This article was part of a feature on blogging.
Forget hand-written letters, long-distance calls and e-mail. When it comes to keeping in touch with family and friends, you cant beat the convenience of blogging. A blog from the term Web log is basically an online journal. You write something new, which shows up at the top of a webpage so readers can easily find it. Depending on how youve set up your blog, people can respond to and comment on what youve written.
But what if youre someone who still struggles to program the video recorder? Dont worry setting up a blog is a piece of cake.
1. The first thing to consider is why youre starting a blog. You can keep a blog to record whats happening in your life and write about whatever comes to mind. Friends and family can then check your blog to see what youve been up to. Alternatively, you might prefer to focus on a topic or theme. Do you have strong opinions on politics or the environment? Do you have a hobby youd like to share with others?
2. Next, you need to decide where to set up your blog. Blogger, WordPress and LiveJournal are very popular. Friendster and MySpace also offer free blog hosting. If youre an absolute beginner, Blogger requires very little effort to set up a new blog. If you plan to blog about more personal thoughts, LiveJournal allows you to restrict who can see what youve written.
3. Blogger, WordPress and LiveJournal have easy-to-follow instructions on how to get started. Youll be asked to create a username and password, choose a URL for your blog and select a template. The hardest decision youll have to make is what to call your blog.
4. Once youve set up your blog, all you need to do is write your first entry and then keep writing new stuff regularly. Its that easy. Oh, and dont forget send your family and friends a link to your blog if you want them to read it!
5. Once youre comfortable with basic blogging, you may want to publicise your blog. Leave comments on similar blogs with a link back to yours. Add your blog to blog portals, such as PinoyBlog and Rice Bowl Journals.
6. Now that youre a blogger, its important to keep a few things in mind. If your blog is public, be careful of divulging personal information. Determine how much privacy you want to maintain. Consider using pseudonyms when writing about work or other people, and dont publish their photos if you think they might object. You should also respect copyright dont use images and text that dont belong to you.
Blogging can be a fun and easy way to keep in touch with family and friends, and to find people around the world who share your interests. All you need is an Internet connection and something to say definitely easier than programming the VCR.
This article was first published in the May/June 2007 issue of the Australian Filipina.