BASIC BLOGGING INFORMATION
What's a Blog, How Can I Write One, Where Can I Put It?
What's the Purpose?
For most of us, our blog site will be a place to record our thoughts for friends and family. But there are actually more puroses to blog sites than just our own personal life. Many blogs focus on a specific topic, such as business, sports, entertainment, web design, or technology. Some can even make money. There are even blog sites where budding authors can publish their works and receive feedback. But for the majority of us, it's all about our lives. Whatever your purpose, you will be able to find a blog spot to meet your needs.
Blog Content and Features
No matter where your blog lives, there will be some common components to blogs in general. First, there'll be a place to actually post your blog. Now, it's usually not enough to just write one, you will want to know how other people feel about what you have written. If you were just writing for yourself, keep your thoughts in any type of document on your computer, or in a journal itself, would be sufficient. So most blog sites will also have a "Comments" section where your readers can share their thoughts about what you've written. Your blog site will probably also have an "Archives" section, where your your older blogs will live. And you can usually add a section of links to other blog spots or URL's that are your favorites. After all, if you have a following of readers to your blog, they may be interested in what else interests you. And it's a good place for you to keep track of other blogs that you like to read.
There are often other features on blog sites such as Trackbacks or Pingbacks, Feeds, and Blogrolls. Briefly, trackbacks are a method of notifying a blog reader that the blogger has posted something that might be of interest to the reader. Often a portion of the blog is sent along with the notice. Pingbacks are similar, only they are used to notify the blog reader without adding any content. A "feed" is a created by software that looks at specified blog sites for new content, then posts updates to that content on another site. This is a good way to let you know when something new is added without your having to visit each blog site individually. And blogrolls are lists of links published in a blog that are of interest to the blogger. They are usually links to other blogs, and are often found in a sidebar on the blog site.
Next, You'll Need A Blog Site
With a little information under your belt, you are now ready to blog. While you can begin writing your blogs in any text editor, you'll eventually need to find a place to publish your blog. There are numerous online blogging sites; we list our favorites here for you to check out. We'll even tell you a little bit about each one.
- Blogger.com is one of our top picks for a blog site. The original blog site was purchased by Google in 2002, and is used by thousands of bloggers. We recommend taking the tour first, to see how they work and to find more information about blogging in general. They'll explain what a blog is, how blogs are used and by whom, a brief overview of some of the options on their blog site, and more. Creating a blog space takes just minutes, and it's free.
- Blogstream boasts more than 52,000 members, and is another free blog spot. Sign up takes just minutes and you can be signed in and immediately creating your first blog.
- Thoughts.com hosts free blog sites. Check them out.
- Over 50? Eons.com is a free blog site for those over 50 who want to get in on blogging. No worries about stumbling onto some "unsuitable" blogs by younger bloggers.
- If you have an interest in creating a site at Myspace.com,, one of their tools is a blog space with each Myspace site.
For more information on blogs and blogging, you can visit Wordpress.org. They offer tutorials on blogging, terminology, and more.
We can't present it all here, but visiting any of the above blog sites will give you more information and answers to any questions you may have. Enjoy!
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