I often find myself recommending to people that they could start a blog. Whether it is one of my web clients, or a One To One member at the Apple store, there are many reasons to have and use a blog.
The funny thing is, when I say that, folks are often at least confused, and usually overwhelmed. Why is that? I haven’t completely figured it out, but I think it’s due to a misunderstanding of what a blog is.
Here’s the definition from Wikipedia:
A blog (a contraction of the term weblog) is a website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.
The thing is, most people use the term blog in many other ways. First, blog is often used as a verb (which, although Wikipedia’s definition does allow for it, it’s not really how the word should be used) and second, it’s often used to refer to an individual post to a blog site. Also, there is another common misconception that a blog must be replete with verbose and eloquent entries, waxing philosophical on the many complexities of life.
While all of those may at times be true of various blogs… they do not need to be. Your blog can be whatever you want it to be. The three main things that make a blog a blog are:
- Regularly published content, listed on the site in reverse chronological order, and often archived monthly or weekly.
- Usually, due to the frequent publications, the site also notifies and distributes content via RSS or some other feed technology. (That’s for another day!)
- Almost always, there is some mechanism for feedback (comments) which creates a feel of “community” at the website as readers are invited to participate along with the author of the content.
Just wanted to clear that up, and perhaps a few hundred more people can understand and use the word “blog” in a less scary way. 🙂
I have a few blogs. This one (GregsHead.net), and Buffalo Bills Review (articles page), and then a few I don’t keep up very well anymore.
And, there are many services you can use to create and manage your own blog. I mostly use Blogger (the engine behind this blog), but another hugely popular blogging tool is WordPress. Those are probably the top two, but check out this list… there are a LOT to choose from.
So, if you have something to say, or even if you have nothing to say and just need to say it… a blog is a fun way to get that out and even enjoy discussions with your readers about whatever it is that’s on your mind.
Now get out there and start blogging blogs to your blog.