what is a Blog anyway?

It’s a good question to ask at the beginning of a Blogging for Beginners Series as it is a question I am asked every week.
There are a number of ways I could answer this question ranging from the broad to the highly technical.
Here are a few definitions from other much wiser people on the ‘what is a blog?’ question to get us started

‘A weblog is a hierarchy of text, images, media objects and data, arranged chronologically, that can be viewed in an HTML browser.’ Source

‘A frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and Web links.’ Source

‘From “Web log.” A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is “blogging” and someone who keeps a blog is a “blogger.”‘ Source

‘A weblog is kind of a continual tour, with a human guide who you get to know. There are many guides to choose from, each develops an audience, and there’s also comraderie and politics between the people who run weblogs, they point to each other, in all kinds of structures, graphs, loops, etc.’ Source

‘A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is “blogging” and someone who keeps a blog is a “blogger.” Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog. Postings on a blog are almost always arranged in cronological order with the most recent additions featured most prominantly.’ Source

‘A blog is a website in which items are posted on a regular basis and displayed in reverse chronological order. The term blog is a shortened form of weblog or web log. Authoring a blog, maintaining a blog or adding an article to an existing blog is called “blogging”. Individual articles on a blog are called “blog posts,” “posts” or “entries”. A person who posts these entries is called a “blogger”. A blog comprises text, hypertext, images, and links (to other web pages and to video, audio and other files). Blogs use a conversational style of documentation. Often blogs focus on a particular “area of interest”, such as Washington, D.C.’s political goings-on. Some blogs discuss personal experiences.’ Source.


Blogging For Freelancer - Tips

One of the best ways to start a Freelancer business is through blogging. It is one of the easiest things to get going, this does not mean that it is the easiest to make money however. When you start a blog, don't expect to see money rolling in immediately. It will take time to build up your blog to a profit level. To let your blogging build to a more profitable level, it is a good thing to start while you are working on other Freelancer opportunities. Your blog (or blogs) will grow into a business with time and attention.
When you are blogging for profit, you'll want to pay close attention to how you present yourself in your blog. There are literally hundreds of thousands of blogs out there, and there may be several hundred blogs that are related to your topic. If your readers can't understand your blog and have trouble reading it, they'll just move on to the next one. The following tips can make your blog more user-friendly and help you gain consistent readers.
First, pay close attention to the format of your blog. Readers want to understand how your blog works right from the start. Most blogging platforms have similar formats, with links and tags on the left or right margin, and the most recent post on top. Make sure to use the links wisely. Only put links up for blogs or content that is truly related to your blog's topic. The point is to give your readers added information on your topic. Keep the list short and sweet. There is no reason to overwhelm them with links to other sites.
Background and font color is another thing you must take into careful consideration. Even though there are a lot of color choices that blogging programs offer, your best bet is to stick with dark text and a light background. A black background with white text may look more striking, but readers may not want to stay on your blog for very long. Studies have shown that the human brain processes the light background and dark text format better than with the light text and dark background. One other thing, use a solid background color instead of using a pattern or design.
Proofread your entries before you post them to your blog. There is nothing that decreases your authority in the eyes of your readers' more than bad spelling and grammar. The online world is a world of text, so take some time to learn commonly misspelled words and grammatical errors.
Keep your blog fresh and interesting by posting at least once per day. With so much information available on the Internet, your readers may go elsewhere if you aren't supplying daily content. If you aren't sure what to write about, try posting a poll, a link to another blog, comment on a news story or post of list of helpful tips. Not every post has to be long and complicated, but you do need to post something everyday.
Follow these tips to keep your blog readable to your visitors. Remember, the more visitors you get, the more your blog will grow in importance and profitability and in no time you're blog will profit you and then you can move on to create two or three more.

Is "Green" the Latest Web Hosting Gimmick?

