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Introduction To Weblogs

This article will introduce you to the new craze on the web called a weblog or blog.

A weblog is a web program with many features which enable you and your visitors to communicate and share information on the web. You can use your weblog for any purpose you have in mind from a personal diary to professional marketing and advertising.

So what exactly makes a weblog? That's easy! Anything you want. No, I'm not being cute here! The concept behind the evolution of the weblog is that you can put anything on your weblog that you wish to share with the World Wide Web. But, after you visit a few weblogs, you begin to notice that most weblog programs have some common features.

Organization Of Information
The purpose of a weblog is to publish something on the web for others to enjoy. The weblog program organizes the information on your weblog in such a way that finding information is easy for your visitors. First, the latest additions or posts are on the front page of the blog and previous posts are archived. On larger weblogs, you can divide your material into categories. Your visitors can also find information using a search form on the front page of your weblog and there is a clickable (hyperlink) calendar that allows visitors to view information posted on a certain date.

Interaction And Communication
Interaction and communication is the second purpose of a weblog and the weblog program contains several ways to communicate with your visitors. Of course, you have the usual "forum" for visitors to leave comments and questions. But the weblog forum is different from usual forums. A usual forum is contained in a separate section of a website such as the BellaOnline forums area. A weblog forum works differently in that it keeps the questions/comments about an item on the page with that item, usually listing them at the end of the article or under the photo, thus making it easier to have a conversation about a specific article, photo or whatever. A second method of interacting with your visitors is a weblog tagboard. A tagboard is a small area on the weblog page which works much like a chat room.

Weblog Program User Interface
Of course, the features mentioned above are not really new to the Internet or websites. Larger websites, including BellaOnline, have an article database, a forum and a chat room. But these are all individual programs that run separately from each other. What makes a weblog program unique is that you can control all of these features through the weblog program and there is no need to have all those individual programs. You can even use the program interface to customize the look of your weblog using templates and skins.

If you are interested in starting a weblob or adding a weblog to your existing website, there are several ways to go. You can start a blog by using one of the well known companies that offer free weblogs such as BloggerTM which is now owned by GoogleTM or Bravenet.com. Just open an account and in a few minutes you will be customizing and publishing your own weblog on the web. Also many web hosting companies are now including a weblog in their hosting packages. If you want to run your own weblog program from your own server, there are several free and low-cost weblog programs available.




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