All you ever wanted to know about Blogging! What do Nandita Das, Anupam Kher, Shekhar Kapoor, Rahul Bose, Deepak Chopra, Muzzafar Ali and Vandana Shiva have in common? No it is not a movie script they are all involved in. It isn’t even a social cause that they are endorsing. All of them Blog! A Blog (short for a "Web log") is a cross between a personal diary and a list of links to articles on the Web. Internet users have created thousands of them, and anyone surfing the World Wide Web can read them. Blogs are the new age journals and dairies with an added advantage that since they are online you can share your thoughts with your friends and family. They have names like Bridal Beer, Fresh Hell, Jaundiced Eye, Nimbupani and can be serious, irreverent or trivial. Just a few years ago there were maybe a hundred Web Logs on the Internet, and most of those were geared on to the computer programmers. Today there are Blogs on parenting, movies, books, politics, health, teenage crisis, bad hair days, complex mathematical equations to advice on how to get married - you name it and you’ve got it. Since Blogger first appeared in August 1999, more than 100,000 people have registered at www.blogger.com. So what is all this about the Blog mania? Creating a Blog is easy, free and great fun. And if you are an ideas person, you'll really connect with your readers. There are different types of Blogs. Some Blogs are updated every day and some are updated only once or twice a week, and a few may be updated only once a month or so. While some Blogs are maintained by a single person, others are maintained by a group. Blogging is a social activity. Typically, people who Blog on similar topics or subjects such as music, bollywood, art etc. link to each other, comment on the entries in each other's Blogs and sometimes even organize a virtual conference on their area of interest. For example, a set of people maintain a blog dedicated to bollywood called the "Bollywood Rumors" (http://www.bollywoodrumors.com/). This way, they also ensure that lesser known members get a chance to show their knowledge and expertise. Then, there is http://indianbloggers.blogspot.com/, which offers a list of Indian bloggers worldwide. Blogging has become such a rage that it has given birth to a new term, ‘Blogaholics’– referred to people addicted to Blogging! There are several sites today such as www.blogger.com, www.xanga.com, or www.microsoft.com, which not only offer advice on how to create and maintain a Blog, but also provide easy and readily available design templates and web hosting services. All you need to do, to create your own Blog is to just create an account with this website and there you have it – your very own Blog. And it might be interesting to know that like your yahoo or hotmail email accounts, most of the sites that offer Blog features are for free. You just need to log in, choose a template and begin voicing your opinions to the world. Blogs haven’t entirely been a means of entertainment and a place to vent your anger or issues. Recently Blogs have taken on and achieved feats which several governments thought impossible. As the news of the tsunami was spreading across the globe on December 26th 2004, there was a group of people Blogging (http://tsunamihelp.blogspot.com) with information they had about the massive disaster. Their Blog became a constant source of information and updates, which were happening in real time across the world. More than a million visits were recorded within a week of the Blog coming into being. Photographs posted on the site have helped people trace their relatives and friends. It hosts news, help line numbers, information on missing people and instructions. Then there is “Baghdad Burning”, (http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/) where a young Iraqi woman talks about conditions in her country after the war. While most Blogs have been for a personal use or some social issue, Blogs are also increasingly being used to promote business and Internet marketing. You can use a Blog to create a buzz - word of mouth advertising for your company besides informing people about new trends, technologies, issues and concerns in the industry. Whatever the nature of your business, and whether you have a Website or not, you should consider starting a Blog to communicate with your customers and potential customers. So whether it is Monday Blues weighing you down, sharing your opinions and wild ideas with people or it is the looking for new prospect for your business, Blogging it away may just be the solution you were looking for!
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