What is a Blog? (Tutorial Thursday)

Daniel asked the question What is a Blog? This is my answer.

In late 2003, I decided to try my hand at writing what was known as a blog. As I hesitantly installed WordPress on my first paid hosting account.

I remember telling people excitedly that I have started blogging only to be stared at as if I am from another planet. (I get the stares even today). I was asked as to why would anyone want to read about my life and more importantly, why would I write about it!

Even today, many do not know what a blog exactly is. If you are out here, I’m sure you are not one of them.

Anyway…

What is a blog?

When it first began, a weblog or blog was a simple online diary, where the blog author would pen down his or her thoughts. It served as a means to let readers know primarily family and friends about the happenings in his / her life.

Over the years, blogs have evolved to much much more than that. While personal blogs are still far and wide across the blogosphere, you will find a lot of non-personal blogs as well.

Today, a blog is a platform for news, tutorials, travel tails, articles, video, photos and more. Blogs have several categories similar to what websites had several years ago. You have technology blogs, travelouges, personal blogs, news blogs, videologs, photoblogs etc.

Why a blog?

  • It is much easier to start a blog than a normal website.
  • Several blogging tools provide you an easy means to publish your articles.
  • Readers can easily subscribe to your blog via RSS.
  • There are ready made templates available for most blogging tools, so you can easily find something to suit the theme of the blog.
  • Its FREE (unless you have your own hosting accounts)

How to get started

There are basically two ways to start a blog. The quickest and easiest way is to signup for a blog service provider. Two of the most popular ones and indeed my favorites at one time are WordPress.com and Blogger.

Both allow you to quickly signup for free, start a blog, begin composing and publishing your post. You have a wide array of templates to choose from.

The more difficult and also a non-free method would be to self host your blog. I’ve long been a fan of WordPress. Though you don’t need to pay for WordPress, you would need to pay for the hosting space and the domain.

Hosting would vary anywhere from $3/mo for a shared hosting account to $300/mo for a server.
Domains also cost an average of $9 per year.

I buy my domains via WebberZone Domains where I get them for $7.95 only and have my own VPS from Future Hosting.biz.

I hope this post has cleared up some of your doubts on blogging and blogs. What is your opinion about the same? Where are you blogging at?

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