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Blogging For Business

What Are Blogs?

Technically, a blog is just a website that allows a person to journal while allowing readers to interact with comments on those journal entries.

The term “blog” is short for web log with the intent of publishing personal content or views to be made public. Like a regular website, a blog can contain video, audio, images and content and made searchable for search engines. However, unlike traditional websites, a blog platform consists of one main page and designed for continuous updating by one or more authors. Blogs assign the newest entries on top of the older ones. A blog is designed for ease of use, easy content creation, content archiving, and content syndication. Blogs are almost as simple to use as a word processor. In fact, just about anyone can author and publish a blog without any prior experience creating web pages. Blogging platforms handle all the code and details for you behind the scenes allowing you to focus on creating content instead. Perhaps the best feature about blogging is the ability to syndicate, or stream, your content to anyone who subscribes to it immediately. More about this below.

A blog is used much like a journal or diary for many publishers, a way to socially interact for other bloggers, and a smart business marketing tool for large and small businesses. No matter what the blog is used for, when participating properly, it is a sure fire way to steer attention toward your business. With a blog, a business has the opportunity to be personal, or share news or updates about its products or services. Their clients have the opportunity to comment and share opinions. Many large corporations use inter-company blogs for employee interaction and communication.

Blogs and RSS

Most blogs have Web 2.0 technology built right in by automatically generating RSS links for every post created (short for Really Simple Syndication). RSS is also defined in a much lighter, delightful way as “Ready for Some Stories” in a great article by Stephanie Quilao “How to explain RSS the Oprah way.” A blogging platform can syndicate (known as pinging) new posts to blog directories and to those who subscribe to your blog’s feed. Your posts are then publicly available instantly on the web.

Okay, What is a Feed?

You have probably visited a web page or blog and noticed images such as image of RSS icon or image of Google feed icon or other similar images. This is the subscriber link. In order for you so subscribe to the link and get updates sent to you directly, you need a feed reader. Popular web browsers like Internet Explorer, FireFox and Safari have a feature called “live feeds”. These browsers will alert you when a web page has a feed by displaying the feed icon next to the web address box. If you click this icon, the browser will “book mark” the feed for you. When you go back later and check on this book-marked live feed, it will show you any and all updates in a list format. This way, you can quickly scan the list and see what’s new without actually going back to the blog.

Another way to manage feeds is using a feed reader. If you would like your RSS list to be accessible from any computer or mobile device like a cell phone or laptop, use a RSS reader. Below is a short list of popular ones. Some are free, other are not:

  • MyGoogle
  • MyYahoo
  • MyAOL
  • FeedDemon
  • Bloglines
  • NewsGator

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