I have been asked to gently introduce the FWA New Tampa / Wesley Chapel (NTWC) writers group to using and creating blogs at the June 4th meeting. Of course that meant blogging the content I was going to present. This is an article series on Blogging for Writers.
This is an opinionated introduction in that I will not cover all possible options, but those that I consider to be the most common, or de-facto standard. The options available for any part of the blogosphere is just too great cover in an introduction.
What is a Blog?
A blog is very similar to a serial publication, except the blog author holds all the roles needed to bring an article (typically called a post) from concept to publication. The most successful blogs will maintain a regular publication cycle, high quality of content, interesting content, and be easy to discover.
Magazines and newspapers have guidelines and schedules they want authors to follow and editors to enforce. A blog publisher is responsible for these roles, and must ensure that the posts they write meet those requirements. Some blogs define formal publishing guidelines that they hold to, others just have a loose set of requirements, and most will follow these basic guidelines:
- Publish on a regular schedule
- Content should be consistent / related
- Content is edited before publishing
MicroBlogging is the posting of small posts. These posts tend to be less structured, bordering on sentence fragments, and with heavy use of contractions. Twitter is the most popular MicroBlogging site, but any blogging framework can be used.
Photo Blogs are blogs that focuses on the sharing of photos (surprise!). Flickr is the classic example, but many people use Facebook to do the same. Flickr also has the Flickr photo blog that displays a series of related photos that users have uploaded to Flickr.
Podcasts are episodic audio publications that can be subscribed to using the same mechanisms as blogs. Many podcasts are distributed through blogs, with a blog post containing the audio file, and related information. Some well-organized podcasters publish the transcripts of the podcast in the blog post.
Video blogs are episodic video publications that can be subscribed to using the same mechanisms as blogs. YouTube has a category dedicated to video blogs if you want to view a few.