Blogging for Beginners

Website of the Day: Tuesday May 25th

>> BBC Webwise: What is Blogging
>> BBC Webwise: How do I get my own blog?

blogsOne of the biggest online phenomena of the last 18 months or so is the rise of blogs and blogging. Blog is short for web log, and at it’s simplest a web log is a frequently updated personal website in the form of an online diary or journal, which carries copious links to other sites. Blogging is almost certainly the quickest and simplest way to get your own website – No special software or technical skills are needed – Just register with a blogging site, choose from a range of designs, and you’re ready to go in less than five minutes.

But which blogging site should you choose? Read on for a quick guide to some of the options

Blogger.com
bloggerThis is the best known and one of the longest established of all the blogging sites – It was bought last year by Google, and has just been given a complete overhaul to make it even easier to use. To get started, you just register with Blogger, choose a name for your blog, then pick from a range of design templates and away you go. New features include the facility to update your blog via email and for site visitors to add comments on your posts

Diaryland.com
diarylandAs the name suggests, this service is more geared towards online diaries than journalistic blogs, with features and designs customised to that end. Diaries can be password-protected and you can add other DiaryLand users’ diaries to your own favourite list.

Xanga.com
xangaRecent recipient of Web User magazine’s gold award for best free weblog tool. A setup wizard guides you through the creation of your blog, helping you fine tune the design and add personal information and a photo. There are more features for personalisation than Blogger, with the option to add news feeds, background music, a guestbook and images of your favourite CDs, books and video games.

Livejournal.com
livejornalThis is the biggest of all the diary-based sites, with a real sense of community and the opportunity to link the diaries of other livejournal users together to read their comments on a single page. IT has also spawned a spate of fictitious journals written by TV characters like the cast of Friends, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and 24!

20six
20sixProbably the best-established UK-based blogging service – A bit less beginner-friendly than Blogger, but some extra features including the facility to post by SMS and sending photographs from your mobile

Typepad
typepadOne of the most fully-featured of all Blogging sites – Unlike the others mentioned so far, Typead offers no free service – prices range from $5-$15 a month, but for this you get many more features, including complete design flexibility, online photo albums, and most usefully, the facility to sort posts by category (like on this site).

For more blog reviews see
>> Web User Magazine Blogging Site roundup
>> Guardian Online’s Weblog Software Reviews

Further Reading:
>> BBC News on the relaunch of blogger.com
>> Guardian Online’s Best of British Blogging
>> BBC News on Mobile Blogging
>> Buzznet Photoblogs
>> Eatonweb Blog portal
>> Germars.com: Blogging For Beginners

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2 Responses to “Blogging for Beginners”

  1. Anthony Marquis Says:

    Hi Miles,

    I’ve been making my own websites for a few years now and I’ve still got bundles more to learn – in fact, that is well understated.

    The thing is, I’d like to really start getting into making a personal blog and I notice that you recommend Blogger, Zanga and 20Six.

    I’ve been having a look around and there seems to be a lot of hype about WordPress.

    Could you recommend one for a beginner please.

    Warm regards.

    Anthony

  2. Anthony Marquis Says:

    Hi Miles,

    I’ve been making my own websites for a few years now and I’ve still got bundles more to learn – in fact, that is well understated.

    The thing is, I’d like to really start getting into making a personal blog and I notice that you recommend Blogger, Zanga and 20Six.

    I’ve been having a look around and there seems to be a lot of hype about WordPress.

    Could you recommend one for a beginner please.

    Warm regards.

    Anthony


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