Remember Blogs are simply websites where entries are made. The key to a good blog is good entries. As of September 2007, Technorati, a blog search engine, was tracking more than 106 million Blogs! But how many of them are good Blogs? I would guesstimate less than 1%. That being said let us take a brief look at 10 of the most common ways in which Blogs are used. Please keep in mind this list is neither exhaustive nor in numerical order of importance.
1) The diary – perhaps the most common of the uses. People use Blogs to communicate with their peeps and keep up to date with what is happening in their world, often using such popular websites as Face book.
2) Political campaigns a variation of the diary. Politicians have begun to use Blogs on their websites as a way to keep constituents and would-be constituents up-to-date on what is happening on the campaign trail. As a modern method of communication, they can use a much folksier, more informal attitude in their bogging. While it makes them sound more down to earth, the intent of course is still to get votes!
3) Educational (Like the one your reading) are becoming more common in schools of all kinds. Some college professors are finding that using Blogs to help organize their in-class discussions can not only improve education but make it fun. Students can discuss issues and ask questions in a much less threatening environment. Since they are already in the electronic realm when bogging, it becomes that much easier to pull in the vast educational resources of the web.
4) Inter-company a way to facilitate employee communications. Communications is frequently cited as the biggest problem in large corporations. Since employees often spend much of their days using web services, using an on-line blog is a natural fit. Employees can discuss topics ranging from recent benefit changes to strategy shifts to brainstorming new ideas. Executives participating in these Blogs can find that communications between them and their subordinates is much friendlier and easier. Teaming for projects is also made convenient with Blogs.
5) Gathering feedback a direct from the horse?s mouth. Retailers may keep a user-friendly blog at their website to foster informal communication with their customers, and find out what is working and what is not. Governments, in an effort to become more constituent-friendly, are using Blogs in the same way.
6) Word-of-mouth marketing an in expensive way of getting the word out. A pharmaceutical company fostering a blog on health concerns; a sports equipment firm sponsoring a blog on the latest in mountain-climbing tips; a museum participating in a blog discussion of fossils. All of these are examples of the ultimate in word-of-mouth marketing. They take advantage of the Internet users thirst for knowledge and in so doing, subtly pass a message regarding their company or organization.
7) Fan Site Blogs is a way for a fan of any author, band, sports team, artist, and so on and so forth, to keep other fans in touch of the happenings and events of their particular passion. The opposite is also true. A celebrity will use a blog to keep in touch with their fans letting them know of their upcoming events and happenings.
8) The Organizational blog Organizations use to Blogs to keep their members in the loop about events, news, and others happenings their members will find of interest. The blog also serves as a means for members to communicate with each other.
9) Pet Blogs Pet Blogs are an internet favorite. People love to talk about their dogs, cats, birds, fish, and other pets. They want to know the latest pet trends, best food, best health care, and most of all showing off their own pets.
10) Lastly, the Blogs I personally love are niche Blogs. The definition of niche for our purposes is specialized market. Niche Blogs focus on one particular topic and the writer attempts to inform their readers about that topic. The blog may be focused on a particular type of car, a food, or an actual city. I love reading the niche Blogs about video games. The information on the internet is tremendous and without the loggers consolidating it for the surfers like me, I would never be able to find my niche information.
Blogs, like much of the Internet, are powerful communication tools. There is no reason to believe that uses for them will be limited by anything more than user?s imagination. Just remember when reading Blogs, take the information with a grain of salt, at least until the logger proves their worth or they use legitimate citations.