blog would serve no useful purpose and I can now concentrate on my plans for the main site. You've been most helpful.
I have realised over the last few days that what I have actually built is a forum with around 25,000 boards. Not like a forum or like a blog but an actual forum. It's just that mine looks a little different than most. Thanks for all the replies and I think my obsession with pingbacks and trackbacks is over.