Blogging for beginners
Blog is short for "weblog". Wikipedia's definition is "a type of website where entries are made (such as in a journal or diary), displayed in a reverse chronological order". A few years ago, they were just engines for web-crazy folks to publish their daily thoughts and commentary. An online journal, either public or private. Now, with the maturing of the internet and broadband, blog ownership has spread like wildfire, with millions of professional and amateur blogs and bloggers. No subject is left uncovered and many blogs have become highly regarded, trustworthy sources of news and information. However, there is no shortage of misinformation on some blogs.
Most blogs are a combination of text, links to other sites, images and, in the case of podcasts and vlogs, sound and video. Once you've created a post on your blog, readers can post their own comments on your writing. Blogs can also be set up to have multiple contributors, so that communities can be created and discussions can take place.
Starting your own blog is easier than ever. There are plenty of free blog sites that include template creation and text editing, so there's no need to know any formatting codes. However, anyone who is html- and css-savvy (see de-babbler below) will be glad to hear they can use those skills to personalise the look of their blog.
How do you become a blogger?
Blogger (www.blogger.com) is probably the easiest and most widely-used blogging site. As they say themselves, you can create a blog in three easy steps:
1. Create an account
2. Name your blog
3. Choose a template, and that's it!
There are other great blogging sites such as Typepad (www.typepad.com) or Live Journal: (www.livejournal.com). Many other community websites such as mySpace, Flickr or YouTube contain blogging tools within the main site.
Once you have created your profile and blog, you can use other related sites such as Flickr and YouTube to add images and video to your posts and template. You can also add a feed to your site in order to allow people to subscribe to your blog. Feedburner (www.feedburner.com) is a popular and free engine that uses RSS to allow your blog to be seen and updated into various blog aggregation and subscription tools.