Of late, we have been getting more and more requests to help our clients set up a blog. There is no denying that blogs are quickly dominating the cyberspace; even the word “blog” itself became Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary‘s Word of the Year for year 2004. The word “blog” originated from two words, namely “web” and “log”. Putting them together yields “weblog”. These days “blog” is more commonly used.
The beauty of blogs is that it allows you to update your site much more easily. A blog publishing tool helps you to quickly update your contents, without the need for you to get your hands dirty fiddling with html codes all the time. Like conventional log books and diaries, blogs allow you to archive your older contents in chronological order. At any time you wish to view an older content, you can do so by browsing or simply searching the archives.
The Building Blocks of a Blog
Your archives are the ‘building blocks’ of your blog. Readers can easily tell if yours is new blog or an old blog from the date the first post was published. There is rarely a need for one to delete blog entries unless really necessary – for example, your blog has offensive contents and you run into some problems with the authorities.
Managing Your Site
As far as content management is concerned, rest assured that your site is in good hands. Various blog publishing software are available on the internet but they’re all similar in one way or another. WordPress, Movable Type, LiveJournal, Xanga and Blogspot are some examples. The booming of blogs was largely contributed by the emergence of free blog hosting providers such as Blogspot, Xanga and Blogdrive. However, free hosting usually means limited customization and personalization options, including having your own domain (such as http://www.<YourName>.com).
On the other hand, for those who want full control over their blog and those who wish to set up a corporate blog for example, a paid hosting is favorable. Corporate blogging is also quickly picking up pace because it provides a less-formal approach to delivering information and a unique reader-writer interaction. A reader who has something to add on to a particular blog entry can simply post a comment for it, if the comments feature is enabled.
To curb spam and unwanted comments, most blog publishing tools allow comment-moderation; whereby a comment is made viewable only after the blog owner has approved it. Also, it is a good practice to not reveal personal information on your blog, such as vehicle registration number, identification numbers and home addresses, because no matter how ‘private’ you claim your blog to be, it is always viewable to virtually anyone who has an internet access.
Readership and Frequency of Updates
A blog comes ‘alive’ only if you maintain it well. By this, I mean your contents should be up-to-date. It is fairly easy to know if a blog has been ‘abandoned’ from the main page. The main page is where the latest blog entry appears and if even the latest entry was posted say, 6 months ago, then the blog is as good as ‘dead’. This is certainly not desirable if you’re trying to attract readership.
‘Frequency of Update’ refers to how often you update your blog. Some blogs are updated daily, some twice daily, and some once weekly. You may not actually need to adhere to a fixed period. However, note that a low frequency of update may result in a decline in readership. On the other hand, too high a frequency could result in the latest entries not having sufficient ‘airtime’. Readers seek information that is new, up-to-date and relevant to them. Fulfilling this criteria coupled with a friendly interface can help build and sustain your readership base.
Bloggers are often likened to journalists. That said, however, information and first-hand news provided by bloggers usually go unfiltered. More people are turning to blogs for latest news but how far are they true? Spreading rumours and lies is deemed inethical. Articles and contents taken from other sources should be rightfully attributed, and credited. Copying others’ work without properly attributing the work to the original author is considered plagiarism, and should be avoided. The least you could do is include a hyperlink to the source from which the content was taken.
Blogging offers you the convenience of publishing your contents without much fuss, and even allows readers to comment on your entries. It does not take a rocket scientist to maintain a blog site either; all you’ve got to do is write your heart out and be heard. Sounds convincing? Hop onto the bandwagon today and experience for yourself the power of blogs!
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