Thursday, November 17, 2005

Almost-Published Info Roundup (and hello new readers!)

So the book will be out in a week or so and the good folks at Blogger have seen fit to put a link here from the "Blogs Of Note" space on the Blogger main page. I knew something was up when I started getting a bunch of spammy comments and other strange e-mails showed up in my inbox...

Here's a recap of what this blog is all about. This is a blog for the book, Sams Teach Yourself Blogging in a Snap. It's not a high-volume blog, it's just a place where I'll write addendums for the content of the book as Blogger changes their application and adds things or moves them around. A blog for the book is very important, since these sorts of things change rather quickly and the publishing of new editions of books only happens every year and a half or least that's been my experience with my other books which have gone into multiple editions. That's a year and a half of real time, not internet time. A ton of stuff can happen in a year and half, especially on the internet. Heck, since the time I had to stop writing and send the book off to print, Blogger introduced three things which will warrant addendums here (comment moderation, backlinks, outage indicator).

About the Format of the Book: The Sams Publishing "In a Snap" series "offers a unique 2-color format allowing readers to solve problems by identifying individual tasks quickly." In other words, there are a bunch of numbered tasks with lots of pictures, tips, notes, and step-by-step instructions. This book contains short lessons designed to get the user started in blogging using Blogger, and they cover everything a new user needs to know—from understanding the concept of blogging to maintaining your own blog utilizing a custom template, comments, trackbacks, photos, blogrolls and more. Also included are twenty pages or so on basic HTML and CSS. For an example of the style, here's a PDF version of Topic 34, "Using Blogger's Commenting System," from Chapter 6, "Commenting and Trackback."

The Title of this Blog vs The Title of the Book: There's a placeholder blog at with a post directing you to this blog, I really wanted the book to be named "Blogger in a Snap" because it is, after all, a book about using Blogger. But the sales and marketing folks thought that "Blogging in a Snap" would "sell more," even though it's about Blogger. I personally don't think so, but that's probably why I'm not in Sales and Marketing. The book is about using Blogger to blog, not WordPress or MoveableType or TypePad or ExpressionEngine or MySpace or LiveJournal or [insert other blogging platform here]. I'm not anti-other platforms, I just don't use them, so hence the book on the platform I do use, Blogger.

The Not-Published Introduction: I wrote an introduction to this book like allmy other books, but then it turned out that this series type doesn't use an intro. D'oh! So here's the text that explains what the book is about and who should read it.

Biz Stone is Cool: and he wrote the foreword for the book. Thanks, Biz! Anyone remotely interested in podcasting—either the making or the listening—should use Odeo. Just sayin'.

I think that's all. When the book hits the street I'll post again, and get crackin' on the addendums that I already know are necessary!

Oh, one other thing. If you're an intermediate or advanced user of Blogger and you want a good place to go for tips and tricks (aka "hacks" but in the positive sense of the word), go visit John at Freshblog. Good stuff there.