Blogging, blogging, blogging and more blogging. It is a peculiar phenomenon really. It can’t be said that people earn a particular amount of money from writing down their experiences, thoughts and opinions. At least the majority of individuals don’t.
Although you may know it already I’ll begin with a little explanation to what the blogging phenomenon is. The word ‘blog’ is a contraction of the word ‘weblog’. Essentially a weblog is an online journal, the digital alternative to column inches in a newspaper. Although an alternative it is very similar. For a year I kept an online journal at YourLocalGuardian.co.uk which was just identical to the stories a columnist may cover in the newspaper. The same applies for the writings I made for Space Newspaper at the University of Gloucestershire.
I started to keep a blog a few years ago, the catalyst of which was certainly two-fold. I had been reading an awful lot of factual books and had formed some opinions around certain subjects but a passion to write also existed. Before I kept the blog I would attempt to write books when on holiday or write the occasional poem to release some anxiety or troubles I had been going through. So on a person scale blogging provided me the ability to share with an audience but to also view their reactions. As highlighted, blogging really doesn’t pay for the majority of us. An article which I read about 8 months ago in the Daily Telegraph observed how the blogosphere had been taken over by the larger blogs such as The Huffington Post, TechCrunch and Engadget. A full list of the top 100 blogs can be found using Technorati.
Despite the views of that particular journalist in the Daily Telegraph I am inclined to believe that smaller blogs have not been put out of business by the larger competitor blogs. Websites such as BlogCatalog, MyBlogLog and BUMPzee allow blog promotion by interacting within an online community. One of the most effective methods of blog promotion for me has been through using Blog Carnival. Essentially you contribute an article (by providing a link) to a collage of similar posts on the same subject. All these posts are summarised and linked from another blog which can provide large exposure for your own website.
Essentially I am inclined to think that it must primarily be a passion to produce and share content which causes people to begin a blog. Whether that passion is to share videos in a vlog or focus on art in an artlog. YouTube and deviantART specialise in these two areas. There are many other variants of blog which I shall leave you to invent! As with written blogging there are a range of websites which provide a simple platform to share your musings; such as Blogger, LiveJournal and Typepad.
The geekier of you who wish to write but also have full control over everything “under the bonnet” should try WordPress. The project started in 2003 and since then has become the most popular blogging tool on the internet. The package is simply installed on a server, linked to a MySQL database and then ready for all your blogging needs. No WordPress installation needs to look the same as can be seen by comparing this current blog with my other website asuperfluousramble.com.
What is the purpose behind all this blogging though? It will depend. Blogs have become an effective PR technique for companies to quickly provide content to their audience. Individuals use blogs for communicating with their friends, leaking their passions, keeping a diary, smuggling information out of dangerous countries, etc. There are a vast amount of reasons why people blog and unquestionably many who will still label blogging as another waste of time which can be found on the internet.