I guess one of the benefits of a little experience is that you begin to be able to spot not only trends, but also cycles in the business (technically, that’s the purpose of this blog).
I don’t imagine, however, that it requires a tremendous amount of experience, or expertise, to notice the frequency with which “green” hosting comes up these days. In terms of press releases and marketing material, I would estimate that just now, I hear more about Web hosts’ “green” attributes than any other.
“Green” hosting, it seems, is well on its way to being the new Web 2.0, or software-as-a-service – the latest gimmick in the Web hosting business.
By that I mean that, like Web 2.0 or SaaS, green endeavors in the hosting business address a pressing need (the fact that data center facilities are consuming energy resources at a tremendous, and growing, rate), and admirably so. But hosts have been swept up in the green notion to the point where just about everybody in the business feels the pressure to present themselves as “green.”
One product of that mentality is that (as happened with Web 2.0 and SaaS), instead of asking “what can we do to provide our services in a more environmentally friendly way?” hosting providers are asking “how can we describe our services in an environmentally friendly light?”
Last week I received a press release from SWsoft, pointing out the energy-saving virtues of virtualization, and including a quote:
"Virtuozzo delivers the highest density available in a virtualization solution, enabling hundreds of virtual environments on a single physical server, and so it offers the greatest potential for energy savings," said Serguei Beloussov, CEO of SWsoft. "By using Virtuozzo to achieve their green computing goals, hosting providers can significantly reduce their energy usage while also realizing greater efficiency in their data center."
Just a few days earlier, I received a message from NaviSite, describing the energy efficient properties of outsourcing:
NaviSite has found that an outsourced IT model can be up to 50% more energy efficient than building a data center for many companies. In general, it takes far less electricity to run a large, energy efficient data center than it does to sustain multiple, smaller installations. So, by consolidating resources, NaviSite's customers are conserving the earth's resources in much the same way carpooling does.
Neither of these statements is incorrect, exactly. Nor are the assertions unethical. But they’re pretty concrete evidence that “green” has become the latest Web hosting buzzword.
What’s more, they help to confuse the understanding of what we might mean when we say “green hosting” (a term whose definition was already far too confused). Confusion doesn’t help hosting providers, it doesn’t help consumers and it certainly doesn’t help the environment. It dilutes the value of green hosting in general, and it diminishes the efforts of those hosting providers who have gone to great lengths to make their operations environmentally friendly.
That’s the real problem with buzzwords. Everybody picks up on them. And everybody applies them. And their ubiquity eliminates their ability to identify anything at all. Try to find an application that isn’t described as “Web 2.0.” Or host that doesn’t tout its SaaS credentials. It’s not easy. And in a few months, I’ll bet, it’ll be more than a little difficult to locate a host that isn’t “green.”
Of course, one of the results of this buzz is no doubt an increase in the overall effort to make IT environmentally friendly. That’s a good thing.
And the media in general is starting to cut through some of the green hype. on the growing environmental impact of the data center business, and the many ways (including some that I’ve mentioned here) that IT companies are trying to go green, puts it pretty succinctly:
“It's a lot easier to put out a news release than to build a data center with a significantly smaller environmental footprint.”

Blogging effective marketing tool for Wabash College

With innovations in technology, you can do almost anything online, including reach potential college recruits.

Online blogs have become a major tool for recruiting students at Wabash College. Last year, the college tinkered with the idea of blogs written by three freshmen. The blogs would be unedited — posted just as they were written. Wabash employees could have cleaned up some of the work, but opted against it.

The idea worked better than expected. So much so that Wabash has again picked three incoming freshmen to blog about their first year of college. Daniel King, one of last year’s student bloggers, will continue blogging on his entire four-year college experience.
Associate Director of Admissions Chip Timmons said the blogging has been beneficial for incoming students.

“For a lot of students looking here, they want to hear from students,” Timmons said. “They want to know what the food tastes like, how hard the classes are. It’s honest, it’s genuine and it’s what students want to know.”

The student blogs have become so popular, the three incoming freshmen writing this year — Jake Ezell, Indianapolis; Michael Richmond, Franklin; and Adrian Perez, south Texas — has already received more hits on the homepage than anything on the Wabash site, aside from football.
Wabash Web Editor Howard Hewitt heard at a Chicago seminar that 80 percent of students have their first contact with the college they attend by Internet. While Wabash has blogs on a plethora of topics, the student-written blogs remain the most popular.

Wabash’s decision to have blogs online again this year drew 50 interested students wishing to keep a running tally of their first year at the college. From there, Wabash employees had to whittle it down to three students, looking for enough variety to cover a wide range of students. Though two of this year’s bloggers are from central Indiana, one is from a private high school and the other went to public school.

“We want different interest and different backgrounds,” said Timmons. “We wanted to make sure there was a little bit of everything from everybody.”
During the narrowing process, the college’s staff looks at who makes the best case for why they want to blog, who can write well and how eager they are to share their stories, Timmons said. And of course the question is asked to each about whether they’d want their mother to read it.

The first blogs of Perez, Richmond and Ezell can be read at on Wabash’s homepage wabash.edu.

SOURCE : www.journalreview.com