Blogging has been known as a writer’s medium since it started. Known originally as a way to keep a personal journal, or diary, it has gained popularity since its inception in 1994. Blogging has become so popular in recent years that an entire vocabulary revolves around it. An increasing number of people and businesses are maintaining a blog. In fact, it is estimated that there is an astounding 170 million blogs in the blogsphere. What uses do blogs serve? And, more importantly, why is blogging considered the new medium of choice?
Blogs are known as grassroots communication since they start at the individual level. Each blog has an originator, usually the same as the person making the posts. (Posts are the statements added to the site by the author/blogger.) Blogs consist of text, images, and links. Those are the three main components of most blogs.
First of all, blogs are for everybody. There are no requirements to have one. There are no special computer/technical skills required to have one. People of all ages can have one. If someone wants to say something, they simply say (or type) it.
Blogs can be broken down by their media type. A blog that has video clips on it is known as a vlog. A blog that has numerous links on it is known as a linklog. And, finally, a blog that contains photographs on it is known as a photoblog. One can now see why blogs are the medium of choice.
Blogs can be used for a variety of reasons. The uses are as diversified as the topics that can be covered in blogs. Here are some of the uses for blogs. They will help explain why blogs are considered the medium of choice:
1) Promote events. This is easy. For whatever event either you, or your organization, has coming up – simply start a blog. List all the details of the event and leave room for comments.
2) Record your travels (use as a travel log). Many personal travel logs have been put into blog form. It is easy, convenient (especially with the advent of laptops), and fun.
3) Communicate with family and friends (instead of snail mail or email). Many individuals start a blog to keep their family and friends up-to-date on what is happening in their lives. It saves on phone calls, emails, and snail mail. It is very convenient.
4) Increase awareness of platforms. Many nonprofit organizations, clubs, societies, groups, and churches use blogs to publish their believes to others. Blogs can be used as a way for members to communicate with each other or with the public.
5) Political campaigns and candidates. More and more political candidates and campaigns are using blogs as a way to publish their platforms.
6) Self-expression. This is known to be the most popular use of blogs. A person starts a blog and uses it as a diary or journal to publish their thoughts. Once again, this is how blogging began.
7) Educational tool – collaborate on projects. Teacher can post a project and have students post comments. Blogs are the preferred medium choice for a variety of educational venues.
8) Fund raising campaigns. Blogs are a concise, yet simple, way of publishing information about an upcoming fund raising campaign.
9) Marketing businesses, person, or nonprofit. Blogs can be set up to promote a new product, business happening, or business opening – as examples.
10) Job search. An applicant who starts a blog shows initiative, something potential employers like to see. This method of finding employment has been very popular in recent years.
11) Bring together communities. For instance, minorities can find an audience for their language by publishing through their blog.
12) Peer review journals. Once the author/blogger posts statements, readers can post comments. Usually, readers are of the same mindset as the author/blogger. This makes for a great way to form a peer review journal. These journals may eventually be put into book form.
13) Social change tools. Think of MySpace and all the other social networks out there. Blogging is an easy, yet efficient, way to get your word out to others in your network. Others ask to join your network, thereby increasing your popularity. The more in your network (voice), the more clout you will have for social change. This is another great reason for blogs being the medium of choice.
14) Promote business venture. More and more businesses, large and small, have been maintaining blogs. Blogs are used internally by management and their staff to communicate among themselves (within the firm.) They are also used to convey information to the outside world, such as their customers. Use a blog to promote the promotion of an employee, for example. Blogs make excellent promotional tools.
15) Draw attention to relatively unknown news sources. Many bloggers know local news before larger news channels do and publish it on their blogs. Some bloggers use live blogging for this.
16) Tool for opinion forming and outreach. Blogging has been known to be used by political consultants to bond their constituents together. Also, various news sources have used blogs to receive feedback from their viewers.
17) Publish a book. Many a blog has turned into a book. The blogger simply takes the comments and posts and puts them in book form.
If you are new to the world of blogging, do not be put off by those blogs that make no sense. (And there will be plenty. For instance, the ones dealing with what ice cream someone likes). There are even more positive reasons for you to begin blogging. It is a fascinating and, as many a blogger will state, addicting endeavor. Millions of bloggers have already proven that a blog is the medium of choice for them.