The on-line diary, or ‘Weblog’ was once a quaint little means of posting musings and opinions onto the Internet. Now look what has happened – the burgeoning ‘blogosphere’ is bloated with well over 100 million blogs, with some of them worth millions of dollars. Blogging has become serious business.
It is nothing short of a media explosion, with some blogs trumping mainstream media as the go-to source for news, information, entertainment and opinion. With an entry level of zero dollars, immediacy hitherto impossible and a potential global audience of billions, blog sites are perfect launch pads for anyone wanting to participate in the global conversation.
In reality, the Super Blogs are more like traditional media outlets – with teams of contributors, marketing departments, researchers and technical staff bringing it all together. One needs an HR army to keep the content flowing at such a torrential rate to hold the oh-so-fickle and easily distracted Web surfer. The world’s biggest current affairs blog, www.huffingtonpost.com even calls itself an ‘on-line newspaper’.
That doesn’t mean you can’t start from humble beginnings and go a long way on the power of one. www.joelonsoftware.com is essentially a one-man-show, banging out an endless stream of articles to a large and dedicated following of tech-heads. www.freelanceswitch.com began as a spin-off from local entrepreneur Collis Ta’eed’s personal blog, and has now spawned a veritable suite of blogs, tutorials and on-line marketplaces. His e-book “How To Be A Rockstar Wordpress Designer” is an excellent primer, if you feel the urge to follow in his footsteps and blog your way to fame and fortune.
To get a complete overview of the super blog megascape, start with technorati.com. It keeps a regular tab on the biggest and most popular blogs, as well as providing profiles, reports, reviews and instruction in the art of blogging.
Everything under the sun is being blogged. It’s a surfer’s paradise. Technology? www.arstechnica.com, www.engadget.com, www.techcrunch.com. Business? sethgodin.typepad.com, www.bloggingstocks.com. Humour? www.icanhascheezburger.com
The best thing about any blog, large or small, is the two-way conversation it facilitates – readers get to post their own comments right there on the page. Sure, it might seem a little futile, trying to be heard amongst such a cacophony of ‘buzz’, but somehow our opinions and ideas begin resonating and harmonising into a chorus. The best ideas win out. The dubious ones are decimated with wit and brute force.
If I can give any advice about blogs and super blogs this month, it is to get amongst them. Participate. Put a blog on your own Website – or find someone to help you. Express whatever thoughts you might have until you get really good at it. Find like-minded people and support them. In the end the entire Internet is one Brobdingnagian blog. In these rather volatile times, such a massive exchange of ideas could be our only hope. Blog on!