NigeriansTalk.org is committed to increasing the presence of Nigerians in the worldwide blogosphere. In doing so, we wish to promote veteran bloggers and support the efforts of new Nigerian bloggers. In keeping with this mission, we have provided below, a brief primer on blogging. The following is based on a PowerPoint presentation developed by Olumide and was presented to final-year students of the Communication and Language Arts Department, University of Ibadan.
“A blog (an abridgment of the term web log) is a website, usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.” (Wikipedia)
An “online journal where an individual, group, or corporation presents a record of activities, thoughts, or beliefs. Some blogs operate mainly as news filters, collecting various online sources and adding short comments and Internet links. Other blogs concentrate on presenting original material. In addition, many blogs provide a forum to allow visitors to leave comments and interact with the publisher. “To blog” is the act of composing material for a blog. Materials are largely written, but pictures, audio, and videos are important elements of many blogs. The “blogosphere” is the online universe of blogs.” (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Blogs are an example of web 2.0. Other examples are
And social networking sites (i.e. Facebook)
Blogs are essentially different from ordinary websites because they are a chronicle of information, they are diary-like, they are often opinionated, and they are full of commentaries.
Blogs are generally simple to navigate. They mostly contain the main page, an archives page and an about page.
Some blogs focus on particular issues, while others are more eclectic. Remember, the blogger is responsible for what appears on the blog, and she posts on what she chooses.
Most blogs are personal blogs.
Some are filled with personal day-to-day information, and are rather diary-like. Example: www.lindaikeji.blogspot.com, www.solomondyselle.com
Some are run by individuals but as mixture of personal stuffs and commentaries about events, issues, etc. Example: www.nigeriancuriosity.com, www.pyoowata.blogspot.com www.damilare.net, www.omodudu.com www.loomnie.com. Most personal blogs belong in this category.
These are blogs run by corporate organisations.
They could be to provide info about their products or services, eg. http://googlereader.blogspot.com/
They could also be on general issues, as part of the public relations strategy of the company, eg. http://www.cupblog.org/ http://blog.oup.com, http://blog.facebook.com/, http://1000words.kodak.com/
Ceo blogs are also corporate blogs. Eg., http://blogs.sun.com/jonathan/
Some corporate blogs have different persons blogging on the site, eg. http://1000words.kodak.com/
Some have blogs of individuals, blogged in the name of the individual, but most often, in his capacity as a worker with the corporation. eg. www.cnn.com/travel/blogs/richard.quest
If we expand the meaning of corporate a bit we can include blogs with multiple-bloggers in the corporate blogs category. We could then have www.huffingtonpost.com as a corporate blog.
Some blogs are on specific topics, eg politics:www.huffingtonpost.com, http://garlinggauge.com, or sports: , or economics: http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/
This helps readers who are interested in a particular issue follow it through the blogs.
First the dramatic cases.
An American who was arrested in Egypt was able to post a word, Arrested, on his Twitter page through his cell phone.
The recent Obama talk in Pennsylvania is an example of how important blogging is. No reporter was allowed into the forum, but a huffingtonpost blogger was there, and she was the one who broke the story
Some blog to keep people informed about what is happening to them. An example of this was the original loomnie blog, and the original Ishtar blog. People who need to have info about what is happening to the blogger can simply visit the blog.
For someone who is a writer it is an avenue for sharpening writing skills.
It is a useful way for meeting people.
It is a joy in itself to know that one belongs in a community of people who are interested in the same thing
There is a convergence between the traditional media and online media.
The internet has generally changed the way media houses, especially newspaper houses, do business.
It has changed the way people think of and get their news
In some countries, blogs are often more reliable than the traditional media houses.
The most popular platforms are
Themes and Templates
Simply how the blog looks.
All platforms have a number of free themes from which a blogger can choose.
More experienced html users can tweek with them to personalise them
Clear, non-cluttered ones are normally the best. First time visitors are going to stay and explore if the site is easy to navigate.
Just like it sounds it is a collection of posts on a blog.
Different platforms offer different kinds of possibilities and flexibilities.
Whatever you do, make sure the archives is clean and easily located
This is a special function, normally attached to the blog, that allows feedtrackers to collect posts on the blog.
It helps people who are interested in your blog to keep up with updates on the blog.
An example of a feedtracking software is at www.feedburner.com
These posts are then collected by a blog agregator. I use google reader, at www.reader.google.com
This is a list of blogs or sites that a blogger normally visits, or other blogs with similar interests. The links are often in a sidebar, but some blogs have them as dedicated pages.
It is often reciprocated, which gives your blog more visibility
Most bloggers live for comments, because that is what mainly shows that people are reading the blog.
Comments can be arranged in different ways, depending on the blogging platform
Visit and comment on other blogs. The bloggers usually check on your blog.
There are also different ways to moderate comments.
Post regularly, but don’t post if you have nothing worth posting about.
Stick with only a few specific genres to talk about.
Don’t put ‘subscribe’ and ‘vote me’ links all over the front page until you have people that like your blog enough to ignore them (they’re usually just in the way).
Use a clean and simple theme if at all possible.
Enjoy, blog for fun, comment on other peoples’ blogs (as they normally visit back).