This week’s blog is about blogging. People use this term quite a bit since it was made popular back in the mid 2000’s, but did it exist before that? Depending on how you term it, I was blogging back in the mid 1990’s when I was using Bulletin Board and Usenet Systems. Of course, back then it wasn’t known as blogging – it was termed just catching up with friends and people online and that’s how blogging back in the late 1990’s was defined.
However, blogging was first used in the late 1990’s. However, no one I knew was using them. The first term I knew of blogging was in 2005. In 2005, a blog went into a diary form – where you would write about the going on in your personal life. And that’s exactly what it was like. You would list on what you would be doing that day, and then commenting the next day how the day before actually went. I then went from every day to once a week because I was back working full-time and could not post as often. Then I realized that my life is really pretty boring because it was mainly just the same things day and week in and out. I finally stopped because I found I was just writing the same thing and it was boring to me, so I could only imagine what it was doing to any readers I had!
Then I stepped away from most of the IT scene for a bit and report and government policies took over my life. However, about 16 months ago, I started to get the IT itch again and where I was working acknowledged my skills with letting me join working parties for social media, running the social media at a regional conference and letting me run the social media for our department in our regional office. Further, I went back for my Teaching and Assessment, so I could actually use my Associate in Applied Science Degree in Computer Information Systems and teach people. Thankfully, I took those steps as I was retrenched (was let go due to needed to reduce staff) nearly 7 months ago. Since then, I’ve started up this professional IT blog and “cleaned” out and restarted my personal blog. Further, I’ve been teaching and advising educational centres in Victoria Australia, and am almost done with my Certificate IV in Web Based Technologies. Hopefully then, I can get back into the IT sector.
I feel that today’s blogs are all about subject matter rather than what goes on in a person’s everyday life. Subject matter is something I can comment on as long as I know what the subject is. In fact, when have you ever known a person from New York not to have a comment on something? However, there are blogs out there for just about anything you can think of. I read ones about IT, genealogy, crafts, cooking, baking, politics and writing… the list is endless! As long as you have experience and know what the subject is about, you can comment on it. In fact, my personal blog I talk about things that go on in my life, so the main content is my life and views and not a type of subject. However, that being said, I have less followers and so far no one comments on that blog. However, it is there and it makes me feel better as a person.
Where do you get blogs?
I actually did a web search for blogs back in 2005 when I wanted to start one. I wasn’t sure who would have them and what was involved in having one. After some searching around I found the one that was highly visible was Blogger.
Since I started to use Blogger in 2005, I know there have been a few others to come about. Further Blogger was sold and then bought by Google. This had me highly concerned as I’ve never had a good experience with Google when I was using the many different search engines in my past.
I use Blogger for my personal blog. It’s easier to use and it gives you great analytical stats for easy to use and it helps that they are free. I happily type in my weekly blog into a word processor and then all I have to do is copy and paste it from there into Blogger and with a few inserts of pictures and graphs the job is done. Nice, easy and simple!
However, taking my Certificate IV in Web Based Technologies, the practitioner wanted us to use both WordPress and Google+ for communications. That meant using getting to know and use WordPress. As it’s the business norm and gets the higher traffic than the other blogs that are around – including Blogger.
I have to say that it’s been a real love and hate relationship between WordPress and I. I’ve tried to write-up my content in a word processor and do what I do for Blogger, but WordPress did some funky stuff with that. Then I tried to type into WordPress but as I typing the content the system decided it was going to go to sleep (and yet the rest of the web was acting fine, so WordPress was upset) and then I lost my entire content. Yep, not a happy blogger here at that point and if you don’t believe me, you should ask my husband because some words were being said and it was not good going WordPress!
I find WordPress is very strict – it’s my way or the highway so get over it type of use. As I’m stubborn to a fault and persistent, it bothers me but I am determined to win at all costs and so the battle between me and WordPress continues.
Today there are many different types of blogging services out there. Recently Blog Services Review looked into the top Blog Services for 2013. These are WordPress, TypePad, Squarespace, Blogger, MySpace, AOL Journals, Windows Live Spaces, Xanga, and LifeJournal. I am sure that there are many other types of services out there as well.
What should I look for in the Services of them?
To me, there are a few things I take a look at when I chose the blogs I have.
Cost. I admit it I’m cheap. I took a look what was available and I choose a free service – because nothing beats getting something for free.
Traffic to the blogging service. Traffic is important for exposure and to get readers in. After all, that’s why we blog isn’t it?
Ease of use. This is very important because if you have a hard time using the product, how often are you really going to put yourself through posting? The easier it is to use the more you’re going to post.
Terms and conditions. Make sure that you read the terms and conditions to make sure that what’s set out in them equals what you would be fine with in sharing for your content and images.
Tracking & Analytical info. What are you talking about you are probably saying unless you’re an IT & business person. This is the information we get from you, the readers. I get different stats from Blogger and WordPress. I have to say that I get more out of Blogger’s stats capture than I do from WordPress. In WordPress, I get to see how many people and revisits I get. Also, it’s great that it lets people follow me through many kinds of social media. However, Blogger actually breaks it down into what countries people view the page from and how many people have viewed the page. The Blogger information lets me know what is more enjoyable and people find informative and from what countries so I can even compare certain points of view from one country to another. Whereas I can tell you how many people follow me in WordPress, but not how many people have actually visited the page.
Anyhow, it’s up to you – the blogger – in which format you want to use. Further to the Blogging Services for 2013 Review, they have also put a list of what to look for in a Blog Service, so please feel free to visit their page as well.
What other things should I consider before setting up a blog?
Please make sure that you set aside enough time to actually do a proper blog. You will feel proud of it and will want to show it off rather than just posting something up that’s just thrown together. In fact, I found
a great place on the web which gives you some information on blogs and it’s free.
The design you choose for your layout of your blog has to be considered carefully because this will either attract or repel users like a bad smell. Depending on what the blog is for, depends on what you can do to boost your blog. My first tip would be to write catchy title phrases and use the tagging feature. I have to admit, I don’t do well with the overall title phrases, but the tagging I’m getting used to. This will attract more users to your blog – just don’t mislead anyone by using the wrong terms. To find out more about this, please read this article that I found in Mashable.
In ending of my wisdom for this topic, I can use the use for it. It’s a much better and useful format for people to read and comment on compared to what blogging was used for back when it first started. However, we all do have to keep moving forward and that means using what is commonly used out in the business world. I recently read an article that says that even now bigger companies are using blogs (and in particular WordPress) to get their content, marketing and products in the blogosphere.
Further, once you get a blog, make sure you check for all comments (comments and comments marked as Spam as I found that some comments are put into the Spam filter that were not spam) and respond to them – don’t become a blogsnob. If you do all or even most of these things, you should have a successful blog.