Anyone can set up a weblog, and hundreds of mothers already have. Blogs have become a way for mothers to reach out from the isolation of their homes and offices (and, in some cases, the cultural climate of their neighborhoods) to find each other.
Are you ready to start your own blog? It’s easy, no matter what your level of geek savvy. You don’t need to understand the technical details behind Web publishing to start blogging. All you need is a computer, an Internet connection and something to say.
Things to consider before you begin:
Your blog’s purpose
Before you start, think about why you want to blog. Do you want to share details and pictures with friends and family? Start a revolution? Stand on your own personal soapbox? Vent? Clarifying your blog’s purpose before you begin will help you streamline the work of setting up your blog.
Your family’s privacy
Consider, too, your family’s privacy. Many blogs read like tabloid TV, with all the gory details of private family life exposed to the world. Fine for some, but not necessarily for you. Intimacy and immediacy makes blogging the revolutionary medium it is, but your blog will be no less powerful if you give your kids (and possibly your partner, if you have one) nicknames or pseudonyms. Anything publicly available on the Web and not password-protected gets indexed by search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and their ilk. What you write will live on long after the kids are grown.
Sign up with a weblog service
When you’re ready to get started, sign up for an account with a weblog service. The two most popular services are Blogger and TypePad, but you can also blog at LiveJournal, Wordpress.com, and many other hosting services. Blogger, LiveJournal, and Wordpress.com allow you to blog for free; a TypePad account starts with a free trial, but then charges you $4.95 per month. If you’re not sure which to use, sign up for accounts with a few services, play with them a bit, and then stick with the one you like best.
Set up your blog
Once you have a weblog account, setting up your blog amounts to filling in fields, choosing color schemes, and naming your blog. You don’t need to know HTML to set up a weblog, but you may find you pick up a little here and there as you get more comfortable blogging.
Typepad, LiveJournal and Wordpress allow you to password-protect your blog if you decide you want to restrict who can view it.
Once you set up your blog, begin posting! Each weblog service has its own simple interface for creating and adding an entry to your blog. After you add an entry, you can always edit or remove it later on. (Keep in mind that once a search engine indexes an entry, a copy of the post gets saved in the search engine’s database. If you later remove the post from your blog, the saved (or cached) search engine copy remains archived.)
Invite people to visit your blog
As you get comfortable in your new role as “blogger,” you may want to invite the world to visit. Here are a few easy ways to spread the word:
- Add your weblog’s address to your email signature line.
- List your blog in the Mom Salon.
- Start commenting on other mothers’ blogs.
You’ll soon get comments of your own!
It’s your blog, and you can update it as much or as little as you like. The more you blog, however, the more you’ll find yourself enjoying your newfound voice. You’ve got something to say – go ahead and blog it!
Weblog hosting services (to name only a few)
mmo : february 2006