Discovering the Wonderful World of Blogs - dummies

Discovering the Wonderful World of Blogs

A blog — the name is short for Web log is an online journal of a person’s thoughts, experiences, and interests. Blogging is not just another tool for generating Web content. Even though it’s relatively new, blogging has developed such a following that many people spend hours a day perusing others’ blogs and commenting on them as they add to their own. There’s even a special word for all this: the blogosphere, the world of blogs and commentary about blogs and blogging.

Many blogs are focused on the Web itself or on technical matters relating to computers — different types of computers, different operating systems, and so on.

One site that is, essentially, a big blog, is the Netsurfer site ( Netsurfer hosts a series of online magazines, or e-zines, each of which includes a brief description of interesting news and a link to a site for more information. It’s updated constantly — and the results are sent to users via e-mail.

Finding blogs to read

To find some blogs yourself, you can simply do a Web search using blogs as the search word. You’re likely to run into a lot of stories about blogs and some technically oriented blogs before you find personal or otherwise interesting blogs.

Here are some list sites that give you a quick peek at what other bloggers are doing:

  • A blog listing with the top British blogs, as contributors see them — it even includes invitations to in-person get-togethers.
  • If you don’t like the sound of “blog,” you really may not like the name of this site. But it’s a very useful directory of hot blog topics.
  • Some blogs aren’t updated much; this list shows only recently updated blogs.

Finding software for blogging

Be forewarned — once you start blogging — you may never want to stop! Blogging can be an art form, so if you want to know more about blogs and get your own blog started, here are several top blogging resources you should check out:

  • Home for the TypePad Web logging service.
  • Movable Type: Movable Type is quite technical and quite powerful.
  • DiaryLand: Easy, easy, easy is Diaryland’s claim to fame.
  • AOL Hometown: AOL’s Web logging service — free to all, even non-AOL members.
  • LiveJournal and its users emphasize the community aspect of blogs.