Bill Hays wrote me this email:
Just popping in to say hi and ask for some advice on beginning blogging. I
know nothing about it and had to look it up in a dictionary. I have really
enjoyed yours and the idea of sharing thoughts with others is enticing. Not
sure how much criticism I can take, though. I'm sure you get your share.
How does it all work? Like I have the time to work on it...I'm hoping it
might encourage me to keep away from the TV when I travel (usually 3 or 4
days/wk.) Can you give me some links to "How to...". Do you have a favorite
For those interested, I thought I would go ahead and post my reply to Bill:
I can tell you what little I know... I'm still a novice myself.
A couple of interesting articles on blogging:
That last article discusses RSS feeds which, to me, is really at the heart of blogging. These allow you to keep track of blogs and read them easily... Making blogdom very efficient.
If you are not familiar with RSS feeds, I suggest that you get a RSS news aggregator and begin seeing how they interface with blogs. You can use a free online-based one at www.bloglines.com or download a trial software-based one from www.feeddemon.com (I know... Not-so-great name). I have personally settled in at bloglines and have been happy with it.
The point of understanding how news aggregators collect blog info and let you read it is because you definitely want to set up a blog that allows others to "feed" off of your posts by providing an RSS feed from your website.
Now, if that sounds difficult, it's not if you want to use the most user-friendly blog software out there... Which is what I use: www.typepad.com.
This is the easiest, user-friendly way to set up a blog that I know of. The only downside is that there is a small monthly fee for their services. But they make setting up a blog, as well as the RSS feed, simple.
The other, most commonly used blog set-up sight is www.blogger.com. Since I don't use this one I can't tell you much about it other than I believe it is free-- a definite benefit. Many people seem to be happy with what they provide.
If you are very, very techy, you can become much more sophisticated and learn how to create blogs using many, many different web-building tools. But I'm not the one to help anyone with the fancy tech stuff. Frankly, the reason that blogs are becoming "mainstream" is because sites like the ones mentioned above have given us "ordinary" computer people access to the technology.
There are many, many other places to get info on blogs: www.jordoncooper.com has a large variety of great blogging material and he also keeps current on blogging info.
I hope this is a help.
I should mention, by the way, that typepad.com-- the provider that I use-- does make it easy to post blogs via email (you mentioned that you might be writing from the road). I assume others have the same capability but you may want to check that out before setting your blog up.
I think I'll post this info on my websites... Blessed Blogging To You, Roger