Iman Fiqrie Bin Muhammad (LCDR, USN ret)
Lecturer, Malaysian Maritime Academy
Blogging 201: GlobalMET Blog
A blog refers to the Blogosphere comprising smaller blogs consisting of a video blog, political blog, corporate blog, nonprofit blog, school blogs, private blog, sports blog, military blog and one of the more interesting types of blog– the network blog. Also blog is also referred as a weblog, it “…is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web (WWW) and consists of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order” (Wikipedia).
Blogs are administered by individuals, groups, universities or schools or companies– there are single and “multi-authored” blogs. In his newsletter I would like to explore the Globalmetblog; a privately owned, single authored and individually run blog advocating for GlobalMET and audience; Since its inception several months ago, there have been over 78,894 subscribers, participants and contributors; more than 543,233 blocked malicious login attempts; over 22,605 SPAM has been blocked; nearly 7,637 SPAM flagged comments, nearly 3,000 comments moderated; best ever views in one day was 103; average users online at any one time is about 20, during peak hours nearly 50 users viewing the newsletter, widgets and other activities.
In the welcome page message on the Globalmetblog, it’s made clear from the outset, the purpose of the blog was that every mariner who has a mind to speak to do so freely with the intent of collaboration, sharing and growth; bring discourse, learning, document the life and journey of the many mariners hoped to use it. It’s also clear from the numerous comments that it’s done that:
What I have discovered since blogging as part of the Blogosphere, is
that non-mariners out number mariners by as much as ten-fold. I’ve
also noticed that no matter the content or subject matter, e.g., training,
marine or environment, as long as the content is well written, thought
provoking, passionate and serves a purpose that it will resonate with the
blogosphere and they respond in kind:
Focus of blogging comments
Many comments focus on the requirements and difficulties of running blogs; thanking the Administrator for various content, design and experience, e.g., “This is very interesting, You are an overly professional blogger”. Many subscribers want to know the best blogging platforms to use; which hosting companies are the best; request for permission to quote and use content; asking for help against hackers; formatting, spelling and media questions; browser and technical questions; how to obtain the blog feed or RSS; subscription information and theme design questions. An RSS, sometimes called Really Simple Syndication is a standard Web format to help publish frequently updated information or blog content like news, posts, audio or video.
A lot goes into blogging
A lot goes into running a blog and thus the reason for this article as many questions have been raised from subscribers about it. In addition, several previous newsletter articles have discussed the use, collection and management of knowledge and databases from which to draw quality data and help provide talent develop and human performance improvement solutions in organizations. A blog being an informational site– can, therefore, provide a much needed asset of potentially high value.
Blogging capabilities to be harnessed
There is a lot of capability yet to be harnessed from such blogs and it can’t all be done for free although quite a bit can and has to. Many blogs thus have a donate button, as does this one; there are a number of hosting fees for things like security certificates, hosting the site in general, email packages and such; Blogs also require some degree of programming I’ll call “program lite” from time to time that involves tweaking– as even I don’t enjoy major programming for my blog. Other required programming might include HTML, PHP, MySQL, CSS, Linux and a few others as required;
What does a blogging Admin do?
Being admin for the GlobalMET WordPress blog also entails such things as installing and managing plugins (small third party software that plugs into WordPress); SPAM control, user approval, admin and management; moderation of comments and posts; writing and posting; and other “Dashboard” items dealing everything from appearance, backups, hackers to widgets and more.
The complexities of blogging
Given this modicum of complexity, many bloggers choose to pay someone else to manage the hosting altogether; not allow comments or posting from bloggers as this is indeed time consuming. I am personally of the opinion that direct contact with the blogosphere is a necessary and required part of running a successful blog and having great content. Without it, anywhere or direction is fine but may take the blog far away from the original intent– note the blogosphere can be very unforgiving in this regard.
Interesting possibility: Network Blogging
One of the more rather interesting and important possibilities with reference to Maritime Education or business in general is the capability to create “networked blog sites” where organizations and institutions can become part of large network of blog sites– a micro blogosphere under the umbrella of the higher level blog, in this case — Globalmetblog. What this does is maintain certain frameworks, templates and designs while giving required controls to an institution site administrator. This means an even potentially bigger data source of knowledge with which to draw upon and help MET become even more successful; training, video and many other things are possible thru the network; collaboration and sharing and HPI.
GlobalMET blogging collaboration
To conclude, as alluded to in the opening message for the blog– every mariner who has a mind to speak should do so freely with the intent of collaboration, sharing and growth of MET. Now in addition, I wish the blogosphere to collaborate, share and grow as well. Thanks in advance for reading and blogging with me, see you there; globalmetblog. imanfiqrie.com