Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What is blogging?

The Internet plays a huge role in the lives of people on the entire planet; it is the fastest means to communicate with friends on the other side of the world and the richest source of information when you have to research for something. The latest trend and probably the most successful way of expressing oneself via the Internet is the blog. What does blogging actually mean? The whole concept revolves around the personal need to express feelings or thoughts, share opinions, spread news or simply have fun. A blog is actually a small individual web page more like a diary that you keep online; it receives regular updates and allows the use of links, photos, videos and extended documents.

Many people were attracted by the “blogging” phenomenon thanks to the great opportunity of making themselves heard by a specific targeted audience. Blogs are not complex web pages, it entirely depends on what the creator wants to share with the world. When you've got great pieces of news, funny links or a hobby to talk about, a blog may be just the right way to open up to an international “community”. Most often, blogs attract more attention than large and well-designed web pages? How is it possible for blogging to have reached such a status?

First of all, blogs generally tackle with one issue of interest for the user; there is fresh and rich informational content, and extended friendly links to other sites or blogs in the domain. It has become common knowledge by now that blogs often receive more traffic than other web pages. Why? The answer lies within the very essence of a search engine structure: what a search engine likes most is fresh and high quality content. This is the main preeminence blogs and the blogging phenomenon has managed to achieve ahead of normal web pages.

If blogging started as the perfect diary online, it has now come to acquire different dimensions, of which the commercial one is the most well-developed. I'll give you an illustrative example here: let's say you like gardening, and you've also started your own home business of growing plants. A blog on flowers, plants and their peculiarities would meet the requirements of other people who share your hobby, but it would also function as a great promotion tool for the development of your business. Therefore, web marketing and the need to communicate happily meet within the very concept of “blogging”.

Vlogs – video blogs explained

What are vlogs exactly? The general term refers to a number of web pages that choose to use videos as journal entries instead of articles. Presented in a reverse chronological order, they find a great support in the use of photos and text; depending on the nature of the videos, there may be need of additional comments to make information relevant. The great part about vlogs is that they perfectly meet the present-day tendency of communicating via the Internet on a very familiar basis: when you see the person behind the text, the blog seems to actually live in from of you.

Most video blogs use some form of web syndication in order to upload and spread the videos online and at the basis of every transmission lies the RSS technology or format. Presently, vlogs, may even be accessed on mobile devices such as pods and mobile phones. Though, the very vlog phenomenon started as a collective attempt, there are many individual video logs that are authored by people who make a hobby out of it. It is a good thing to know that content contributors can get to be paid for their share in the process: on the sole condition that they upload viable material.

Let's take the case of the Google video blogs that enjoy massive success all around the world, it is a collective effort of keeping in touch with people that are thousands of kilometers away from you. Uploading and sharing videos is an instant procedure on http://googlevideo.blogspot.com/, not to mention that Google also provides a directory of vlogs where you may find whatever you're looking for. A similar example of a vlog collection that is also administered by Google is the very popular YouTube, which has attracted thousands of users ever since its beginnings in 2005.

The vlog working principles are less complex than those specific to a regular blog, though the basics are alike. For instance, if you join a video blog community, you'll need your own channel, and signing up is usually required in order to be able to follow the rest of the necessary steps. Once you have a channel, you can simply organize the favorite shows, videos or podcasts from everywhere in the world or simply load and send them across the web. Ipods, iPhones and iTunes are perfectly compatible with vlogs, so that you can pretty much take the web with you everywhere you go.

The best blogging tools

Due to the extended dimensions that the blogging phenomenon has achieved, one can hardly image the richness of tools that bloggers may use to improve the performance of their pages in the web circuit. What tools should one look for? First of all you need to select a specific platform to set up for the blog, then other tools complete the picture in case you want to include photos or videos. Last but not least, you definitely need some special software to allow you to easily moderate the comments and fight unwanted mails, labeled as spam.

Let's take a look at the way some tools can help you post entries on the blog with the help of the platforms. Due to the wide variety of available software, format may vary, nevertheless the working principle is the same: type the title and the text you want to accompany it in the platform. Not all tools provide italics, bold and large font sizes, and you may have to get this by using HTML in order to achieve the desired results. In case you have to copy-paste Microsoft Word text, you need to check whether the blogging platform allows it without interference with RSS feeds.

In order to upload videos and pictures on the blog we have to mention Adobe Photoshop as one of the best tools here; yet, you may have to resize the images in order to make them easy to download by visitors. Furthermore, such tools enable you to align the photos in the way that matches your entry best. Embed multimedia files are also widely used by bloggers, mainly with the help of third-hand utilities like those offered by YouTube. All you have to do is include a JavaScript in the posts in order to allow the blog users to access the photo or video files you upload.

The RSS support may also prove crucial for the success of a blog, particularly since most Internet users are mainly concerned with accessing blog content via RSS feeds. You can find a variety of RSS formats available, not to mention that most tools include some sort of RSS help. To make sure you really get what you want, and the blog looks professional to the targeted audience, it is advisable that you should check the RSS formats a special software offers before actually purchasing or installing it.

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