Jeremy Schubert of and is a technology consultant who can be reached at for your questions and comments.

Blogging is made up by combing the words Web and Log.  Those who blog are just using a web page as a forum to record their thoughts.  Essentially, bloggers are making their diary of thoughts public.  Almost like those who send in good old fashioned letters to the editor!  However, there are a few differences between blogs and letters to the editor. 

Whereas letters to the editors usually center on a specific topic (maybe off leash dogs or whether a home owner should be allow to park a trailer in their driveway or not), blogs generally follow a long running theme.  Examples might be Brian Minter’s blog (found at  discussing everything to do with gardening in the Fraser Valley.  Or maybe the Thrifty Decor Chick’s blog on home decorating (found at  Other examples of specific themes might be Jim’s Finance and Investment Blog, found at or ‘Exercise Expertise’ by Josh Gould, found at  (Please note, these are examples I have found on the net but I don’t necessarily endorse their content or regularly keep up with their entries.  These are just a few of the many examples out there.)

Another difference is that bloggers usually allow for immediate responses to their entries.  This is one way the Internet can be thought of as a ‘great democratizer’ as it can allow for friendly and fair debates at the grassroots level.   

People don’t always write blogs reflecting their own personal interests.  Sometimes bloggers are acting as publicists for different organizations.  For example, the CBC Radio Technology Show ‘Spark’, hosted by Nora Jones, maintains a blog that allows listeners to continue on discussing interesting concepts from the show ( ).  Some examples are political parties, think tanks, lobbyists, and religious groups, just to name a few.  Examples are the blogs of Rafe Mair at and Russ Campbell’s blog at  (Once again, I take no responsibility for the contents of these blogs, I just provide them as examples).     

Sometimes bloggers are paid authors.  So it’s always wise to carefully consider and reflect on the blog’s content.   Also, people use blogging as a way to earn money.  These authors aren’t necessarily paid per blog entry.  Some hope that their blog becomes so popular that companies will want to advertise alongside their blog.  Other people might try blogging in an attempt to increase their popularity and customer base.   

Many teachers use blogs as assignments for individuals and groups of students.  Not only do the students learn how to organize thoughts and write clearly using blogs, but they might also receive feedback and comments on their blog entries that help them learn further. 

Lots of people are taking up blogging as a personal hobby.  Maybe you have a lot of knowledge and interest in a certain topic.  Maybe you enjoy writing, or at least sharing your wealth of knowledge with others.  Why not try your own blog.  Some bloggers start with the best intentions but end up only creating a few entries in a year.  Others find maintaining their blog to be an excellent hobby, something that provides a new outlet and diversion.  So why not give it a try, what do you have to lose? 

So, how do you start blogging?  As long as you have access to the internet and something to discuss, you’re ready to go!  Though you’re choosing one topic, you should have lots to write about that one topic if you want to have a successful blog.  Before initiating your blog, you may want to map out a group of various ideas you want to address regarding your topic.  Some blog entries are only a few couple of sentences or paragraphs while others might be substantially more.  On a piece of paper (or using your computer – this is a technology column after all!) create a heading using the topic of your blog; gardening, religion, exercise, pop music, cooking, decorating, travel, local politics.  Or maybe you’re blog will be a diary outlining your experiences as you start a new job, volunteer position or other activity.  Then write down between 10 and 20 sub headings, mini topics complementing your main topic.  Knowing that you have at least 10 to 20 sub headings ready to add to your blog, I think you’re ready to go. 

Usually there are no charges associated with creating a basic blog.  But there are some companies/individuals that are willing to sell you ‘pretty themes’ and advanced features to spice up your blog.  There’s nothing wrong with keeping your blog light and basic at the beginning.  As you immerse yourself further in the art of blogging down the road and as you read other blogs, you may find other ideas to incorporate into your blog. 

Finding a blogging site shouldn’t be that difficult.  Some well known sites that provide free blogging are  WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr.  You can use your favourite search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bling, etc) to find these on the net.  Entering phrases such as ‘create a blog’, ‘blog hosting’, or ‘how to start a blog’ into your favourite search engine should generate many options too.   Usually it’s just a matter of providing an email address so that you can create a free account to get started.  Keep in mind that sometimes you may want to have your email address displayed on your blog as one method for your audience to contact you.  For this purpose, you may consider signing up for a (free) secondary email address with a company such as Gmail or Hot Mail in order to separate your personal identity from your blogging identity. 

I’m keen on hearing about your experiences with creating and maintaining blogs.  I’d also like to hear about the blogs you appreciate (and despise!).