In this little exercise, we're going to visit the Technorati website (http://www.technorati.com) and see how some people use their blogs to express their feelings and opinions about fiction writing.
Open your web browser and go to http://www.technorati.com. Then, type fiction writing in the search the blogosphere... field and hit Enter or click on the magnifying glass icon. After a few seconds, Technorati will show you the latest posts related to your search. Your screen will look like the following screenshot:
Move your mouse over the first post that appeared on the list (in the previous screenshot, the one named Guest blogger... Theo) and click on it. Technorati will show more information about the post, the blog, and the blogger, as shown in the following screenshot:
Click on the light blue link below the title of the post, and Technorati will take you to the blog where this post came from, that is http://shilohwalker.wordpress.com.
From there, you can continue browsing through the other posts in the blog, or you can return to Technorati and search for more blogs of the same subject, or change the search words to get information about other subjects.
Congratulations! You've just entered into the world of blogs and the blogosphere! Technorati is just one of several popular social bookmarking websites (or aggregators), where you can search for posts, which people like you publish on their websites. In the previous example, we saw that when you enter one or more search words, Technorati shows you a list of all the related posts and their corresponding blogs. There are millions of bloggers who use their own blogs to express their feelings and opinions. These blogs show up on Technorati, Digg, Dzone, del.icio.us, and many more social bookmarking websites, virtually covering every imaginable category or subject. With this book and Apache Roller, you're going to learn how to become one of them, and express your thoughts to the world through the blogosphere!
Blogs let you express your feelings and thoughts, but that's not the only thing they can do. The real power invested in them is that, people can not only read your posts but can also interact with you, by means of the comments they leave! Your blog can help you start a two-way conversation; for example, let's say you write something about your favorite Italian dish. A couple of hours later, your post shows up on Technorati and someone reads it. As a result, the reader leaves a comment saying that it's his/her favorite dish, too. Now you can respond to that comment and maybe post something else about other Italian dishes. Suddenly, you realize there are several readers commenting about your posts and you decide to use your blog as an Italian food community! As you can see, a blog is not only static text; it's a dynamic tool that people can use every day to get in touch with other people who share their same interests.