Blogging has become an important feature of the World Wide Web and is now an integral part of other emergent Internet trends such as social networking web sites, online video and podcasting. The word ‘blog’ is short for ‘weBLOG’ and can be thought of as an online diary or forum, where the author can convey thoughts on any subject he or she chooses. In fact, blogs evolved from newsgroups (or moderated forums), when users began to post in a more consistent, serialised style.
How do find what I want to read?
In May 2007, 71 million blogs were being tracked by Technorati (blog search engine) – in December 2007, it was 112 million. And in those figures we can immediately see the downside; with so many blogs out there, which ones should you read?
Google has a blog search facility, where you can find blog post on topics you are interested in. There are blog directories where you can browse by subject, e.g. blogcatalog.com or bloghub.com. Alternatively you can start with a list of blogs recommended by Magic Web Solutions. In fact, when you find a blog you like, you will find many other popular and worthy blogs on the same topic, as bloggers share opinions and exchange links between each other.
Using an RSS reader, you can subscribe to selected blogs and get updated entries automatically, each time your favourite blogger posts online. Google Reader is a good place to start, but there are many other readers out there and many other applications, e.g Thunderbird email client and browsers, offer the facility to display blog feeds, so that you can read them along with your emails.
How do I start my own blog?
Starting a blog is easy.
There are two ways: either you subscribe for an online blog service, you can be set up in minutes with such services as blogger.com or typepad.com, or you can download a free/open-source blogging software and install it with hosting provider of your choice. Blogging software also allows you to host your blog on your website.
And to maintain a blog you don’t necessarily need a PC, as it is now possible to blog from any number of devices, including mobile phones.
How do I get people to read my blog?
There are some basic steps you can take to increase the likelihood your blog will be read. Firstly, tell your friends and colleagues and get them to read and post comments. Try to find other like-minded bloggers and link to posts you find interesting. In this way, it may be possible to have your blog site included on other bloggers’ lists (’blogrolls’, as they are called) and they will start to include links back to your posts. ‘Permalinks’ are permanent hyperlinks that link to a blog post, even after it has moved off the front page, meaning a blog post can be found days, weeks or months later.
And finally, if you are unsure about starting a blog, you may be more comfortable posting on a (business) social networking site, such as ecademy.com, where you likely to a more receptive audience for your ideas and thoughts.
Why do I need a blog?
We thought you’d never ask!
Many companies have seen the value of blogging and in business, blogging is now seen as a bona fide and important way of communicating with the customer base. Google, Microsoft and Skype all have blogs on myriad subjects. It provides accessibility for customers and facilitates the exchange of ideas and feedback, much more so than submitting an online form, which just issues you with a confirmatory email (and then probably never gets read). Many smaller, younger companies have found that this is an excellent way to help them launch a new product or service; their blog will keep people in touch with developments as they happen, which lets the customer in on the process, shortens the feedback process and, if the product is good, those customers are likely to spread the word to other friends and online users.
Magic Web Solutions can help you to get started: we are proficient in setting up customising and maintaining blogs based on WordPress platform, please contact us for further details.