- What is a blog? Is it like a UFO? No, it's not a UFO or something you find in a swamp. In simple terms a blog (a web log) is like a regular website but it's typically much more personal and the content can be written by anyone with a computer and an Internet connection (so keep that in mind). I'll keep my definition really high level but click here if want more details.
- What are blog comments? If you land on a page that has an article that you like or you would like to add your say, look for the "comments" link or area and fill it out. Bloggers love good comments and this is what blogging is all about so if you like a blog add a comment!
- What is a bookmark and what are those stupid icons at the bottom of the page?: Don't know what Digg or Del.icio.us are (see my icons at the bottom of this post)? They are ways to bookmark what you are reading so you can go back to them later. The reason bloggers want you to bookmark their articles is because it increases their blog traffic. When you submit an article to these directories it tells the web world that you like this article and that others may want to read it. This increases the popularity and directs traffic to the blog. So if you like this post, bookmark me! :)
- What the hell is RSS (really stupid something or other) and web feeds etc... Don't worry too much about this if you're just browsing around. RSS (really simple syndication) allows you to sign up and receive updates when bloggers post new content. Here's a good article on RSS if you're interested. Some blogs like mine allow you to subscribe to updates using email as well.
- Why do I see advertisements (like Ads by Google) all over these pages? You'll see a bunch of these links and images on most blogs. These are called AdSense ads and they serve up advertisement links based on the content of the web page you are on. These are usually garbage links so just ignore these and only click on them if you're interested. There are other types like Amazon.com ads which are other types of affiliate marketing ads which are also a waste of your time. Concentrate on the content - isn't that why you came to this page in the first place?
- What is a blogroll? Is it like a croissant? No - much different but blogrolls can be tastier! A blogroll contains blogs that the blog author likes. These are typically related to the subject matter of the blog you are on.
- Archives? What is this a library? Well, yes it is. Past articles that the blog author has written. Yikes! I have written a ton.
- What are tracebacks / Links to this post? Is it an FBI/George Bush tracking scam? Well, it might be. Tracebacks show you who may have linked to the page you are on. I would ignore this unless you have a blog of your own. Keep in mind that the more people that have linked to the page you are on, the more popular it is (typically).
PS - I wrote this post as I understand that it's frustrating for those who don't really understand what a blog is and are new to blogging. I heard from one of my commenters that some people don't even know that you can leave comments on a blog.