Friday, October 28, 2005

The Phenomenon of Blogging REVIEWED

Welcome to the Blogosphere!
An editorial by Ana Elsner

You have signed on with a blog host. You have designed the layout of your pages.
Welcome to the Blogosphere! ... So, what next?

Obviously you feel the urge to communicate. The question is: What do you wish to say, and to whom are you addressing yourself ? - Answering this question will define your blog's platform, i.e., its basic theme and content. It will also determine your blog's readership and popularity.

Weblogs seem to fall into at least five general categories:

- The primary motivation for the blogger novice is to keep an online DIARY of his or her personal life, and share with the world-at-large their innermost hopes, fears and other private matters, concerns, events and affairs. This type of blogging seems to be born out of a sense of isolation and can be understood as an attempt to 'reach out'. These blogs, while often fascinating, can also be too recondite and boring to those of us, not enrolled in PSYCH 101.

- Another type of blog is the 'insider' SPECIAL INTEREST BLOG where all content and links center on a specific hobby, profession, pursuit or mission (such as photography, singers or bands, cooking, pets, to name just a few). These blogs have a devoted and highly interactive online 'tribe' of followers who, depending on geographic proximity to each other, will also meet in person or come together in support of a cause related to their common interest. Such blogs are self-limiting in that they appeal only to an exclusive group.

- Gaining in popularity are TUMBLELOGS. They are a type of modified 'remaindered links' style Linklog with minimal commentary, a maximum of eye-catching visuals, sparse text, little cross-blog chatter and the barest whiff of a finished article. They serve as a sort of 'switchboard' for the trigger-happy blog browser flitting about at break-neck speed, never stopping long enough to investigate any topic in depth.

- A fourth type of blog is pure and flagrant SOLICITATION in the weblog format. It serves no other purpose than to push products or services, which are often of dubious legality. Such blogs are stuffed with popular keywords in order to lure the searchbots to index their pages and thereby drive traffic to their site(s). Should you accidentally land on one of these, your screen will instantly light up with flashing banners, pop-ups and other annoying, if not harmful little programs. In addition to sending out cookies, many of these 'pseudo' blogs run sophisticated listbots on your harddrive that harvest additional data and send it back to their server. Blogsurfer beware!

- By contrast, there are the INTELLIGENT and INFORMATIVE BLOGS that aspire to meet the highest of journalistic standards. They are dedicated to bringing their readership a wide array of well written, well researched and thought provoking articles and news items. They are de facto Online Magazines rivaling those you pick up at the local newsstand. Their content delivery is made with conviction as well as with humor and promotes further reading. Rather than merely compiling a long list of links and condensing each post to the proverbial soundbite, these WEBZINES feature comprehensive articles that develop a topic from start to conclusion. Such blogs are made by writers for writers. They will not, however, appeal to the 'on-the-fly' websurfer with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).

Being a blogger means that you are the captain of your own ship in cyberspace. You map your course by the content you choose to present. Blog on!


[See also: "On Cruising the Blog-Scene" ]


[Related Post: "What type of blog is this?"]


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