A blog entry about two books about blogs

How meta is this? On this here weblog, about small business, I’d like to mention a few new books about blogs. Not, mind you, to keep the infinite blog link going, but to assess potentially useful tools for small business folks. Weblogs, or online diaries with embedded links, have taken off as a social phenomenon in the past few years…or do I need to tell you, online reader, about this? I believe that over time, as the web continues to weave its thread into the fabric of our business lives, that these tools will find new ways to connect businesses and people.

But I’m not sure that books are the best way to show people what blogs can do. Consider two paired new books, We’ve Got Blog: How Weblogs Are Changing Our Culture, and The Weblog Handbook: Practical Advice on Creating and Maintaining Your Blog, both from Perseus Publishing.

The first, a collection of essays, reveals and embodies the worst of weblogs. I've always felt that weblogs have failed so far to live up to their promise--that all too often they serve as trivial and indulgent windows into places you don't really want to go to. And as if to show how self-referential, clubby, and self-important weblogs can be, this collection of essays presents a random sampling of thoughts about this new form. It's like everything annoying about blogs, only without the links.

On the other hand, the Handbook, written by Blood, a veteran blogger (check out Rebecca’s Pocket, which shows the exciting promise of blogs) shares a wealth of lessons for taking advantage of this new medium. Combining simple insights into finding your voice and connecting with a community, with practical advice on the technical aspects of blogging, the book earns a well-deserved spot for anyone seeking to stake out a meaningful place on the web. Over time, as weblogs come to take their place as a natural expression for individuals, I believe this book will help countless business people, and others, use the web to blur the line between who they are and the business they form—in a good way. Check it out.

Posted by tom at August 25, 2002 10:17 PM

hi tom, thanks for the great review! one correction: my contribution to "we've got blog" is limited to the introduction and one article. the articles were chosen by perseus publishing editor john rodzvilla.

Posted by: rebecca blood on August 25, 2002 11:05 PM

Thanks for the note, Rebecca--I have fixed the phrasing.Tom

Posted by: Tom on August 27, 2002 09:13 AM
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