by John Collins
Blog is the condensed name for a 'weblog' or 'web log'. Blogging is the action you perform when you make a post to a web log or blog, comment on a previous blog post or maintain a blog. Many people who make posts to a blog on a regular basis are referred to as bloggers.
Basically, a blog is an online journal where you can post your thoughts, observations and comments about a particular topic that the weblog covers. A blog is just a simple web page that has chunks of information called posts added to them on a regular basis. Depending on how it was setup by the person maintaining the blog, the posts can be all on one page forcing visitors to scroll down, or each post will have its own individual web page. When you are blogging and visiting different blogs, you will see the most recent posts first at the top of the web page.
The Uses of Blogging
Online personal journals were some of the first blogs. Individuals used their computers and the technology of the internet to make entries into their journals rather than the traditional method of keeping a pen and paper journal. Blogs are primarily categorized as personal since many of them are online journals but today many blogs are used for a variety of purposes. Businesses are starting to use blogs as a way to provide information about their products and services. Politicians are using blogs to communicate with their constituents. Musicians and other entertainers are using blogging as a means to stay in touch with their fans as they tour. The list goes on.
Often, blogging is a way for you the individual to post a comment on a particular news item or subject such as politics, world or local news events, hobbies, entertainment etc. The topics covered in a blog are endless, and many times controversial and volatile. Sometimes one simple post can lead to a flood of additional comments and many have gone so far as to gain national attention by being mentioned in the news media.
Blogging Software and Services
Originally, blog posts are mostly text based. However, changes in internet technology and online services have given rise to other ways to make posts such as using video and audio (also known as podcasting). Now today a typical blog will have a combination of text, photos, video, and audio as well as links to other blogs and websites that are related to the topic of the blog.
Blogging has taken off and grown in popularity over the years. Now, a blog can be setup in a matter of minutes with little or no cost. There are varieties of hosting sites that will allow you to setup a blog free, and many web hosts now offer ways to quickly and easily install a variety of blogging software such as WordPress or MoveableType.
Along with quickly setting up a blog, many of the free online blogging services easily provide ways to allow you to make video and audio posts on your blog. They also offer other features such as password protecting your blog so you can keep your thoughts and feelings private, or allow only a select few in to view your blog. You are also able to pick the look or theme of your blog from literally thousands of different templates available; this is a great way to express your own individuality with your blog.
One of the most widely used free blogging services today is Blogger.com, which is owned by Google. In three easy steps, you can setup your very own blog and start expressing your thoughts and views to the world. After you setup your blog, you can make posts to it at any time day or night. The blogging services today are so easy to use and you do not need to have any technical knowledge of HTML or any other web coding language. In fact, if you can use a word processing program such as Notepad or MSWord, you can start blogging today.
How Blogging Benefits You
Blogging has been mostly been used for personal thoughts, professional observations, political rants, and entertainment reviews. However, there are so many more reasons to start blogging. One of the biggest benefits I have found is staying connected with my family and friends. I live on the west coast but grew up on the east coast. Through blogging, my family and I are able to stay connected and share things even though we live thousands of miles apart. We can share photos and post videos and audio files that let us remain a part of each other's lives.
Through your blog, you can share with the world your thoughts about any topic