Mostly why, but let's handle the other stuff first.
- Me, you, presidential candidates, sports stars, peace activist, hate mongers - anyone can blog and it's free.
- "Blog" is a contraction of "Web log," - I think. In any event, it's a simple, chronological posting of your thoughts, ideas, discoveries, whatever. It's simple because the whole posting process involves no HTML, nor FTP, nor other alphabet technologies. Just fill in a Web form and click a button. The emphasis is on content.
- Now, yesterday, tomorrow - I guess it started about three years ago, My son-in-law James Burke was doing it for about a year before I reluctantly plunged in and got hooked. You can blog anytime and you can make your comments - at least in the system I use - appear in the past, present, or future.
- There are several possibilities. The service I started with is Blogger, which I upgraded to Blogger Pro for a modest fee. I found their help non-existent and things didn't always work as expected, so I quit them for the free "Movable Type." This is a more sophisticated system. Easy to use, but it takes more knowledge to get started. If you are not real computer savvy, I would suggest you investigate Blogger first. That will give you the opportnity to get going quickly with a minimum of technical hassle. If you're more comfortable with computers - and esp[ecially if you know a little about scripting or HTML- then investigate the Movable Type route. I can't sing its praises loudly anough and you can pay a modest fee to have it installed on your server if you see the installation as a hassle.
- So glad you asked. I think a lot of folks think this is just some huge, technology-assisted, ego trip. Maybe it is. But if you're realistic, you know you're not reaching many people. So I blog first for me. It gives me a sense of purpose in expressing my thoughts on various things. It's more versatile, in several ways - images, hyperlinks, searchability - than the various journals and note systems I've started over the years. But in the final analysis, writing is my way of thinking - and if there is someone else who feels like reading my thoughts from time to time, why that's a bonus - a little ego massage, perhaps, and a sense of communications and companionship in a world that is often cold and lonely.
Of course, some folks blog for all the wrong reasons and they do absolutely silly things, like putting up information about friends and family and colleagues that should never see the light of Web. Why they would choose a public medium for private revelation is beyond me. Nothing goes on my blogs that I'm not ready to share with the world, even though I know the world really doesn't give a damn. But the New York Times wrote a whole article that made it sound like all bloggers did was these kind of stupid, personal revelations that caused anguish and pain among family and friends. I sent that article to my friend Dominic Gonsalves in Australia. I loved his response. It remains, for me, the best explanation - and justification for - blogging that I have heard.
To me, Blogging is sharing. If I had an enjoyable morning in the park, I'd
tell every friend I met that day about it. If, by chance, I had a friend
who particularly liked nature, and whose path did not cross mine that day,
he'd lose out on my enthusiasm. The next day other events would have
overtaken me, and the glories of the park the previous day would be a
fading memory. But if I blogged my experience, all my friends, that very
day or in the near future, could share my experience.
And as for privacy, well, there are things I would not share with certain
people. Those items I would not blog. Simple!
And as for reproducing what someone else sent or blogged, why, a simple
agreement that whatever is specifically marked as "not to be blogged" will
not be blogged. And some people may like a blanket non-blog understanding.
Fine. Everyone's wishes are respected.
Another strong reason is that with today's pace of life, we just can't share
experiences with all the people we'd like to. Blogging is the solution. I
can tap into your blog at midnight or whenever it's convenient for me. And
if I feel it necessary, I can send you a comment.
Simple Obvious. Free!
Greg Stone, Westport, MA, June 2003
Want to know more what a blog is? Go here.
Want to know how to blog - that is create your own? Go here.