Everyone has something to offer the world. All a person needs is some sort of stage. Needless to say, the internet is the perfect stage. With a click of a button you can offer whatever you have got to the whole wide world. It really is that easy! Actually, the internet offers a number of such stages. One of them is blogging.
Yes, blogging. I am yet another writer writing about blogging. I just have to tell you of blogs. Blogging is, in my books, a phenomenon. And not just an internet phenomenon. There are million of blogs and even more millions of blog readers. Thousands of blogs are created everyday. I would say that blogs are one of the most important consequences of internet technology. It is reaching a point in time when blogs not only shape the internet but the real world as well (if it still is possible to separate the internet and the so-called real world).
Think about it. All you need to do to spread a rumour is to post it on a popular blog. There are now professional bloggers (people who live off their blogs). Blogs are increasingly being turned to books. Bloggers are migrating to the traditional media, having launched their careers on a blog. Traditional media writers are migrating to the blogosphere. Some bloggers were even invited to the White House, along with traditional media journalists and reporters. An Egyptian blogger (Alaa Abdel Fatah) was arrested for being anti-government. Company-sponsored blogs are the in-thing in the corporate world. There is even a Kenyan Blog of the Year – tHiNkEr’S rOoM! Blogging is big!
Whoa! Let’s not get all excited and forget to ask some important questions. What is a blog? A web log, which is usually shortened as blog, is a type of website in which entries are made much as in a journal or diary and displayed in chronological order. But that’s just the technical mumbo-jumbo. A blog can be anything you want it to be. Your diary, your magazine, your newspaper, your photo album, whatever.
There are several types of blogs. Personal blogs are often used to record your own opinions, feelings, experiences and views much like in a diary or journal. Blogs which aim at fostering a community with a specific interest may be called community blogs. These are blogs like Kenyan Soccer, Kenyan Cricket, the Capital Breakfast Crew blog the awesome Mzalendo or even the type of blogs used by the U. S. presidential candidates last time round. An ODM-K or NARC–K blog would fall in this category. Some variation of community blogs are those family blogs – a convenient way to tell the whole family something quickly and accurately. There are also news blogs which, like newspapers, aim at delivering news. However, such blogs often deliver highly slanted news, to say the least. Finally, we have company or corporate blogs such as the Google blog.
Apart from just text and pictures or photos, some blogs ‘broadcast’ audio or even video. These are called podcasts and blogs respectively.
It is a shame that you have to tell people of something’s benefits before they try it out.
Why would anyone want to blog? For the individual, blogs are the ultimate freedom of expression. Now you can say anything to anyone or everyone. People interested in writing may find blogs particularly interesting. If you haven’t broken into print yet then a blog is just what the doctor ordered. It’s your opportunity to show the world what you are made of. The number of blogs being turned into books is increasing, so blogging doesn’t just have to be a hobby. Believe it or not, some people blog their novels! If you already are a writer, a blog may be the way of getting around your editor. Above all, blogs can make you money.
A surprising twist to the story of blogs is that corporate blogs are now cool. They’re in. It is not hard to see that blogs can be the perfect PR or marketing tool. Readers find blogs and bloggers to be more approachable and readable – they have a personal touch that we all like. I, for one, would be more likely to read a blog that ‘just happened’ to tell me something about a company than an official, boring, uninviting company statement. Is there a better way to reach your customers?
The easiest way to get a blog is via blogger or blog who both promise to have your blog up and running in three easy steps, and, in record time! Live journal is another notable blog publisher – all your posts are not only published on your blog but also to a giant aggregator on which all live journal blog parts are published. All 11 million (at last count) of them! These all allow you to get a blog for free. However, there are many other blog publishers out there: wordpress.com, wordpress.org, movable type among others.
Go ahead, get a blog today. Do remember to join the Kenyan bloggers webring while you are at it.
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Now, to bust some jargon:
Blogger – a person who writes and maintains a blog
Blogosphere – that part of the world where bloggers live
Posts – articles written for and published on a blog.