Posted by: Winslie Gomez | 07/03/2007

dispatches from blogistan

a travel guide for the modern blogger

Posted by winslie x. a. gomez on 07/03/2007

 Dispatches from Blogistan maps out the confusing territory, seemingly so strange and quirky but increasingly becoming part of many people’s lives.” Foreword by D.V. Perlmutter.

(An experiment in writing styles: As explained in previous post)




Blogs explode on the scene


A brief history of open discourse


Blogs as link fests


Blogs as diaries


Blogs as clubhouses


Blogs as newsrooms


Blogs as soapboxes


Packing your toolkit


Anatomy of a blog page


Writing that engages


Promoting your blog


Keeping it legal


Social networks on the rise

The book consists of 248 pages made up of 13 chapters with each chapter averaging 17.5 pages. 

The longest chapter, 28.5 pages, is chap. 8: Packing your toolkit.

If you have no time at all to read anything else, dip into those 28.5 pages (Ch 8:  Packing your toolkit) and it’s bound to yield some gems. 

These few page are brimming with ideas and suggestions, page 108 introduces the reader to industry speak i.e. jargon, then moves into “mapping blog authority tools”. 

Page 111 gives you a choice of “free or standalone etc”, 

page 116 speaks of syndicating or subscribing and explains news aggregators. 

Page 120 moves further into publishing, news feeds, pod cast and video feeds. 

Even a list of these on their own would be suffice.

Page 124 is about searching blogs and search engine rankings while


page 126 is all about tagging, folksomonies and how they aid discovery.


Pages are visually pleasing with head lines breaking up the body of text.

Style of writing is clear and consistent.

References throughout the book are a guide to further reading.

Hot Links boxes nested in the book are quick and an easy referencing tool.

The Hot Links at the end of the book pg. 226 Social Network Services

Sub-heads with:

Real-Time Search Engines

Tag Trackers

Shared Photo & Video Sites

User Vetted News Filters


Networking Services

Community Based Classifieds

Online Phone Services

Web-Based Utility Programs

Peer-To-Peer Distribution

Suzanne has managed to demystify the whole blogging territory, “dispatches” appears to be comprehensive and with an open mind to both, for and against blogging. 

Will blogging survive or collapse by the way side.  Will it challenge established news and media and wrench control away from few individuals who wield power over soundbytes?

Europe is facing an exponential growth in video transmission and is encountering storage problems.  What then is the future for blogs?

Suzanne Stefanac believes that it is here to stay, because ordinary citizens are finding their voice, “a communal future that is collaborative, adaptable and personalized doesn’t sound that bad”


I would not hesitate to recommend “dispatches to blogistan” to anyone new to the great blogosphere.


Name of the book: dispatches from blogistan  a travel guide for the modern blogger

Author: Suzanne Stefanac.
Published by: New Riders.
ISBN-0 -321-39555-7;

Copyright 2007;
Bookshelf Category: Computers and Society/ Internet

Dimensions 6×9;
Pages: 248;
Edition: 1st.

Book Description



  1. “Is blogging here to stay?” – I think so, although it will evolve beyond recognition within a few years.
    Already, sites like YouTube enable any nutter to publish their ‘thoughts’ as a video clip, it’s only a matter of time before this technology is used for blogging.

    My main concern is that through such a proliferation of pointless/low quality communication, the written word is loosing its authority. Years ago, the cost of publishing a written piece meant that only work deemed worthy of publication would be printed, but now, even a linguistic streaker like me can sprint naked across the WWW!

    The result of this ‘over-communication’ is that those who have important stuff to say are being drowned out by the cacophony of nutter-speak. How would Gandhi spread the message of non co-operation to the masses today? People would be too busy reading the emotional dispatches of a 14yr old girl in Nevada on ‘’!

    I wonder, when Christ returns, will He write a blog to communicate to the masses? And more importantly, if it was worded like the New Testament, would anyone read it?

  2. Thanks Daryl, You ask some searching and valid questions and will try and give my take on things with the limited knowledge I have.
    “Is blogging here to stay?” – I think so, although it will evolve beyond recognition within a few years.
    Agree that it’s here to stay and evolve it will, but I believe we will develop better filters.
    A physical example could be; Liz Hurley arrives in India, Mumbai to be precise, what exactly did she see of that city or was she escorted and closeted away from reality of the street. Similarly the web will create filters so that you probably never have any dealings with Ms Belinda or all the other morass of detritus that will crawl out of the gutter (no insult meant towards Ms Belinda or anyone else for that matter).
    Will this lead to elitism within that medium? Possibly, we already witness it in the language used by some sites that deal with sport or just everyday hassles.
    Imagine a well stocked newsagent, you don’t read every magazine or periodical from its top shelf to beano on the floor.
    Information overload is not something people put up with, they just dump all that they don’t need and stick with that which satisfies.
    As for the written word and the beauty in language, Chaucer was good too, so have we lost anything?
    Language is a means of communication and is constantly evolving I trust you are not referring to the Logos theory.
    Christ returning, that’s a massive subject in its own right, and Daryl why don’t you write a post relating to that and see the response you get. Good Luck!

  3. Thanks for the great review. If I cannot find the book here in Saudi Arabia I’ll certainly have to add it to the list to be “sent from home.”

    American Bedu

  4. Glad to be of assistance Carol.

    So strange looking back at something I wrote as an embryonic blogger.

    Have fun! If I come across anything else will let you know.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: