Blogs and Blogging

The word blog is short for web log. Blogs started out as online journals or diaries of events but today their use has expanded.

Take a look at this video to get a better idea about Blogs:

So what is blogging all about? Blogging is all about writing and sharing your thoughts online via the Internet. The best way to understand what blogging is all about is to check out some bloggers. A blogger is a person who blogs. Blogs can be for individuals, for business purposes or for any type of organization. We will look at several types of blogs.

Organizational Blogging
Icon Women and Young People’s Academy (IWYPLA) in Uganda has a blog. The address or URL is The blog is a platform for sharing information with IWYPLA's audience. Take a look.

Business Blogging
Ida Horner of Ethnic Supplies uses a blog for her business. Take a look at what she says about the value of blogging.
"I use blogs and I write two blogs, is about my networking activities, and really nothing to do with EthnicSupplies, and I also use as main business blog. I use it to comment on the policies and politics of poverty which is the main area of my work. The blog is a great place for putting me out there as an individual that understands what I'm doing and it provides a platform to debate the issues that affect the women I work with."

Personal Blogging
Ms. Ory Okolloh, co-founder and Executive Director of Ushahidi has a personal blog called Kenyan Pundit at Personal blogs are great for reflection and sharing one's opinions.

Blogging Basics

Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself before you begin writing a blog:

How will you use your blog?
Personal - for a hobby or other interests?
For a business or other professional purposes?
For a course, training or workshop?

How often will you going to blog?
  • How much time do you have to blog? How motivated are you to blog?
  • For more ideas about how often to blog read this article from Web Worker Daily, which asks Just how often should you blog?
  • Posts - A blog is made up of "posts" - a post is basically a page on the Internet.
  • Timing - Some people blog everyday, others once a week. Most blogs will have the date listed when the post was made. On the "About" page of IWPLA we read - "Icon believes that “knowledge is power” if knowledge is shared in a timely, strategic and empowering way." That's important to know, if you want to keep readers coming back, it is good to have regular posts about current happenings.
  • Comments - A blog is a great conversation tool in that as a blogger, you can allow visitors to your blog comment on your posts. There are issues with spamming and flaming that you will need to be aware of - stay tuned for more information about how to handle.)

Blogging Tools
There are a host of blogging tools to choose from. Take a look at some common ones below:

Wordpress Read more about how to use Wordpress here.
Blogger Read more about how to use Blogger here.
Posterous Read more about how to use Posterous here.

Once you've set up an account you can start blogging. With most blogging platforms you can change out the theme of your blog. Some blogging platforms allow you to post your blog posts via email.

Blogs can be great for personal reflection, but think carefully about what you share online. Once you make your blog post public, anyone in the world will be able to read it. If you blog regularly about interesting topics, you can develop a following. Readers who are interested in your blog may "subscribe" to your blog via RSS feeds.