The Documentary Quality of Personal Blogging

Blogs as documentaries

There are plenty of blogs on the Web dealing with a wide variety of topics and vastly diverse functions; but many blogs primarily catalog of the life experiences of their owners; so from this perspective it can be said that personal blogging, when discussed in terms of genre, probably falls more frequently in the category of documentary than any other genre. And even though there are quite a number of blogs that focus on the collection of poetry and other forms of creative writing, the vast majority of personal blogs are most likely to be categorized as documentaries.





When you think about it over the span of many years, making a documentary was meant to be an objective act of reporting the sights and sounds that the filmmaker, writer or photographer encountered. However, in contemporary times there was movement towards embracing that degree of subjectivity inherent in the documentary form. This means that modern documentaries often reflected the distinctive voice and sensibility of their creators, making today’s documentaries to revolve around personality, thereby – more often than not – blurring the lines between documentary and memoir.

Blogs fall somewhere between these two genres, muddying the distinctions even further, an indication that the personal blog, documentary and memoir are now irrevocably intertwined for better or for worse. Although few bloggers think of themselves as making documentaries in any formal sense, every time someone sits down in front of a computer and types up a record of their day, s/he is documenting a personal historical moment. Examples of this kind of blogging are those things we take for granted in our daily lives.

Fascination-driven

Things like the way we use specific modes of transportation, or the kinds of products we buy, which may seem quite fascinating to people who live outside our environments, and are therefore fascinated with our lot is at the heart of many documentary projects. When people think about blogging, documentary is not very likely to be the first description they envision, but a few decades down the road it is very likely that todays blogs will be seen primarily as very subjective documentaries of our era. People of tomorrow will almost certainly look to the blogs of today for insight into our historical moment.

Documentary may not be the aim of most people who spend time posting their thoughts and ideas on the Web; but in some ways, the documentary aspect of blogging is more of a side effect than a primary goal. However, the fact that so many people are interested in publishing these public Web diaries shows that personal blogs are about more than just rumination. The fact that bloggers are so stimulated by, and interested in, sharing their ideas with each other reinforces the idea that personal blogs are – in some ways – documentaries meant for public consumption.

A perspective-based niche

An undeniable truism is that documentaries appeal to people who are curious about alternate ways of life, and many people who regularly read personal blogs written by others are looking for this same kind of new perspective. However, this is not to say that vocations such as poetry and other forms of creative writing are deemed less appealing to blogging audiences worldwide; but rather, that each niche commands the attention of a specific section of the marketplace, with documentaries occupying the single largest share.

Blogging for Beginners – A Reference Guide

Originally, weblog!

The blog – originally known as a weblog – is basically an online journal with which an individual can digitally write down, or record in a number of different ways, his/her thoughts, ideas, opinions and practically anything else that individual wants people to know about; and since blogs come in various styles, formats and settings – depending on user preferences – their rapid increase in popularity is hardly a surprise. In fact, many blogging platforms offer built-in features such as hyperlinks, straight texts, pictures and other formatting tools, and blogging platforms even allow you, the user, to place videos and mp3’s on your blogs.





As you may already know, not everyone likes to write and, based on this aversion to writing, some bloggers choose to make their blogs more audio friendly by using spoken-word entries instead of writing texts. This is known as audio blogging, which often consist of the same subject matter as text blogs, except that it is spoken and not written. The same can be said about video blogs and pictoral (photo) blogs, which are often used by photographers and such other artists as may find the blogging medium conducive to their careers and other entrepreneurial pursuits.

The basic blog contains these standard features:

  • The title – This allows you, the blog owner – or blogger – to label your post.
  • The body – This is your post content, whether its written, spoken or depicted.
  • Trackback – This is tool that allows other sites to be linked back to your blog.
  • Permanent link – The method used to provide every article you write with a URL.
  • Comments – This allow readers to interact, via the “comment box,” on your blog.

