Blog Mania

Do your friends and coworkers turn to you for fashion advice? Are you a bonafide guru when it comes to the hottest designers and trends? Or, maybe you’re a would-be political pundit—the next Walter Cronkite? You could simply have a riveting way of capturing the world around you. Whatever your talent, rant or position, you can share your inner most thoughts in a place called the “blogosphere”—all you need is an Internet connection.

To the uninitiated, a blog is a personal website that is updated frequently by the author and typically consists of commentary and favorite links, as well as photos, or anything else really. There are essentially two rules to blogging: 1.) update your site at least every 48 hours and 2.) make the content somewhat compelling. It seems like everyone has a blog nowadays; even William Shatner and Mariah Carey have one. I mean, everyone’s story is unique, right? And since you don’t need to know HTML, FTP or graphic design to create and maintain a weblog, it’s pretty much fair game for all. Blog hosting sites, such as Radio Userland ( http://radio.userland.com ), Blogstream ( www.blogstream.com ), squarespace ( www.squarespace.com ) and Blogger.com, provide software for easy updating of your blog—just download and you’re ready to start blogging.

Since there are literally hundreds of thousands of blogs, with millions of words blasted into cyberspace every minute, inevitably there are bad blogs. But not all blogs are filled with relentless rants and whining that was meant to be witty. Blogs are a great way to connect with like-minded—or not so like-minded—people, exchange tips and ideas, and promote services, products, projects and events. If you’re an artist or budding fashion designer, you can gain exposure for your work through an artist blog or fashion blog. Some bloggers even have “fans” and sell merchandise like t-shirts and bumper stickers imprinted with their blog site. Many companies also have jumped on the blog bandwagon to promote themselves and offer useful information to their customers. Some of the best blogs are from regular people living ordinary lives.

If you don’t have the time or the motivation to start your own, you don’t have to miss out on blog-o-mania. Many people enjoy reading other people’s blogs to engage in political discourse or learn about subjects they are interested in and to keep informed about what’s going on in a particular city. Food blogs are very popular. Find out—or share—cooking tips and recipes. Get in a good laugh or catch up on celebrity gossip with humor blogs and celebrity gossip blogs, or blogs hosted by celebrities themselves.

So, if you have an idea for a blog, don’t be shy. There’s bound to be an existing category for your blog—and if there’s not, you can create your own. That’s the beauty of blogging; there are infinite possibilities and millions of people who can access your site