Blogs are the new big thing in communication – and now companies are getting on board, too.
What is a blog? Very simply, its a “web log”. Do you remember Captain Kirk’s “Captain’s log, stardate xyz”? Well, that’s kind of what blogs are. They’re websites that record (usually) short snippets of someone’s thoughts and musings. There are blogs on every issue you can think of, as people around the world simply dump their thoughts onto the web. It is (and has already become) a bit messy, so most readers of blogs find blogs on topics that interest them, written by people they feel they can trust, and then they stick with that blog site. Most blog sites provide links to other web pages and other sources of info.
The value is that a blog gets to a trusted way of filtering the mass of information that flows through our world every day. Blogs even made the cover story of Business Week (read it here), and I agree with their analysis – blogs are going to change your business – inside and out!
OK, so that’s what they are, and why they’re important. So, how do you use them?

Did you ever use newsgroups? You could either go online and read them, or you could get a software programme to go and get the entries, and bring them down like emails onto your machine. Blogs are like that, too – RSS, XML or ATOM feeds do the same for blogs. I use a free Blog reader, called feedreader (.com to get it). In order to use it, I have to just enter the web address for the RSS feeder or the ATOM feeder of a blog. Unfortunately 9and this has made it a bit tricky), this is not just the blog address. On most blog sites, there is an icon for the RSS feeder address – just right click on it, copy the address given, and that’s it. Some browsers (I use Firefox), have add ons that allow you to capture RSS feeds with a single click. What this does it keep checking on the blogs you identified, and every time the blogger puts a new entry up, it fetches that entry (or at least, the heading), and puts it in your machine for your to read. Much nicer than having to check every day to see if you’ve added something new. (The RSS feeder address for our site is
Although, to be honest, I do check my 10 favourite blog sites every day.
I have added to BusinessWeek’s new blogspotting site to my list.
For more on blogging, check out: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Blogging; The sidebars on the BusinessWeek story: Blogging: A Primer; Six Tips for Corporate Bloggers. Also read: RSS feeds and why should we care and sandy’s biz blog on biz blogging. Check out The Guardian’s guide to starting a blog – part 1 and part 2.
Our own Corporate Connectivity Specialist, Mike Stopforth, blogs at His “Blogging 101” series – An introductory guide to blogs and blogging – is brilliant.

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