Creating Your Own Blog

By Ralph Phillips, Computer & Information Systems

Blogs are one of the most popular forms of web site available to us. Hey, you’re reading one now. A blog is a specialized web site that displays content in reverse chronological order (most recent at the top). Blogs are created by a series of posts. A post is an entry or article within the blog. Some blogs display new posts once per month while others post five or more per day. Although most blogs generally have an overall theme, there is no rule. Someone’s personal blog could be about politics one day and worm composting the next.

Ideally, the blog posts will have content that is interesting enough for others to want to read. If successful, the blog will build a cohort of followers that will subscribe to the blog’s feed and get notified whenever that blog is updated with a new post. Most blogs enhance the community feel by allowing the readers to submit comments on particular posts.

A blog owner/writer doesn’t need anything fancy to start their own blog. It doesn’t cost anything. If you wanted to create your own blog then you’d probably start with one of the two most common tools for creating and maintaining a blog: Blogger and WordPress.

blogger
Blogger (owned by Google), would be my first recommendation for a new blogger (someone who blogs). It’s management interface is just a bit more user-friendly than WordPress. After creating a Blogger account or using your Google/Gmail account, you can create one or more blogs on any topic you like. Blogger, like others services allows you to add new blog posts using a web-based interface. You can also add new posts via e-mail. When you get your blog, it will be available online for all to see at a special web address called a URL. If you’re using Blogger’s free service, your address will be something like http://iron-mitten.blogspot.com/ with the “blogspot” domain. You can use one of the many template designs or you can customize your own if you’re handy with HTML and CSS.

wordpress
WordPress tends to be the more common blog tool for bigger, more professional blogs. This doesn’t mean you can’t do some impressive stuff with Blogger, but WordPress has a wider variety of customizing options and allows users with their own web servers and design abilities to really make the blog look unique. Like Blogger, WordPress has a web-based interface for management. You can add posts via e-mail, text message, and using a WordPress app for a smart phone. If you use WordPress’s free service, your domain will have “wordpress” in the URL: https://cocclib.wordpress.com/.

With either of these popular tools, you can use own domain if you have one to refer to your blog and your own space if you’ve got access to a web server. When you use your own space, both Blogger and WordPress let you do even more stuff with your blog without added cost.

There a lot of great and interesting blogs out there. I subscribe to dozens of blogs and read them regularly. A few of my favorites are…

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2 Responses to Creating Your Own Blog

  1. Fred says:

    I have been here two or three occasions plus eventually decided to ‘contribute’ a little by way of commenting. This is certainly a fantastic illuminating page

  2. Stacey says:

    Thanks for the info on starting a blog, Ralph! Here is a related blog posting on why those who teach online might just be natural bloggers: http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology_and_learning/online_education_and_blogging

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