Well, I’ve finally done it. Look around, and you’ll notice that the design of the blog has once again changed. This will be the fifth – yes, fifth – incarnation of my blog since it began some thirty-four months ago. If you look around, you’ll see Mitch’s Blog 5.0 written in some places, so now you should know why the blog is so genannt.
The biggest change to my blog, however, may not be the fact that the colors are now yellow and green, but that I have moved over from using Geocities to host my blog, to Blogger’s own service: Blogspot. Now, Blogger, in case you didn’t know, is the service I use to keep this site running. I would have never hosted the blog on Geocities to begin with if the Blogspot service had been as good as it is now, since Google took it over. When I signed up for my Blogger account in December 2001, Blogger had a very limited number of features. Basically all you got with a Blogger account was a blog, and that was it – no features such as comments, user-friendly archives, etc. Also, the old Blogspot service was chocked full of ads, unless you were willing to pay a certain yearly amount to remove them, and get a few other additional features, like spellchecking ability for posting.
Well, like I said, since Google took Blogger over and completely redesigned everything – mostly for the better, I must add – I will now be using the Blogspot service to post everything here. Any pictures, however, that I post here will still be managed at Geocities, so don’t be surprised if you see Geocities addresses for my various pictures that I will no doubt post here over the coming weeks and months.
Let me point out some of the changes you, as an ordinary reader, will notice the blog has undergone. First of all, comments on individual posts are back. I missed having to take them away from my old blog, but I was more or less forced to, because they required almost 14Mb to operate. 14Mb is a lot, too, when Geocities only gives you 15Mb total to work with. In addition to comments, an elaborate archiving system has been set up. Archives of the last 10 or so posts will be directly available on the main page. Any older posts will be available in the monthly archives. Now, you may not know it, but I always had a large achieving system at the old blog, I just didn’t really announce it anywhere. Now that the achieve feature is more user friendly, however, I think I’ll begin to convert all of my last posts from the past 34 months onto this page. It will be a pretty lengthy and time-consuming process, but, who knows, it might be interesting to read what I had to say on January 6, 2002 (I talked about the first Knowledge Bowl meet of ninth grade). Actually, now that I’ve been looking through what I posted on those first few months of the blog, it would be a lot of fun to repost them again. If I can do enough digging, I might even be able to find some of the posts from the very first week of the blog, as well. Now those would be fun to see!
Other than the comment and archive features, nothing else has changed too drastically. The only other big new feature that my blog has is an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. Let me also add that you might also see XML or Atom used instead of RSS in some places, but all three names are bascially the same thing. Since this is a rather new technology, not widely known yet, let me explain it a little bit. Basically, it’s a service that allows a person to read content from a multitude of different websites all in one place. For instance, if a person were to download a newsreader or aggregator (which are what programs that specialize in RSS feeds are commonly called), they could add an endless amount of RSS feeds – which are no more than links that look like this to an ordinary browser – to their program. The newsreader would then keep track of all the feeds, and tell the user when the individual feeds get updated, and point them in the direction (i.e. website) they could find the updated content. Most websites that have RSS feeds also send along the content with them, so, in many cases, a person who has a newsreader could just read all of the content from their newsreader, without even having to go to the actual website that the content came from.
The newly-designed My Yahoo, the personalized Yahoo page available to anybody with a Yahoo account, also functions as a newsreader, meaning any RSS feed can be added to it, as if it were a news source like AP or Reuters. So far, I’ve begun experimenting with this service, and have added a lot of blogs to it. I’ve also found the BCC’s RSS feeds, and have added them to my My Yahoo page accordingly.
The link to the RSS feed of my blog is http://mwmnp.blogspot.com/atom.xml. The link to the RSS feed of any Blogger blog hosted on Blogspot is http://BLOGNAME.blogspot.com/atom.xml. Now, while the feed is, by default, turned on, it can be turned off in the settings, meaning some blogs may not have an RSS feed to go with them.
And that’s about it for the new features. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the fifth edition of the blog just as much as you have the previous ones.