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Friday, June 1, 2012

Personal Blogging, Documentary, and History

When it comes to personal blogging, documentary is the default genre. There are plenty of blogs that serve other functions, but many blogs are primarily catalogues of the life experiences of their author. Although there are quite a few blogs that focus on collecting poetry and other forms of creative writing, the vast majority of personal blogs are in some sense documentaries. For many years, the act of making a documentary was meant to be an objective act of reporting the sights and sounds that the filmmaker, writer, or photographer encountered. However, in contemporary times there has been a movement towards embracing the subjectivity inherent in the documentary form. This means that modern documentaries often reflect the distinctive voice and sensibility of their creator, and the fact that todays documentaries often revolve around personality blurs the lines between documentary and memoir.

 Blogs rest somewhere between these two genres, muddying the distinctions even further. Personal blogging, documentary, and memoir are now irrevocably intertwined, for better or for worse. Although few bloggers think of themselves as making documentaries in any formal sense, every time somebody sits down in front of a computer and types up a record of their day, they are documenting their own historical moment. The things that we take for granted about our daily lives, like the way that we use specific modes of transportation, or the kinds of products that we buy, often seem quite fascinating to people who live in circumstances different from ours, and it is this kind of fascination that is at the heart of many documentary projects. 

When people think about blogging, documentary is not very likely to be the first adjective that crosses their minds, but a few decades down the road it is very likely that todays blogs will be seen primarily as very subjective documentaries of our era. The people of tomorrow will almost certainly look to the blogs of today for insight into our historical moment. When it comes to blogging, documentary may not be the aim of most people who spend their time posting their thoughts and ideas on the internet. In some ways, the documentary aspect of blogging is more of a side effect than a primary goal. 

However, the fact that so many people are interested in publishing these public online diaries shows that personal blogs are about more than just rumination. The fact that bloggers are so stimulated by and interested in sharing their ideas with each other reinforces the idea that personal blogs are, in some ways, documentaries meant for public consumption. Documentaries appeal to people who are curious about other ways of life, and many people who regularly read others personal blogs are looking for this same kind of new perspective.
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The Pros and Cons of Video Blogging

Video blogging has a lot of advantages over text-based blogging, and it is little wonder that this new technology is catching on all over the globe. Video blogs very effectively grab the attention of web surfers, and people are much more likely to become excited about the dynamic content of a video blog than they are likely to find a written posting very thrilling. 

The more enthusiastic viewers are about a site, the quicker the word of mouth spreads, and the more traffic the site will get. Of course, there are plenty of disadvantages to video blogging as well. Hosting a v-blog requires quite a bit of server space, which can make it difficult to get started. It takes more time to process and upload a video file than it does to dash off a quick bit of text, which means that running and updating a video blog can be quite a bit of work. 

In addition, web surfers sometimes grow frustrated with the slow loading times of the files on many video blogs. Whether you opt for a video blog or not depends on what kind of subject matter you want to cover, and how much time you can devote to video blogging. Before you decide to pursue a video blog, consider if there is an easier way for you to get your
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Blogging News Stories as They Happen

Blogging news stories as they unfold is one of the most exciting and controversial applications of technology that bloggers have discovered. One thing that makes the blogosphere so active is the fact that it is possible to update a blog instantaneously, so the news on blogs tends to be more current than the news in the paper, or on television. Unlike news delivered by these other media, news that appears on blogs does not have to travel through a series of editors and administrators before it reaches the public eye. This has some advantages, and some distinct disadvantages.

One of the most notable cases of news hitting a blog before appearing in other media took place in July 2005 when terrorism struck London. As passengers were evacuated from a subway car near an explosion, one man took several photographs of the scene with his cellular phone, and within an hour these images were posted online. First-person accounts of the catastrophe began appearing on blogs soon after these photos appeared, and people all over the world learned about the events in London by reading the words and seeing the photos posted by bloggers. The fact that these stories and images were being spread directly by individuals operating without the added filter of a reporter helped to make the crisis feel very immediate to people across the globe. 

