Monday, February 18, 2008

How to Create a Simple Blog

Blogs are specifically designed so that users can publish online with out any technical expertise. Anyone with an interest can create a blog. While original content is typically preferred, in reality one doesn't even need to be a writer to create a blog. One can use other blogger's articles within there own blog. As long as you link to the original article this practice is welcome as it helps promote the writer's article and blog. If you are new to blogs I recommend using to set up your blog. It's free and it's easy, and there's no commitment, which makes it worthwhile to least give blogging a try. All you need is an email address...

1. Go to and create an account. This simply consists of entering an email address and picking a password. You'll be sent a confirmation email, then you're set to go.

2. Pick a name and address for your blog. will let you know what names/addresses are available.

3. Choose a template. You'll be given several options for what your blog can look like. This can be modified or changed at any time.

4. Post a message. A simple welcome message will work.

That's it you have a functional blog that you can post to routinely. You can go under the layout tab and change and change page elements, or colors. You can provide more details about yourself under 'edit profile'. While there are a number of ways one can customize a blog that's completely optional. Simple blogs can be just as engaging and effective as highly customized blogs.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Mobile Social Networking - Yes, No, I Don't Know

Caroline McCarthy of CNet News has written an article, "The mobile social: Not ready for prime time?" In it she gives an explanation of the new developments and possiblities in mobile social networking.

"Recent announcements and developments in the mobile media world have indicated that location-based services are going to be the game-changer. These applications, using GPS technology or cell tower triangulation, are being talked about as the move that will push mobile social networking forward--and with good reason. Crafted correctly, a location-aware mobile service could not only tell you which of your friends are nearby, but also inform you of the nearest place where you could grab a slice of pizza (and whether your neighbors recommend it)--as well as serve up advertisements that give "hyperlocal" a whole new meaning."

Two things that strike me about this technology are, first, how large the gap is becoming between those who are fully plugged into current technology and gadgets, and those who aren't. While certainly there is a full spectrum between those sporting the latest high tech gadgets, and those who don't even want to use a cell phone; it does seem like people living at polar ends of this spectrum are starting to live in dramatically different worlds.

Second, some of these technologies and gadgets seem to indicate that we are becoming a bit too plugged in. Certainly I'm not opposed to tech development, and realize not all gadgets are for everyone. However, being constantly monitored by GPS I find a little disturbing. Also, regularly monitoring my buddy's location via GPS sounds an awful lot like stalking. GPS in a vehicle makes sense, but regular personal monitoring seems like a bit much. McCarthy notes in her article that one of the hang ups with this technology is the concerns people have with privacy.

"There's a bigger issue, though. Beyond any technological challenges, a sizable portion of the population might not like the idea that their locations could be broadcast to others--or logged by their cell phone providers. "There are big privacy concerns," Poisson said. "Privacy is a huge concern when it comes to location-based services, especially when it comes to mobile devices. Any time that the end user doesn't have control over who's knowing where they are, whether it's another human being that they know or don't know, or a company that's collecting that data on an automatic basis, that starts to become problematic."

While I'm not prepared to sign up for this service, Caroline McCarthy's article is an interesting read on the development and issues surrounding mobile social networking...

The mobile social: Not ready for prime time?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Hello World

Welcome to Web Inquiry. The internet being virturally endless I find that I often have questions or curiosities about the web world that don't fit neatly into any one category. Therefor Web Inquiry is here to address a range of topics from simple 'how to' issues to more involved questions about the roll of the internet in society. There will be frequent posts from around the web about tech topics and more. So I hope you'll come visit frequently and check out our evolving Web Inquiry site.