Easy Guide to Blogs (New Media Monday)

Today is the first in a series I am calling New Media Mondays. For the next several Monday’s I am going to explain a new form of media, how it works, and how you can use it to change the world.

Today we are talking about blogs. What are they? What are they good for? And how to have a great blog.

Filter friendly video link .

What are blogs?
Blog are platforms for you to have your own publication. They started off as journals or weB LOGs but they have become so much more now.

Blogs are better than email for mass communication. Email is plagued by spam filters and by people deleting it before reading it. Blogs don’t face these challenges. Facebook notes and MySpace notes are not real blogs.

Blogs often have comments section after each post allowing for community discussion

What are they good for?

  1. Gaining accesses to famous people: Having a blog has allowed me to interview and interrogate a state representative, congressmen and even the Texas Land Commissioner.
  2. Gaining local influence: Local political blogs are one of the most powerful weapons in the modern political arsenal. If you have a good blog on Podunk Texas politics you can become just as influential as the Podunk Texas newspaper. All politics is local.
  3. Communicating with the press: I have had major news magazines contact me about blog posts. As a candidate it is a great way to communicate with the media in between press releases. There is really no reason to be a candidate and not have a blog.
  4. Advocating Issues: Sometimes the best way to take on the local school board is to blog about them. If you blog each school board meeting you will become the source of information about the school board.  You will become the expert and able to influence change.
  5. Fact Checking the Media: It is a lot harder for the liberal media to get away with lying now with bloggers watching. Rick Green may have one in 2002 if he or some of his supporters had active blogs and could have held the press accountable for their deceptions. If you don’t believe me I have two words for you. Dan Rather.
  6. Search Engine Optimization: Google likes blogs. Just google “Abolition of Abortion” and see what comes up.

Blog Tips:

  1. Have something to say. People have no patience for parrots. If you don’t have something original and why should someone read you?
  2. Practice . The first 2 years of my blog were awful. Getting the hang of writing something other people want to read takes practice.
  3. Read other blogs. Google reader is the best blog reader and it is free! reader.google.com for more info. ProBlogger and CopyBlogger are some great blogs on blogging. The key to reading blogs is to understand and use RSS feeds .
  4. Be interesting. Boring blogs don’t get read.
  5. Be Original. Touting the party line is boring. So is repeating Rush Limbaugh or Shaun Hanity.
  6. Study Blogging. I recomend reading and applying: 50 Way to Take Your Blog to the Next Level

My Favorite Blogs

News & Business Blogs

Public Speaking/Presentation Blogs

Fun Blogs

Political Blogs

Friends Blogs

Educational Blogs

Thomas Umstattd Jr. is the author of Courtship in Crisis, the former head of PracticalCourtship.com, and co-founder of the Austin Rhetoric Club, a homeschool speech and debate club in Austin, Texas. He is a professional speaker and CEO of Author Media. He sits on the board of directors for several nonprofits, including the Texas Alliance for Life.