By Ryan E. Gantalao
When the pen and the paper came into existence, the diary was born ─ our old man’s compilation of daily experiences compiled into a leather-bound notebook. When the computer and the internet were invented, diarists and even normal people who love to write rejoiced, because they have found a more secure and an on-the-go modern-day diary that doesn't require much of an effort in keeping their thoughts in secret. Not to mention that they can enable it for public viewing and make the world as their audience.
So, what’s a blog and what’s blogging anyways? For those who are still not aware about this new innovation, a blog is a live journal or a personal online diary which allows the user to share their thoughts, ideals, daily experiences, photos, music, and even videos. While blogging is the act of adding contents on a blog, the same way as when a blogger, a person who owns a blog site and is active, comments on other else’s blogs.
Is there anything to write about? Of course there is. As a matter of fact, there’s a whole lot more to write than by just sharing your daily experiences, in which most of you find boring. You can write a review of your favorite book, song or the latest movie that you have watched. You can even write about your love story ─ you know what I mean, the time when you and your boyfriend/girlfriend met for the first time and how you two found your way into love ─ and let the world read your tale of romance.
Not just that. In blogging, you are able to express your stress factors and emotions, one way of improving a person’s physical and emotional state. According to a research conducted by James Baker & Susan Moore, which was published in the journal Cyber psychology& Behavior in 2008, “Higher levels of social integration suggest that bloggers feel greater belonging to a group of like-minded people with interests and ways of thinking similar to their own.”
Blogging is a nice way of releasing the inner emotions that you have, especially if you don’t have someone as an outlet for those emotions. It is a medium of expression of which most people of today use so that they can share their day to day life experiences. In other words, blogging is a modern diary in live journal protocol that enables other bloggers or internet goers to come across your blog and read your blog entries.
It provides an individual with positive interactions, and social support and friendship, thus, bringing like-minded people together. Blog authors can express subject matters that make life difficult. In this way, habitual social interaction thru blogging can reduce social isolation and emotional stress.
Getting yourself started
Within the past 10 years, there are a couple of blog hosting sites that have branded their own name in the blogging industry. These companies include blogger.com, wordpress.com, tumblr.com, livejournal.com and xanga.com. The good thing about these blog hosting sites is that they host your blog sites for free, and they also provide you with a free blogging platform which has its own blogger settings and tools that enables the user to maximize his/her blogging experience.
Here in the Philippines, the most common blogging platforms that are being used are wordpress.com and blogger.com. However, I suggest blogger.com because all of their tools are absolutely for free, that includes editing the design of your blog site and adding of cool widgets, unlike wordpress.com inwhich you are only limited to a few customization options unless you purchase a domain, which costs 4-5 dollars a month, adding up the hassle in installing WP platform that needs a bit of website administrator skills in managing the site.
All you need before signing up in blogger.com is a gmail account. Well, if you don’t have one then you need to register at gmail for free. After that, you go to www.blogger.com and fill in the information that they require in getting your blog started.
From there you can start exploring the world of blogging, and can try new trends and design for your blog. You can go to btempales.com or blogcrowd.com for free blog templates designs. Then after that, you are on the way in making your very first blog entry! You need to take not that you are the author of your blog and your entries should either be boring or interesting. Well, you decide since it’s your blog anyways.
In a way, you can also choose a theme for your blog. It can be humorous, scientific, sports, fashion, love, entertainment, personal or just a general blog, like mine where I usually post entries that are ‘nonsense’, so to speak. But you know, people will love your blog if you have the same interest with them. With this, the chance for you to develop your social activity online is big, and meeting different kinds of people from different parts of the globe is possible.
Why Should I blog?
There are many reasons why a person should blog. Apart from expressing your thoughts and opinions, blogging, throughout the last decade, has transformed into a medium of social media. In other words, blogging is a form of citizen journalism. That means you are not only limited in expressing your thoughts and opinions with regards to your day to day experiences but can also participate on province-wide or nationwide issues that affects a larger number of people.
The thing is, your blog is your own voice. When you feel that you are being oppressed or unheard or just plain sad, you can write about it directly in your blog and just feel happy about it upon doing the act. It is your own personal views on how you see the world around you. There is much in blogging than what your Facebook, Twitter, and Plurk accounts can do, that includes the unlimited number of characters you can use in every post.
There are no rules in blogging, thus, you can write whatever you want. You just need to make sure that you are writing under the proper ethics of being a blogger, especially when you are writing about delicate issues. Through blogging, you can make a difference to a larger number of people who are unaware of what’s really happening around them. You can become there source of new information and knowledge.
Another reason why people should blog is because there is money in blogging. You heard it right, there is money in blogging and this comes from writing reviews about a certain product that are being introduced online. You can check on it on Google. There are many companies out there which pays bloggers in writing product reviews, or what they call as pay-per-post.
There you go. I hope this article will encourage you to start your own blogging hobby. You need to bear in mind that there is always something to write about, and you don’t need to be a famous writer to be able to write. You can be a writer in your own rights. All you need to do is to find time in writing, and add your thoughts in your blog after a tiresome day.