What are web blogs and how can you write one?
Weblogging or blogging is one of the fastest growing trends on the Internet. According wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weblog ), Weblog or blog is a “web-based publication consisting primarily of periodic articles, most often in reverse chronological order.” In this guide we will give you an overview of different kind of weblogs and tell you how to start your own weblog.
1. Different kind of blogs
There are several different blog types. See following sites for hundreds of blogs:
• Link blogs
The first blogs ever published were link blogs, or “web link logs”, hence the name weblog. A link blog contains hyperlinks to the websites its owner thinks are worth checking out and a short description of the website where the hyperlink links to.
• Online diary blogs
These blogs are about the everyday life of their owner: what he did and thought in a given day. They don’t necessarily even have links to other websites.
• Article blogs
Article blogs can contain reviews, commentaries on current news and events, news and reports. They usually reveal less about their writer’s everyday life than diary blogs.
• Photo blogs
On photo blogs the entries consist of photos, typically of the “photo of the day”.
• Podcast blogs
Podcast can be thought as little radio shows, recorded by the owner of blog and to be downloaded whenever the listener wants to listen to them. The term podcast comes from the iPods, mp3-players that can play podcast.
• Videocast blogs
Videocasts are the newest trend among weblog community. They are like podcast, except done with video.
• Combination blogs
Most blogs are some kind of combination of above mentioned blog types.
• Group blogs
Group blogs are written by group of people.
Most of the blogs in the Internet are private blogs written by private people just for fun. Editorial blogs are written and edited by professional writers. Also schools, organizations and companies can have their own blogs to inform the readers about events, news and other things relevant to that organization.
2. How to blog?
The modern technology has made blogging very simple and therefore also extremely popular. There is a huge variety of different ways to get your thoughts published on a weblog, but before we will tell you more about these options, lets first learn more about a blog article, better known as a blog entry or a post.
Blogging is easy: you write and publish a blog entry using a blogging service or on your own website using a blog software installed on your computer.
A blog entry consist typically of the following elements:
- Title is the headline of the entry. Think it as a title of a newspaper article. A diary entry title could be for instance “Great day, great news”.
- Abstract is a short description or excerpt of your entry. It is not necessary, but if you publish also a RSS feed of your blog or tend to write long entries, writing an abstract is a good idea.
- Body contains the main content of the post.
- Post Date is the date and time the post was published.
- Comments are the comments your readers can leave about a certain blog entry. You do not have to let people comment your entries on your blog unless you want to.
- Categories or tags are typical subjects you regularly write about in your blog. A category can be for instance “food”, “computers” or “life”.
- Permalink is the permanent URL (web address) of the full, individual entry. If the address of your weblog is for instance myblog.blogger.com, a permalink of an entry could be myblog.blogger.com/permanententry.html. It is advisable to attach the permalink to each entry so that if someone links to your entry in his blog, his readers will get to the linked entry instead of the front page of your blog.
- Trackback and pingback are links to other sites that refer to your entry.
- RSS (Rich Site Summary) feed is a XML-coded version of your blog or parts of it. If you publish a RSS feed of your website, the readers of your blog can subscribe to be alerted when new blog entry is published. The alerts will appear in their news reader software or RSS-compatible web browser.
Many websites let you have your own blog on their web servers for free. All you have to do is to start an account on their blogging service and start blogging! wordpress is one of the most famous blogging services.
The great thing about blogging services is that you can use them anywhere where you get on the Internet. Some services even let you blog by sending messages with your mobile phone. The downside of blogging services is that you don’t have the entries on your own computer unless you copy them separately there. That means that if your entries are only on the server of your blogging services and that server loses them for some reason, your entries are lost forever, because you don’t have a back up copy of them on your computer.
Blogging software is a software installed on your computer. There are two kinds of blogging software: Desktop blogging software creates the whole blog first to your computer, then copies it (or the newest files) to your chosen web server. The advantage of this kind of software is that you have full control of your blog and you can post it where ever you want.
Some blogging software is installed on your computer but requires you still to sign in to a blogging service. The advantage of using this kind of software is that you have more options and control over your blog than when using website based blogging service. This kind of blogging software makes also group blogging easier than when you use a software that creates the whole weblog to your computer before copying it to the web server.
The third option is to write and publish your weblog with the same software you use to make and publish your website.
If you want to write your blog in Arabic, remember to make sure that your blogging service or software supports Arabic.
3. How to get readers?
If you want to get readers (other than your friends you tell about your blog), you should list your blog on a search engine. See the web pages of the search engines you use for more information.
4. What to remember when blogging
Before you write and post your entry, please remember two things:
- If your weblog is public, everyone, including your father, teacher, neighbor and current and future boss can read your entry.
- Basically anything you ever post on the Internet can be found from there later even if you remove the original material from your website.
Therefore it is advisable to think critically about every blog entry and comment you write on the Internet: what would happen if for instance your father or boss would find about your entry or comments a) now or b) 10 years from now?
Blogging is an easy way to share your thoughts and ideas with the world. Choose a blogging method that is best for you, start your blog, tell about it to the world and start blogging!