I am a novice blogger.
Celebrities and status-seekers write blogs. Corporations with social media strategies write blogs. Unconvinced that the blogosphere offered much to significantly impact my life, I consciously steered clear. Until now.
When my writer friend Elaine moved to Hong Kong, she started to blog about her travels as a way to record her impressions and to inform her friends back home that she was safe and having the adventure of a lifetime. A cracker jack journalist with an engaging writing style, her prolific blog chronicles her excellent adventure.
I followed her online. I trailed her to this temple, that market, and that historic site, learning about the people and politics of Asia along the journey. Her travel blog is a journal that kept us connected.
As I ponder my project for a Visual Design course, the creation of a design blog, I got to thinking about the actual definition of a blog. In order to create a blog, I need to define it!
My search for an answer led me to two promising resources:
- the archives of the ProBlogger website where blogger Darren Rowse answers the question, and
- a YouTube video by Brian Brown at Pajama Market.com, the Business Blog Authority.
So what is a blog?
Short for web log, a blog is a type of website that takes the form of an online journal written about a particular topic. A blog allows authors with little or no technical knowledge to update and maintain a blog, thus making this type of communication accessible to a broad audience. So now, people with something to say can do it online without tripping over the technology to accomplish it.
Yes, that’s for me!
Blogs contain current content, so the author (blogger) updates the blog regularly to capture and hold audience attention – and to maintain currency. Blogs can feature content from multiple authors or guest authors.
Well, this is a required class assignment, so I’d better be the sole author!
An entry on a blog is known as a “blog post” or “post”; blog posts appear in reverse chronological order with the most recent content appearing first.
A blog comprises text, hyperlinks, images, and links (to other web pages and to video, audio, or other files).
Aha! So a blog is the perfect medium to explore visual design and display of information.
Blogs are written in a casual style and document the author’s research or opinions on a focal topic. Some blogs are monologues – the author presents information for site visitors to read. However, many blogs are conversational and invite reader response through a comment function.
The comment option takes site visitors to a form where they can leave their name, email, and link their own blog. Visitors can also leave feedback, comments, critique, or questions about the blog topic.
I am not sure if all feedback is posted or whether there is a filtering or monitoring process that weeds out offensive or unrelated submissions. I’d better check that out!
Besides the comment functionality, blogs feature an archive. Successful blogs have lots of content that needs to be organized for easy retrieval. Archives can be searched by category or by date.
A subscribe feature allows readers to sign up so that every time a new blog post is available, the reader receives an email. This makes it easy for readers to follow a blog.
Hmmm…well, I am not expecting many followers, but now that I understand the basics, it’s time to choose a blog topic.
Wish I were writing about travels in Asia.