Thursday, 1 September 2005

Travel log [Cybertrack - 1]

Instead of postcards, gloating SMSes from the beach, or mass e-mails to all your friends, why not blog the your next holiday? Just send your friends your own blog address ahead of the journey and tell them to Watch This Space. With cyber cafes as ubiquitous these days as touts, keeping your blog updated is easy.

What is a blog, you ask? Simply put, it is your own personal website, but comes with tools that make it easy to post fresh entries, as easy as hitting the “send” button on your email program.

Most blogging software makes it easy to post not just text, but also images, so pack your digital camera. And if you choose your blogging service carefully, posting is dead simple: log in, type, hit “publish.” Some services let more than one person post to the same blog, so you, the significant other, and the brats can do a family log. Most services also let readers comment, so you’ll have the pleasure of seeing feedback from your envious pals slaving away in the city.

Oh yes. Here’s the delicious little irony. Know how blogs got their name? In the brave new world of the early web (in the dimly recalled 1990s), a few geeks began posting information about the websites they visited on their cybertravels. They styled them like the logs of the real-life travellers of pre-internet times, with dated entries, their observations, and route maps in the form of hyperlinks. These began to be referred to as web logs, which, in the way of the web, shortened first to weblogs, and then to blogs.

So, when you blog your holiday, you’ll be tipping your hat to a tradition that predates the internet. How cool is that?

And where do you go to sign up for a blog? “Free blog service” threw up 24.5 million Google results the last time I looked. You, my friend, have choices.

Published in Outlook Traveller, September issue, in a new column I will be doing regularly, Cybertrack, which you will find in the NSEW section.

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