A Blog is typically a web page containing articles (often called ‘posts’). Articles are added periodically and most Blogs encourage viewers to comment on the article. The vast majority of Blogs are maintained by individuals (such as this Blog). Blogs are part of what is known as Web 2.0 or Social Media.
Who Reads Blogs?
You read Blogs (this is a Blog post you are reading right now) as well as the majority of people who access the Internet. There are well over 200 million Blogs out there and this number is growing rapidly! Although Blogs started ‘life’ as informal and often very personal, that has changed with major media outlets (e.g. CNN) recognising the benefits of Blogging (see this post for more about mainstream media and Social Media). WordPress.com (who host only approximately 3 million active Blogs) received nine and a half billion pageviews in 2008 (that’s 18,000 pageviews a minute!!!).
How Do I Search for Blogs?
If you search the Web using Google, Live, Yahoo or any other search engine you are already searching Blogs (as well as ‘static’ web pages). There are a number of Blog directories which only return search results from Blogs e.g. icerocket.com and technorati.com.
Who Writes Blogs?
As noted previously, most Blogs are written and maintained by individuals. Some Blogs which started with individuals publishing posts have become extremely popular (e.g. perezhilton.com) and the value of Blogs is increasingly being recognised by large corporates. Blogs are being seen as a formidable Public Relations tool as well as a great means of engaging consumers (some companies even use Blogs to do market research). Dell has been extremely effective in raising its corporate image through it’s Blogging as has the Royal Navy in engaging potential recruits.
How Do I Set Up a Blog?
Blogs are simple and inexpensive to set-up. Common blogging platforms include WordPress (free hosting at wordpress.com), Typepad and Blogger (comparing the various Platforms needs a whole new post so won’t be covered here). The great thing about blogging is that it doesn’t have to be ‘right’ from the start. If you are an individual you can always change your Blog (obviously if you are a corporate you must get it right the first time!!).