April 16, 2007
There are as many reasons to keep a blog as there are people in the world. The best advice I can give is to keep posting and you will eventually find your voice.
Someone once divided the blogosphere1 into two groups; the linkers and the thinkers. Linkers post lots of links to other internet sites that they find interesting or amusing. Thinkers tend to produce more essay or analysis type posts on any given subject. It's a broad spectrum, and everyone falls into the range between the two extremes.
Here are some examples of various bloggers2 to give you an idea of various formats:
Besides her regular posts, Annika has "Poetry Wednesday", where she posts works by various poets. In a similar vein, Cindy has "Friday Feathers" which features her nature photography and a little bit about the birds in the pictures.
Politics of every flavor is a popular blogging topic. If you do much surfing through the blogs, you're bound to run into them.
"Slice of Life" blogging is my term for personal diarists like Bou who writes about her family, or Sarah who mixes personal stories of her life as a military wife with bits about her dog and her knitting hobby.
When more than one person contributes, it's called a group blog. The Llama Butchers is one such, with very eclectic content that includes history, current events, pop culture, twisted humor, and frequent griping about commuters in the DC Metro area.
And just because I can, I invite you to visit my site Rocket Jones. I post about hobby rocketry, cult cinema, recipes and pretty much the next shiny thing that catches my eye. I've been writing Rocket Jones for four years now (with occasional help from my youngest daughter Mookie), and have had over a half million visitors to the site.
Each of the links above feature a sidebar full of links to other sites, which have more links to other sites, and so on and so on. Explore a little. Humor, religion, family, cats, cooking, personal finance, whatever you can imagine, there is almost certainly someone out there writing about it. If they can, so can you.
The most important thing is to have fun. If you don't enjoy doing it, then why bother?
1 The "blogosphere" is the term coined to embrace the entirety of blogs. It's a clumsy term that many don't like, but everyone knows what it means when it's used.
2 Blogger: that's you. One who blogs.
April 15, 2007
First, before you go register I'd suggest a little thought about what to name your site and how you want to be known around this little corner of the internet. For example, naming your site "I Love Bill.mee.nu" might seem perfect right now, but what happens if later you decide that Bill is a jerk and Oliver is the light of your life? That could become awkward. So take a moment and come up with something you can live with for the long term. Internet sites aren't as permanent as tattoos, but there are folks out there who've had an online presence for fifteen years and more.
Likewise with your user name. "BillsLittleShnookums" might be perfect, until you aren't, and then it's too late to change it.
You can choose to be anonymous. If your site is going to become the leading online authority about left-handed knitting needles, then you'll be fine, but perhaps you'd rather not put your real name out there in case those crochet fanatics get wind of your site and declare you an enemy of all things made of yarn. Some folks go completely anonymous with an obvious psuedonym like "Cynical Observer", others go with plausible sounding false names (my last name isn't really Jones). Some folks let it all hang out there and post under their real name. A little thought up front will make things go more smoothly in the long run.
All right... think, then go register. When you've done that, stop back by here, and I'll have more to help you along.
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