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Why do we blog?

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Why do you blog?
It’s a question regular bloggers field from time to time, from folks with a preconceived notion that bloggers spend most of their days cranking away on a Comodore in their mother’s musty basement. (I’m an Altair guy myself.)

The way I look at it, everyone has a story to tell … even us nerdy mamma’s boys on our Comodores. Blogging, at least for individuals, gives you the ability to tell that story without any gatekeepers – such as a boss or editor who may want to water down your message or twist your words.

Blogging gives you a voice … and the web allows that voice to be heard by hundreds, thousands, even millions of people from all over the world.

Blogging for business

For companies, blogging can be a different beast completely.

While individuals may use a blog in a journal-like fashion, or treat it as a hub where they can showcase themselves (portfolio sites, for example), or write about a hobby, businesses often turn to communications, marketing, public relations or advertising departments to run their blogs.
Media companies use blogs as a way to cover news stories, issue press releases, and get the news out to the public in a timely, efficient manner.

Evolution of blogs

Today, blogs can take on many forms, and don’t necessarily have to be your traditional, journal-style setup. Take a spin through the repository of WordPress themes and plugins, and you find blogs that revolve around photos, videos, podcasts, music, live blogging, microblogging, you name it.

Newspapers have gone from opposing blogs to using blog publishing platforms like WordPress as the content management system for their site -- so every reporter at that paper is literally a blogger. They just go about blogging in a different way. Some write opinionated posts, other use their blogs to break objective news or notes.

With evolving technology comes an evolving blogosphere.

But what shouldn’t ever change is the passion that drives bloggers to contribute content to the blogosphere, and the interaction and conversation that results from that content generation.

That versatility is what makes blogs unique, and that’s why blogs have gone from a fad to a mainstream medium that’s changed the way we get our news and communicate with one another.

Here to stay

Without blogs you could argue there would be no Twitter, Facebook or MySpace.

Without blogs, newspapers would probably be a lot more relevant, and mainstream media outlets would still be your first source of news.

Depending on where you stand, blogs have been a good thing … and a bad thing, particularly for traditional media.

But there’s no debating traditional media, and the rest of the web, for that matter, need to embrace blogging and micro-blogging technology moving forward if they want to continue telling their story.

On that note, gulp, it’s time to stop reading this and put those writing skills to good use.

In fact, if you haven’t blogged before, Experts Exchange is a great place to start.

Experts Exchange Blogs are currently in beta, and the site is inviting members to start a blog and offer their feedback on the new feature. If you’re not a member of EE, become a member: http://www.experts-exchange.com/becomeAnExpert.jsp.  

Good luck, and we’ll see you ’round the blogosphere.
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Author:BMilneSLO
2 Comments
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Expert Comment

by:b0lsc0tt
Good article!  Thanks for the time to write it and sharing with us.

Overall I am a fan of blogs and think they can be VERY useful.  Besides the benefits and uses you mentioned I have always hoped blogs could serve two general purposes.

First, give a person a way to write so hopefully they become better.  One thing school, real school with good teachers, taught me is writing helps improve thinking and so much related to it.  Not only do I want my vocabulary to grow, so I can express myself better, but what I say is more thought out and organized.  No matter what the age, skills, education, etc that type of exercise is good for a person -- a mind is a horrible thing to waste. ;)

Second, which relates to some of what was mentioned above, is the sharing of good ideas and views.  Everyone has something they can contribute to society (even if there are, unfortunately, many who don't currently).  If blogs can be a medium to help someone do that, get interested in doing it, or provide an audience for them then I think that is a big benefit.  Like anything else blogs could misused (i.e. spread disinformation, ignorance, or even hate, etc).  I am not suggesting control but I do always hope the "good" uses outweigh the "bad" ones.

Interesting article.  Thanks again for sharing!

bol
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Expert Comment

by:DanRollins
Blogs provide a creative outlet.  Sometimes we write for the sheer joy of putting pen to paper and then reading our own words.  Big bonus if somebody else reads them too :o)

Blogging software provides the tools to dress the story up a bit, add images, etc.  Without somebody providing the medium, you have to know HTML, FTP, and lots of other acronyms if you want to do more than type text.
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