Web 2.0

Blogs – What, How, Why?

What is it?
Blogs – or weblogs – are personal web sties that an author updates on a regular basis. Here are some samples:

Busy Mom Blog – apparently not too busy.
Baghdad is Burning – from a girl in Baghdad
The Resource Shelf – a really great resource from a librarian

How can you write a blog?
Starting a blog is easy. There are several free web-based tools out there. Blogger is one good example. Their directions say it all “Create an account. Name your blog. Choose a template.”

Why write a blog?
There are lots of good reasons to start a blog. Any of the following will do. (I don’t have a blog – but I do have this newsletter, which is awfully similar.)

You have so much information to share on a particular topic and your loved ones have threatened to leave you if you share any more with them. You’ll find an interested audience online.

You want to build a reputation for being an expert in a particular topic. Writing on it everyday forces you to keep up AND you might build an audience online.

You have a unique perspective to share. I think particularly of the soldiers in Iraq or civilians in Afghanistan who kept blogs.

You want to have a searchable journal for yourself.

Why read a blog?
Sometimes they are entertaining. Mostly I think they can be a great way to track down an expert and find out what they say on a given topic. For example if I were going to buy a digital camera I’d look for a blogger who knew photography or technology and see what they said. Sure, the advice might be biased, but so long as it’s not sponsored by a product vendors I’m OK with biased.

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