Blogs are a way of making your personal thoughts and opinions private, for all the world to see and comment on. You can start your own blog for free from a range of websites, for example:

www.wordpress.com

www.blogger.com

www.livejournal.com

Once you’ve chosen your site, follow the simple instructions to create your own blog. From there you can customise and personalise your blogging space, create and publish your own posts as well as start looking at other peoples blogs, leaving comments and maybe creating an online social network. As well as text, blogs can also contain images, videos and sounds.

There are now thought to be an estimated 60 million blog owners across the world each offering individual thoughts and views on a vast range of subjects. While a blog can be a personal account of ones life, they can also be group owned and edited, maximising the collaborative potential. Corporations and proffesionals alike will use blogs to promote their businesses or ideas, and artists and designers can benefit from the feedback and criticisms available. Paquet (2003) highlights 5 main features of the blog:

1) The personal editorship and personal censorship
2) The Hyperlinked structure allowing for maximum interactivity
3) Frequent updates
4) Free and public access, making it available all
5) The chronological ordering process

Aside from being an online journal of your own thoughts, blogs can be used in an educational way and much research had been done in this area, looking at the effect the inclusion of blogging has on the teaching evironment. In Anne Bartlett-Bragg’s article Blogging to Learn she talk of the benefits that blogging can have for both students and teachers. She suggests that the inclusion of blogging encourages ‘deep learning’ whereby a student activley explores the material and seeks out further links and areas of interest, seeking out connections between concepts and ideas. She also points out that it allows student to collaborate and publish their thoughts and ideas, receiving feedback and criticisms from a wider, diverse audience.

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