It seems as if lately everyone is asking me about blogs. I know I’ve written about them here before but the questions are being asked so I thought I’d write again.
A blog (web log) is an online journal. Generally one person or team of people posts articles on their blog (which is really a web site) a regular basis. Articles are automatically archived. Most blogs have a theme.
Start a Blog
You can easily start your own blog. It’s free and there are several choices out there. My personal favorite is Blogger (www.blogger.com). The have very simple instructions on their web site:
- Create an account (need name, email password)
- Name your blog
- Choose your template (they have several layouts to choose or create your own)
Once your blog is set up you simply go to www.blogger.com, login, click on “New Post”, type your article or snippet for the day and hit publish. You can include pictures and links to other sites.
Once you’re comfortable you might want to change your various settings. You can elect to publicize your blog, have your articles promoted through an RSS feed, post the blog on your own server (as opposed to the blogger.com server), let people post comments on your articles or not let them post.
Read a Blog
You can find blogs in several places such as Globe of Blogs (http://www.globeofblogs.com/).
You can also sign up to receive updates from blogs if the author has elected to promote new articles through an RSS feed. Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com) is a service where you can sign up to get those notices and view them from the Bloglines web site. (You can also get notices through an RSS Reader – but for today I thought I’d use a web-based service.)
I think visiting (and signing up for) Bloglines will give you a good idea of what an RSS feed is; it’s like a web tickertape that reviews headlines. You can access RSS feeds from a tool like Bloglines, from an RSS Reader as I mentioned, or you may seem them on various web sites who subscribe to RSS feeds to use them to provide updated news on their web site. (The feed resides on the web site.)