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Saturday, 22 November 2008

Before You Learn How To Blog, You Better Learn What A Blog Is (and Isn't)

Thinking about starting a blog, are you? Before you learn how to create a blog, you had better get an idea of what a blog actually is and how it is fundamentally different from other online presences. That's exactly what I'll be reviewing in this article.

A blog, short for weblog (web-log, not we-blog), is an online journal. Blogs are specialized forms of web sites, so they typically contain text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, or other media related to their topics. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning "to maintain or add content to a blog."

Blog entries, or "posts," are usually displayed in reverse chronological order, and posts are assigned to categories to assist with organization. Posts refer to individual articles, or writings, in a blog.

Blogs differ from traditional web sites in several crucial ways:

* Blogs are usually updated very frequently, with inactive blogs being updated several times per month, and active blogs being updated many times per day.

* Most blogs allow readers to post comments and respond to posts. This dialog is encouraged because interactivity is an important part of many blogs, and also one of the leading sources of tips and new content.

* Blog writing tends to be much more personal than traditional web writing. Traditional web writing is politically correct sales or marketing copy, whereas blogs have a very intimate voice.

* Blogs tend to be more opinionated and partisan than web sites, and most blogs are tightly focused on a niche.

* Blogs commonly offer RSS feeds of the posts and comments contained within them.

RSS feeds?

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a family of feed formats used to publish blog content. Feeds make it easy for people to keep up with their favorite web sites in an automated manner that's easier than checking them manually.

Feeds can be aggregated in a feed reader, a web page or portal page, or a web browser. The feed reader checks the user's subscribed feeds regularly for new content, downloading any updates that it finds. In essence, it's a way for your favorite content to be "pushed" to you, or in this case, a way for your subscribers to get your content pushed to them as it's updated. In a nutshell, feeds make sure that your readers receive your content as it's published.

Blogs range from personal journals intended for close friends and family, to influential and significant media journals, to informal communication channels for companies. Blogs exist in about every shape, size, and topic imaginable.

The power of blogs is that they allow millions of people to have a voice. Blogs are fluid and interactive, consisting of two-sided conversations rather than broadcasts. Blogs are fundamentally changing how we use the web, so get your blog started or you'll be left behind!

By: Jared Conley

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Jared helps new and aspiring bloggers learn to blog professionally and profitably with his blogs how to. You can learn more about one of the leading blogging programs available today by downloading the FREE guide on how to blog for money at Jared's site.

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