blogs - why read, why write

why read a blog

The first weblogs pointed visitors to new web pages, and later blogs filtered the ever-expanding World Wide Web. This filtering is still one wonderful reason to read blogs today - you can discover exciting new websites and happen upon sites with hundreds of fascinating archived posts.

Many weblogs are specialized newsletters. These can help you in your research, and will give you important news and obscure pieces of information that can round out any research paper. One UNC blogger shared photos from WWII, and his scholarship is an excellent example of how blogs can provide unique information.

Another important reason to read weblogs is the state of the media today – corporate behemoths own the major outlets of our news and opinion and entertainment. The nanopublishing revolution of weblogging allows individuals an inexpensive and simple way to reach millions of readers. Some are even using weblogs to keep the established media honest, in a trend called 'watchblogs.'

But be careful when reading blogs. You must evaluate the credibility of a blog just as you’d evaluate any other website. Many blogs include an About page. This can be useful in learning about the blog author. But even this can be forged. In 2000, Kaycee’s Weblog, a poignant blog about a young woman dying of cancer, became very popular. But it turned out to be a hoax.

Some companies and marketing firms are beginning to use blogs for commercial efforts, including Dr. Pepper's new milk product on "It's only a matter of time until some large part of the weblog realm is suffused with messages that are sponsored by commercial interests," writes Anil Dash.


why write a blog

Write a blog to express yourself. Write to tell stories. Write to share links and pictures and recipes and prayers and travel tips and love poems.

Write well. “There are, in fact, rules – even online.” Dennis Mahoney writes in this essay to use precise grammar, good spelling and punctuation, clear structure and syntax. “Clarity is key.”

There’s a debate in the blogosphere about whether blogging can be journalism. Dale Keiger’s post about some of his odd experiences interviewing subjects for his reporting is a perfect use of blogging for journalism. The journalism students at University of Southern California write for, a good source for journalism and the Internet. is another good source of information about weblogs and journalism.

Other authors use their blogs for creative writing. Others for political writing. Others for technical writing.

Teachers and educators use blogs in their courses and classrooms.

You can create and write a blog for any reason you want.

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by Anton Zuiker, last updated 02.27.2004