When it comes to blogging, news often appears in a very personal context. This has the potential to be the beginning of an exciting new era of reporting, one that takes "New Journalism" to it's logical next step by putting the power to shape how the news is written and read directly into the hands of the public. Many bloggers and cultural commentators who are champions of the weblog movement feel that this growing trend of individuals who getting their news from blogs is a good thing, because it makes the flow of information more democratic. 

By decentralizing the control of news, blogs allow more voices to enter the field of debate about important current events. However, many people are adamantly opposed to the use of blogs as news outlets, and there are plenty of good arguments on this side of the debate. Unlike newspapers or television stations, few blogs have fact- checkers, and there is little attention paid to journalistic accountability on many blogs. 

This can lead to the rapid spread of misinformation, and more than one falsehood has taken the blogosphere by storm. The questions about whether blogging news as it happens is ethical or not are very complicated, but no matter where you stand on the topic of current events blogs you are almost sure to agree that this movement has the potential to revolutionize how modern people get their news.
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Blogging for Profit Begins With a Long Term Plan

Many people dream of blogging for profit, and this goal is not far beyond the reach of someone with average intelligence, a willingness to work hard, and a basic grasp of blogging technology. However, very few people manage to reap the profits they want from their blog. Most people who attempt to make money with their blogs do not succeed for two reasons.

 Often, bloggers have unrealistic expectations of how fast their readership will grow and how much money they will make, and when these expectations are not met the disappointment can crush the desire to continue blogging. The other trap that many bloggers fall into has to do with lack of planning. If you want to turn a profit as a blogger, the key to success is to make a realistic plan and stick with it. To succeed at blogging for profit, the main thing that you will need is a large readership. 

The higher your traffic, the more advertisers will agree to pay you. However, cultivating the regular visitors that you will need in order to make a profit isnt easy. As more and more blogs appear each day, having a great idea or a wonderful writing style is no longer enough to get attention. You need to be able to market your blog effectively. Too many bloggers spend all of their time writing posts and almost no time marketing their project. To be certain, updating as often as you can is a great way to keep your blog high on blogrolls and high in blog search engines like technorati, and once your readers know that you update frequently they will return to your site on a regular basis. 

However, it does not matter how often you update if nobody is reading your page, so dont skimp on the time that you spend drawing visitors to your site. To make your dreams of blogging for profit a reality, try decreasing your number of posts and using some of that time to draw new visitors by setting up link exchanges with other bloggers, making contacts in the blog community, and following other established modes of winning traffic. 

Of course, even if you are a marketing genius or have a really great idea for a blog, success is not going to happen overnight. Building the kind of readership that blogging for profit requires takes time, and in all likelihood it will be at least several months before you are able to turn much of a profit. Try to stay committed to your blogging project during this initial rough period. To stay motivated, set goals for how often you will update and how many readers you want to attract, and then reward yourself for sticking with your plan.
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Picking The Best Free Blogging Site

Choosing a free blogging site can feel overwhelming because there are so many options. There are several large free blog-hosting sites that dominate the blogosphere, but there are also smaller sites. Whether you decide to join up with an established site like blogger or whether you choose to sign on with a relatively new venture depends on what your priorities are. Reliability is perhaps the best reason to opt for a large and well known free blogging site. 

When you choose to have an established brand host your blog, you can feel secure that your blog will not crash often and will not disappear in the middle of the night. A company that has been around for a while is likely to have the resources to make sure that its clients aren't unpleasantly surprised by any technical glitches. However, many bloggers decide that this isn't enough of a selling point. 

The bloggers who choose to go with smaller, newer blog hosting sites do so for a variety of reasons, but perhaps the number one advantage is a fairly abstract one. Bloggers tend to relish the fact that the internet is a place where the underdog has a strong chance of success, and by choosing to have a small company as a blog host, a blogger is casting his or her vote for David against Goliath.
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