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There are various reasons why people decide to begin a personal blog. First, a personal blog provides freedom of expression. For instance, you may discuss your cooking skills, parenting skills, or sewing skills. You may perform this activity daily, weekly, or monthly based on your personal desires/schedule. Next, a person has the options of having his/her blog private for only family and friends or it can be a public blog to reach a national audience. Likewise, a personal blog can be a starting point to learn about content writing, blog designing, or blog updating before transferring the knowledge to a professional blog for greater exposure and regular income. A motivated individual can establish a blog by learning about different blogging platforms such as Blogger.com, TypePad.com or any of the other blog hosting services popular today.
If you own a computer or have access to a computer (at your local library, for example) and have an Internet connection, then you pretty much know everything you need to know to start a personal blog. There are a ton of blog hosting services today, and each of them provides easy registration, templates, and online support to guide you through the process of setting up a personal blog. One of the most popular blog hosts is LiveJournal.com. LiveJournal offers users a simple-to-use, customizable blogging tool. Registration at the basic level is free, but you can upgrade for a fee and gain access to a wider selection of tools and features.
A personal blog is a chronologically organized electronic journal that is updated regularly--some daily, some weekly, some less frequently--and that is hosted on the Internet. Much like a diary in format, personal blogs can contain any type of information you want to post in your entries. People of every race, color, creed, religious, political, and ethnic background and with interests and hobbies too numerous to count have started personal blogs.
If you have a personal blog, joining a blog community is a great idea if you want to share your blog with an ever-expanding audience. A blog that is not connected to a community is in isolation. Blog communities tend to come together around a common point of interest such as a hobby, a profession, or some other specific experience or interest. Membership in a blog community will boost visits to your blog. If you are using your blog to generate revenue, more readers means more revenue. If you are using your blog strictly as a means of keeping family updated or as a purely personal outlet, joining a blog community may not make sense for you. You can read more about blog communities and personal blogs at Ready, Set, Blog's Web site.
Blogs are by definition public documents. They are hosted on the Internet, which is a public resource. So yes, there are privacy concerns associated with blogs. Before starting a blog, you should ask yourself what your purpose is in doing so. If you hope to build a public following (whether you're seeking adulation or ad revenue), then you need to be mindful of the fact that even if you offer moderated access (i.e., there's a "gatekeeper," usually you, who either permits or denies individual bloggers access to the blog) to your blog, these bloggers are strangers. At a minimum, you should avoid posting information about your physical address and telephone number. Also, keep in mind that your blog could, in theory, be quoted at any time in any forum by anyone reading your blog. While blogs are great outlets for the expression of personal opinion, there's a fine line between libel and slander.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|