To Blog or Not to Blog

By: Jim Edwards

Web logs, commonly referred to as "blogs," represent all therage right now in online publishing.

Not really a newsletter or traditional html page publishing,blogs resemble more of a web-based diary where the creatorrecords their thoughts, posts links, or responds to questions.

With so much confusion online and an absence of "personaltouch," blogs stand to actually bring back some humanity to theweb by allowing people of like minds to come together.

** Why Blog? **

As the sea of information on the World Wide Web gets larger anddeeper, people starve for knowledge.

It's a fact that most human beings learn better when someoneelse shows or tells them how to do something, or explains whatsomething means and its impact on their lives.

People sitting around a fire and passing information one toanother is as old as human history, and with blogs you can dothe online equivalent.

Blogs allow you to do everything from staying in touch withfamily members to building a world-wide following of loyalreaders based around a hobby or your profession.

** Monologue or Dialogue? **

You basically have two choices when it comes to your blog.

You can set it up so only you can post to the blog and viewersjust read your posts, or you can allow your audience to commenton your posts and create a dialogue with them.

Which model you choose comes down to your purpose for the blog.

If you want to get feedback from customers, family members,friends, or subscribers, then allowing them to post will add atremendous dimension to your communication.

If you want to keep it simple, then start out with a blog whereyou post and others only read.

** How Do You Set Up a Blog? **

Log on to Blogger.com to set up a free account (monologue type).

With absolutely zero experience and without reading the helpfiles, I set up my blog - www.ebookblog.com - in about 5minutes.

At first I just posted a few old articles to fill in content andsee how the process worked.

Lately I've gotten the "blogger bug" and plan to start postingseveral times a week.

Though my blog gets posted on my own website, Blogger.com alsoallows you to post to their server so you don't even need ahosting account to set up your own blog.

You can get a more full-featured blog (dialogue type) fromMovableType.org.

There you have the option of getting their software installed onyour server or obtaining a very reasonably priced account hostedon their servers.

Either way you choose, posting rates as simple as typing into aweb form, clicking a button, and your articles and commentsautomatically get posted to your blog (no html or ftp skillsrequired).

If you want to find one of the thousands of blogs online abouteverything from cooking to puppy potty training, log on to:www.daypop.com www.blogsearchengine.com www.feedster.com

You can easily and quickly search through rapidly expandingdatabases of blogs open to the public.

-- Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and theco-author of an amazing new ebook that will teach you how to usefr-e articles to quickly drive thousands of targeted visitors toyour website or affiliate links...

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