Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I like blogs for many reasons—some of them totally irrelevant. (As a former Miz English Teacher Person, I like the idea that the word blog is a portmanteau of the words web and log. Have you ever eaten with a spork? Then you know what a portmanteau is. Have you ever slept in a motel? Have you ever chortled? But . . . I better rein it in.)

Okay, you say, but what IS a blog? How is it different from a website? The word blog has the connotation of personal opinion, of erratic personality, of strong feelings. I like that. But most blogs work within templates. I don't like that. Templates are easy, as long as you don't want total control over the placement of a column or an object. But I want, yep, control over my creations, and I already have a website, so I prefer the website format. (The main reason I have blogs is to show that I can have blogs.) But if you aren't comfortable with the website process, then you'll love blogging!

A blog has a website address, or URL, and is like a website in that it is read by a browser (like Internet Explorer) on the Internet, but several characteristics make a blog a little different from a website.

  1. A blog is most often a type of personal diary, a record of an individual's interests and opinions--which is what I've tried to illustrate above.
  2. Like a website, a blog usually focuses on a particular topic (although one blog I saw recently seemed to be simply a tedious record of the author's every waking thought). A blog is more of an exercise in personal expression than a website; it's a collection of several small, informal editorials, usually related to a stated topic. The title of a blog should thus be an umbrella for all future postings.
  3. In a blog, the entries are typically not organized by topic but by chronology; they are usually displayed in reverse chronological order.
  4. Many blogs allow their readers to post responses or questions. (This gets sticky. Many bloggers choose to moderate the users' responses.)
  5. A blog is easier--and quicker--for most people to post than a website; it can be created without a special program (like FrontPage or Dreamweaver) and can be posted from any computer connected to the Internet. A totally web-based process.

Several different companies are available to host your blog. For free. These websites offer a variety of templates, so you don't have to design a layout. If you want to get an idea about these websites, just Google the keywords free and blog. (Isn't google a wonderful new verb?) On the handouts illustrating the process of creating a blog, I'm using my favorite blog creator, Blogger, which (surprise, surprise) is a Google service.


Creating a Blog Account with Blogger
Blogging with Word 2007 (and Blogger)

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