What exactly is a blog?

As more people turn to the World Wide Web for their news, business, and personal correspondence, writers are using online journals called weblogs or blogs to reach readers.

The frugalista files : how one woman got out of debt without giving up the fabulous life
Natalie P. McNeal.
Ontario, Canada ; New York : Harlequin Enterprises, c2011.
Natalie McNeal opened her bills in January 2008 to find that she was a staggering five figures-$20,000!-in debt. Young, hip and gainfully (if Dilbert-ly) employed, Natalie loved her lifestyle of regular mani/pedis, daily takeout and nights on the town, but clearly something had to give. And so The Frugalista Files was born. Through her blog, Natalie confessed her spending habits to the world-and it turns out she wasn't the only one having trouble balancing the budget! From the drastic "no-buy" month that kicked it all off to the career gamble that threatened to put her deeper in the hole, The Frugalista Files shares Natalie's personal and professional transformation from cubicle rat to take-charge career girl. It is possible to get ahead without giving up on the fabulous life. This is personal finance in peep-toe pumps-the empowering true story of one woman's personal and professional transformation and your ultimate guide to living the Frugalista lifestyle, too.
Made for you and me : going West, going broke, finding home
Caitlin Shetterly.
New York : Hyperion/VOICE, c2011.
An exuberant, poignant, and luminous memoir about a young couple who pursue their big dream of going West and fail utterly--but who ultimately discover a surprising goodness in strangers and a profound gratification in family.
301 ways to use social media to boost your marketing
Catherine Parker.
New York : McGraw-Hill, c2011.

Join the TubeMoguls, get Delicious, StumbleUponcustomers--and 298 more great tips!

The time to start social media marketing was yesterday. Don't worry, though--this book will get you going today!301 Ways to Use Social Media to Boost Your Marketingis packed with quick "snapshot" lessons for spreading your message and building customers—with little effort and virtually no cost. Designed to help you take action right away, each tip is presented in a stand-alone format to help you focus on what you need to do--and only what you need to do.

301 Ways to Use Social Media to Boost Your Marketingprovides simple strategies for capitalizing on the top social media platforms like:

You'll own the crowds on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube--as well as on niche sites like Yelp, Ning, SmugMug, and Reddit. Potential customers are already having a conversation about your brand. Use301 Ways to Use Social Media to Boost Your Marketingto grab them before your competitors can say "tweet"!

Corporate blogging for dummies
by Douglas Karr and Chantelle Flannery.
Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley, c2010.
Establish a successful corporate blog to reach your customers Corporate blogs require careful planning and attention to legal and corporate policies in order for them to be productive and effective. This fun, friendly, and practical guide walks you through using blogging as a first line of communication to customers and explains how to protect your company and employees through privacy, disclosure, and moderation policies. Blogging guru Douglas Karr demonstrates how blogs are an ideal way to offer a conversational and approachable relationship with customers. You'll discover how to prepare, execute, establish, and promote a corporate blogging strategy so that you can reap the rewards that corporate blogging offers. Shares best practices of corporate blogging, including tricks of the trade, what works, and traps to avoid Walks you through preparing a corporate blog, establishing a strategy, promoting that blog, and measuring its success Reviews the legalities involved with a corporate blog, such as disclaimers, terms of service, comment policies, libel and defamation, and more Features examples of successful blogging programs throughout the book Corporate Blogging For Dummies shows you how to establish a corporate blog in a safe, friendly, and successful manner.

Weblogs originated as a way for Internet users to keep a log of the websites they visited. John Barger coined the word ‘weblog’ in 1997.   The shorter version, 'blog,' was coined by Peter Merholz who broke the word weblog into the phrase 'we blog'.

One every 7.4 seconds

The Pew Internet study estimates that about 11%, or about 50 million, of Internet users are regular blog readers.

A new weblog is created every 7.4 seconds, which means there are about 12,000 new blogs a day.

Today’s blogs are more than listings of websites. The typical blog entry begins with a heading followed by a short reflection on a particular website and a link to that website.  Below the reflection is a link to a comment board.  This ability to comment on the author's work, and view others’ comments, gives blogs their community aspect.

Blogs are easy to create. It takes only a few keystrokes to build a home on the World Wide Web for your creative output. Within minutes, and at no cost, you can begin to publish your own blog.

  1. First, pick a topic that will be the focus of your blog.  You may choose to write about your daily activities.  Some of the Web's most entertaining blogs are simply accounts of what the author did that day.  Other blogs are more specific and cover an area of interest such as politics, movies, or music.
  2. Next choose a home for your blog.  Carefully evaluate blog providers to select one that is reliable and right for you.   Blogger and Live Journal are two companies offering this service free of charge.  Each provide simple onscreen instructions that allow you to select a name for your blog and make layout decisions. 
  3. Once your blog is created, it's time to write your first entry.  To cultivate an audience, you will want to develop your own voice, say something unique, and update your blog regularly.  Readers will not return to your blog repeatedly if you don't provide new material.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff