Blog of’s Founder & Webmaster Celebrating our Literary Legacy #readingblack

Troy's Rants

The Power of Blogs Part 2

Interestingly enough the process was not as difficult as I thought it might be, however it is far from intuitive — particularly if you are not technically inclined. In the last 2 hours I was able to:

Complete the set up of a new Blog, on my own domain There are a few outfits which allow you to set up free blogs. Google seems to be the most popular. I also trust Google as an organization — they seem to be doing everything right. I figure they’d have this web log stuff down pat too.

Next I read up on syndication (which is the real reason I’m even bothering with this blogging stuff. Syndication allows you to push content out to subscribers (people with newsreader software).

If you been on-line since the early days of the WWW you might recall a company called If you do, you’ll remember PointCast allowed you to subscribe to weather reports, news, stock prices, and information from various sources. The information was sent directly to your PC. There was no need to visit a web site — unless you wanted more detail. PointCast’s service was way ahead of it’s time. Today PointCast’s business model is available to the masses. Individuals, may now broadcast anything to anyone who wants to subscribe. I intend to send alerts for new book reviews, updates to our bestseller’s list, alerts for interesting discussion board posts, new book releases, etc, etc.


Now that I read a little about syndication I discovered there is already a war over which standard will emerge for use in feeds: RSS vs. Atom. It appears virtually everyone including Microsoft use RSS. Everyone, it seems except, my friends at Google, who use Atom. I decided to go with RSS (OK, I know I said Google is doing everything right, though from Google perspective I’m sure they made the right decision).

Set up a New reader

Ultimately, the choice became a non-issue as two of the readers I looked at handled both RSS and Atom. I then went back a reconfigured my Blog to use Atom. I’m using the newsgator reader the free service is adequate and they have a nice user interface that is easy to use:

I set up my newsreader to pull in content from the NY Times (technology, editorial, and book sections), The Wall STreet Journal, (this Blog), the Hip-hop Literature Blog (http://www.hip-hop– the Tavis Smiley on NPR. You can literally create your own customized news and information service.

Blogs will require many web based businesses to rethink their current business models. Blogs will begin to change the web’s landscape in a very significant way.

Set up some links on the web site and spread the word

I added some links to the web site and will begin to spread the word. As time permits I’ll set up separate feeds, but for now I’ll just make announcements directly from this blog.

Your feedback is encouraged. Also, help me spread the word about this Blog.




Troy D. Johnson is the President, founder and webmaster of, LLC (The African American Literature Book Club). Launched in March of 1998, has grown to become the largest and most frequently visited website dedicated to books and films by and about people of African descent.