Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Goan Observer: How to blog well


The word blog, has come in from the word web log, hence simply translated, is an online journal.

Blogging, is a personal form of journalism.

Hence, to be a good blogger, you need to be a good reader.


There are a variety of blogs today, right from a great blog on wierd things www.boingboing.com, to blogs on technology, www.gigaom.com, blogs on gadgets www.gizmodo.com, blogs on technology startups www.techcrunch.com.


In India, blogs exist around subjects such as advertising and media www.afaqs.com

Certain celebrities are great personal journalists, such as Aamir Khan, www.aamirkhan.com , Amitabh Bachan www.bigb.bigadda.com . www.indivibe.com and www.submerge.in, the so-called home of Electronic Dance Music.


With regards to the Indian investment economy, a must read is www.vccircle.com, a blog initiated by Sahad P.V. , a leading journalist.


Once you start reading these various blogs, a point will then be reached where you develop an opinion about various articles.

The best way to voice these opinions is to just comment directly on the blog. Be aware that these responses can be read by one and all, so use pseudonyms if you don't feel comfortable using your own identity.


Another great place to indulge in conversation  are various online groups or forums. The best place to look is Yahoo Groups or Google Groups, for topics of interest.


Read enough?


Feel brave enough to start writing? . .  Then go ahead!


Wordpress and Blogger are great places to start a free blog. 


Both websites come with great plugins to block spam, provide a feed through RSS, link to your flickr photoalbum and even generate advertising revenue through Adsense.


To start with, a frequency of once a week should help you develop a regular audience of readers.


The average time taken to write a blog is usually a few hours, for a successful one, since it isn't easy to hold the attention of your readers for very long.


Some bloggers have held their blogs longer than their jobs, like www.dooce.com who lost her job because of her explicit blog.


Some bloggers have done so well, that they have published books based on their blog, with less success though, e.g. belle du jour.


From blogging, other publishing mediums appeared, such as podcasting, where people used to recording their voice and their music, broadcast the same as podcasts.


Video blogging, using YouTube is great for showing demonstrations of various devices or techniques, also for taking a clip of your best scene from a movie.


Photoblogging, is a great way to go up the ladder from amateur to Professional, through sites such as Flickr, where there is a great group of photo enthusiasts ready to egg you on!


Of course, there are those of us who have a shorter attention span than one paragraph. For them, there is Twitter, where you get to express yourself within 140 characters, thereby eliminating the need to think, and answering the perennial question "What's up?"

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