Create a Blog
Blogs, bloggers and blogging... they seem to be everywhere I look. I have lots to say, but I'm not a techie and have no idea how to start my own blog. Can you help?
A Blog by Any Other Name...
...would be a journal, a diary, a bulletin board, a column, a forum, or a log. The term "blog" is derived from "web log" and it all boils down to a web-based running commentary, usually by a single author, sometimes with comments by others. People blog about politics, technology, sports, media and religion. You'll find rants, raves, memoirs and movements. If folks are discussing it at the bar, bowling alley or beauty shop, someone is blogging about it. The popularity of software written specifically to publish a personal online journal has propelled blogging into a media force that must be reckoned with.
But for the every day computer user a blog can sound complicated. How do you start one up? Are there programs you need to buy? Can anyone change my blog? The threat of being bombarded with technical terms and frustrations requiring your own programming department stops many. But don’t let it. Take these easy steps and you'll be blogging before you know it.
Starting a blog can be easy. There are several websites where you can create a blog, maybe even for free, depending on your needs and goals. Blogger.com, Typepad and LiveJournal are just a few places that will help you design a personal soapbox and begin posting your thoughts.
For instance if you chose to write about purple poodles at blogger.com, then your blog's address might be purplepoodle.blogspot.com. From there, friends, fans and foes could read your latest blog entry while being allowed to post comments and send personal messages. Don't worry about people defacing your blog with spam or rude comments, since you have the ability to preview all comments and publish only the ones you approve.
Apple has just released iWeb, a basic website authoring program that offers drag & drop blogs, podcasts and pictures with canned templates. At $99 a year the price may be too steep for some bloggers. But the convenience of having a professional website at just a click of the mouse may catapult this program into popularity, much like iTunes and iMovie.
Another option is to personalize your blog by registering your own domain name (see my article Setting Up a Website) and redirecting the address to a blog hosting service. So your blog address could be www.purplepoodle.com instead of purplepoodle.blogspot.com. Hosting a blog under your own domain name marks you as a serious blogger and gives a more professional appearance.
If you have your own domain and hosting account, you can also choose to run professional blogging software on your own. Popular packages such as Moveable Type and WordPress give you the flexibility to tweak any aspect of your blog layout, add custom features, do search engine optimization and monetize your blog by incorporating contextual advertising.
Pictures, audio feeds and flash animation can all be uploaded using the tools that blogging software provides. With just a few clicks of the mouse and a bit of creativity, your blog can come to life. And be sure to tell the entire blogosphere about your blog by hooking up with Blogarama, BlogSearchEngine and the PingoMatic service.
But be careful... Some bloggers have made the mistake of writing too closely about work or personal topics. Remember this is a public journal that anyone can read, including your boss, your spouse, your mother, and that creepy guy down the block.
Do you have a blog? Share your tips on starting a running a successful blog by posting a comment here.
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 27 Jan 2006
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Create a Blog (Posted: 27 Jan 2006)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved