TIPS: Creating a Micro Blog

By Barbara PeroneMultiple Wired to Microblog - Orange

By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll know how to create a micro blog.

Okay, you can already guess that the word micro signifies something small. And, maybe you’ve heard the word blog, but aren’t really sure you know what it means. Blog simply stands for web log. Somehow, over time, nobody’s quite sure when it really happened, the two words morphed into one.

A blog is nothing more than a website; one of those www.enteryourblognamehere.coms that you control and others can comment about. That’s correct. You’re responsible for writing it, designing it, and maintaining it. That’s the crux of it.

For the purpose of this article, we’ll focus on creating a micro blog instead of a blog. That’s because there are many, many detailed steps to creating the latter. So, when you see the word blog, think micro blog. Essentially, a micro blog and a blog are the same thing. It’s just that a micro blog is a shorter version that is a little bit faster to create and simpler to maintain.

A blog by any other name would smell as sweet

If Shakespeare were around today, he probably wouldn’t smell so great, but—trust me—he’d be blogging. So, why should you create one?

That’s a good question. If you are a professional writer it’s a good way to showcase your skills to potential employers. These days, it’s not good enough to be a creative wordsmith or know how to write, you have to be an established blogger, too.

Even if you’re not a professional writer, the number of topics you can blog about is endless. To start, though, you might want to focus on writing about things that interest you.

Think carefully about your blog topic

Write your text posts about anything you think somebody else might want to read. You can write about sports, gardening, the things your teenager says that mystify you, or, how to get your teenager to talk to you—period.

Caution:   If you want potential employers to actually read your blog, avoid using profanity, inappropriate images/photos/videos of you or anyone else. In addition, don’t publish anything you think might cause a prospective firm—which may consider hiring you—from giving you and your blog a big thumbs down. A general rule: if you post anything that you’d be embarrassed about then you should probably keep it off your blog.

 What not to put on your blog

Never, under any circumstances, put your address or phone number on your blog. The reason—you guessed it—there are unscrupulous hackers out in cyberspace just waiting to steal your information. Also, be careful about putting any other personal information about yourself on your blog. You decide what’s personal; remember, it’s your blog.

Warning about copyrighted material

Don’t be lulled into thinking that blogging is such a loosey goosey environment that certain rules do not apply. Simply put, it means that unless an author licenses you to use it, you cannot publish, as your own work, any original work that appears on the Internet.

For details about the rules concerning using copyrighted material on the Internet, visit www.copyright.gov.

Starting a micro blog using Tumblr

Finally, we’re ready to begin!

Again, just like with a blog, there are other kinds of hosted blogging software out there you can use to create a micro blog, but, we are only going to focus on using Tumblr. The reason: you won’t have to spend as much time actually creating it; that will allow you more time to get your blog up and running so you can add more text posts, some hyperlinks, photos/images/videos, a viewers comment section, etc.

Follow the six steps below to start your Tumblr micro blog.

Step 1: Open your web browser. Launch www.tumblr.com. The main Tumblr page appears.

Step 2: In the Email address text box, enter your email address.

Step 3: In the Password text box, enter your password.

Step 4: In the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) text box, enter your URL, typically the name of your blog.

Step 5:  Click the “Start Posting” button. Tumblr begins loading its Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart (CAPTCHA) to ensure you’re a human and not spam, which unfortunately targets blog forums or comments the same way it targets your email account.

Step 6:  The system prompts you to re-enter the CAPTCHA words and click I’m Human.

Creating your first text post

Hooray! You just created your first micro blog on Tumblr!

Now all you have to do is to create your first text post. To do that, click the capital T (text post icon) on your Tumblr dashboard, or control panel. The “Add a Text Post” page appears. In the Title field, give your micro blog post a title, if you want. (This step is optional.) Next, enter the text for your blog in the Post field (there is no limit to the amount of text you can enter in this field).

To publish or not to publish? That is the question …

Okay, you’re on your way! At this stage, you don’t have to publish your post if you don’t want to because Tumblr will allow you to choose a future date to publish.

So, from here on, it’s up to you as to what you want to do next. If you’re in an ambitious mood, you may want to: format your text post, add additional text posts, add a few photos/images/videos, add some hyperlinks, add a comments section for viewers, etc.

Making all those adjustments may take quite a bit of time, though. So, if you want, you can skip all that and just publish your post. To do that, click the “Create Post” button. In the upper right corner of the “Add a Post” text screen find the drop down menu & click “Publish Now.”

Keep on blogging, baby

Remember, now that you’ve created and published a text post on your first micro blog, it doesn’t end there. You have to update it often and keep working on the design to make it look as pretty as your competitors’. You also have to make time to answer any viewer comments or questions about your micro blog.

Believe me, there is much, much more you can do to make your blog easy to read and snazzy to look at. So, get busy—you are now an official member of the blogosphere!

The world before blogging

This one’s for you kids out there.

Long ago, when people had clothes lines in their backyards and every town had at least one telephone booth, teenage girls recorded their private thoughts, feelings, and ideas in something called a diary.

The diary, usually a leather-bound book also known as a journal, often had a lock on it and the girl kept its key hidden so nobody could read what she wrote. In those days, it was a horrible thing for a young girl to have someone read about her innermost thoughts.

The blog has replaced the diary. And its use is no longer limited to teenage girls. Unlike a diary, instead of keeping your thoughts private, you can share them with millions of people you’ve never met, who live in different parts of the world!

Factoid

Though it is famously touted as a social networking website, Twitter is a micro blogging tool that broadcasts a Tweeter’s short, text-based entries.

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