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All about blogs

The medium of writing has undergone revolutionary changes in the past two decades. First it was the electronic mail which probably killed the art of letter writing. Then cellular technology introduced us to the unique world of SMS where our thoughts were bound by the number of characters. And today the new age mantra of communication is — blogging — a boundless platform where there are no restrictions, no interventions and lots of movement.

A blog, which is also known as a weblog is an online journal where one can write just about anything under the sun. It could either be used as a personal space where one could register his/her day to day life or as a tool for brand management.

As Jaya Jha (23), a blogger from who has done her schooling from Ranchi, puts it, “A blog gives you a platform where you are free to write about any topic you like — be it 1500 words or just a sentence — you have your blog!” (jayajha.wordpress.com)

Bloggerspeak

One could have an interest-based or community-based blog. Rishi Raj, a Class VIII student of St Xavier’s, Ranchi is a tech-blogger (www.rishiraj.info). “I write about technology — gadget and software reviews and tweaks and hacks and also invite fellow bloggers to ask me questions and I find solutions for them! That is also increasing my blog popularity.”

But if technology is not your cup of tea then maybe you could give poetry a shot. Manish Kumar (33), deputy manager at SAIL, Ranchi and Shailesh Bharatwasi (23), a B. Tech student from Garhwa publish poetry blogs in English as well as in Hindi.

“I used to maintain a diary during my college days but when the internet happened I became aware of poetry forums. I could interact with people around the world on a single platform. In early 2005 I was introduced to the concept of blogging and have immediately latched on to it,” says Manish (indianspirit.blogspot.com and ek-shaam-mere-naam.blogspot.com)

Publishing in Hindi is a still a new concept among various bloggers but through unicode — an encoding system — one can write their blogs in Hindi, says Shailesh. (merikavitayen.blogspot.com)

Blogvantage

Bloggers are considered as people with attitude. There is a writer inside all of us waiting to get out and blogging gives us a platform to do the same.

Abhishek Sahoo (insaneunknowns.blogspot.com), a student of BIT, Mesra feels, “Blogging is a great way to put your opinions and ideas out in the world.”

Through blogging, people also get their thoughts into perspective and they are more aware of their interests. As anyone and everyone who’s a blogger can comment on your blog — it helps one analyse, criticise, discuss and even argue. It makes one less reflexive and more reflective.

Jaya shares her experience with us. “Recently I was in contact with an Italian writer who was translating a Hindi novel. I helped her a little in her work and it was a very nice feeling. I also came across a blog by a young Iraqi woman called Baghdad Burning who narrates the conditions in her country after the war. It was interesting and moving to see things from somebody else’s perspective.”

Jazz it up

Once that you have started blogging it is also important accessorise it, in simpler words jazz it up! Blogging brings with it ample opportunities to incorporate new things, be it blogrolls, hit counters or blogchalks. Confused' No need to get the dictionary, simply read on.

Blogrolling is a linklist manager where your favourite bloggers are just a click away. You just need to add your favourite URLs (web addresses) to it and the roll manages it all. By signing up a free account with www.blogrolling.com you can avail this one click temptation. Other bloggers can add you as well which also helps to increase the popularity of your blog making it reachable to many more.

An interesting feature of this web tool is that you can create multiple blogrolls on one blog. That means you can distinguish between your favourite bloggers and divide them into various categories, such as — friend, workmates et al.

Check the popularity of your blog, use a webcounter. Also known as hit counters, this is an indispensable tool in the world wide web. Its keeps count of the number of hits your blog gets, for free. Visit freehitcounters.com, tinycounter.com, statcounter.com or hit-counter-download.com. You get a variety of fonts and styles to choose from so that you can match them with your template. Who said you need to a mathematics genius to play the number game!

Blogchalking, as the website aptly puts it, is a “tatoo for your blog.” It is a mapping device, which is “cool” and also organises blogs according to geographical locations. It can be personalised by adding information such as — personality type, interests, and fun details.

Now that we know what blogs are and what it can do let’s put the final feather in the blog cap. You can also earn while you blog. Though many bloggers do not like ads on appearing on their personal space, young Rishi, says: “I earn my pocket money from blogging. The amount of revenue one can earn while blogging is really amazing.”

Money matters

Google Adsense is one of the most popular and widely used options to earn while you blog. Some people earn more than they would in their calendar year but does not fall into the “get rich without work” category.

To ensure that ads work for you one needs to network — rich posts and visiting more blogs will increase the traffic flow but this does not happen overnight. One needs to be consistent and it takes a few months for results to show.

Call for concern

Sarsij Nayanam (26), a software engineer from ranchi, currently placed in Bangalore is an inspiration for all bloggers. He used his blog for a cause.

“When I started my online protest (PetitionOnline.com) against reservation in higher education, many people from India and abroad read my blogs and came forward to support me. Blogging has provided us with an opportunity to voice our concerns. I strongly believe people must raise issues affecting them. It is worth a try, says Sarsij (my.opera.com/sarsij).

Rakesh Kumar (25), also a software professional from Deogarh has been blogging for two years now and he says, “Issues of poverty and corruption in Jharkhand can be put forward for public commentary. If you see a road in a bad condition, take a snap and put it on your blog or a video of politicians taking a bribe. Its surely going to help (rakesh.in).”

A medium which helps you — communicate, make friends, raise concerns, publish thoughts and also earn a neat packet — only an ignorant person would devoid oneself of such an attractive deal like this. What are you waiting for — Go blogging!

Log on to blog on

www.blogspot.com
www.rediffblogs.com
www.wordpress.com
www.my.opera.com
www.bloglines.com

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