What’s a blog? It’s a method of communicating online. The name is a contraction of the term “web log,” and blogging has been around for over a decade. Long before the Internet, we had pen pals. Then came e-mail, online journals, bulletin boards, and other tools. When blogs first began, they were mainly personal diaries that allowed readers to comment on their content. While some people still journal this way, blogs have moved far beyond the personal diary. There are now corporate blogs, public relations blogs, topic-specific blogs, organizational blogs, group blogs, and many other kinds.
You can blog, too, and you’re limited only by your creativity. Use your blog for frontline advocacy - to tell readers about the important role your special library or information center plays in employees’ success and the organization’s bottom line. Write about the product designer for whom you provided visual reference materials to guide her thinking, or the copywriter who needed a detailed statistic in order to make a sales point. Talk about how the latest study on how consumers make choices informed your company’s product displays that resulted in new sales growth. Make it interesting, but remember that everything you write is available for anyone to read.
Your content is called a “post,” and it can consist of written text as well as images and links to other websites. The easiest way to turn the fabulous piece you’ve written into a blog is to post it on your public library’s website (if possible) or to visit a blog host’s website and set up your own blog. You can post your blog using your e-mail account. Some free blog hosts that can guide you step-by-step and are easy to use include:
Free social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace also allow you to blog. Twitter is a social networking and “micro-blogging” service that limits your messages (called “tweets”) to 140 characters.