Blogging: Useful for newcomers

One of the advantages of blogging is the small number of templates as well as the simplicity of those templates; because unlike other websites which are made up of numerous individual pages, a few simple templetes make it easier, more often than not, for blog users to create new pages since the blog already has fix settings that include slots for title, body of the post, category and tags.

This is especially useful for first time bloggers because it provides the platform where they can start blogging right away without having to worry about site design, content for various pages, e.g. “About Us,” “Sitemap,” “SEO,” or other such concerns; and they can chose from a number of templates that the blogging platforms provide.

Anyone who wants to start a blog can do so by becoming a member of one of the many available blogging platforms that suits his/her fancy or purpose; and once s/he becomes a member of a given platform, s/he will automatically be a part of that particular blogging community. of course, s/he can also browse through other bloggers’ pages, and link them back to his/her own blogs, in addition to making comments on other members’ blogs.

An entrepreneur’s ad space

Blogging is not just limited to personal usage, though; because there are a lot of blogs that follow specific themes such as: sports, politics, philosophy, social commentary, and an almost infinite number of other subject matters. These bloggers espouse on their specific themes; this way blogging becomes a medium in which people can share their knowledge and opinions about a variety of themes and topics.

Some bloggers even use their blogs as a place – digital as it may be – from which to advertise, like some authors that utilize personal blogs to advertise their books; while other bloggers use their blogs to shed light on current issues, events, news, trends and catastrophes. And let us not forget the education establishment which utilize blogs as a very important part of reaching students, faculty and financiers, among others. Professors use blogging to document the lessons they have discussed and taught, making it easier for students who missed classes to easily catch up with their assignments.

Entrepreneurs, mentioned briefly in the second paragraph, benefit from blogging by promoting businesses on their blogs; and with millions and millions of people logging onto the Web everyday, blogging has – no doubt – become a lucrative activity for these entrepreneurs, whether they are operating sole proprietorships, small companies, or mid-sized companies. Some bloggers who run online businesses use their blogs to promote their merchandise, while others profit through advertisement and affiliate sales.

Uniqueness. Individuality. Personality.

But by far, the most popular blog type is that which takes the form of a personal journal; because this is the kind that is often used by first-time bloggers. Individuals who want to document the daily struggle of their everyday lives, poems, rants, opinions, and other personal issues, find that blogging offers them a medium in which to express themselves.

Bloggers often communicate within themselves; and this is truly one of the appealing things about blogging that attracts so many people to it. It creates a community of people sharing their ideas, passions, and comments with each other. But blogs vary in topics, themes, and set-ups which can be found in blog directories allow first-time users who want to get an idea of what the blogging world is all about to browse through multiple blogs using these directories. This way they can get an idea of what these blogging communities are like.

Blogging is popular all over the world, because there are really no established rules in the blogosphere, although many bloggers try their best to adhere to “Best Practices.” But where self-expression and freedom of ideas are concerned, bloggers have the freedom to express themselves in any way they want. But the best thing about blogging is the fact that most blogging platforms are free; and there are numerous available on the Web to choose from, giving first time users an option of joining the specific blogging community that appeals to their interests.

Begin with a directory!

Just search any blogging directory and you will get a listing of numerous blogging platforms that are available on the Web. It’s easy to search a blogging directory, because it is organized according to category. This way you would get exactly what you are looking for. It can be said without much pushback, that blogging is really for everyone; and many users – seasoned bloggers and newcomers alike – find that it is fun, simple and easy to do!




Blogging Basics





Blogging for beginners

This post could have easily been titled, Blogging 101, because it consists primarily of information about the blogging vocabulary, which any blogging enthusiast would agree, is essential to a thorough understanding of what comprises a blog.

In other words, every newcomer to blogging needs to know the meaning of terms such as blog, platform, domain, domain name and web host; and once s/he has mastered these key elements of blogging, s/he can enter any conversation about blogging with confidence.

In fact, after the new blogger understands exactly what a blog is, s/he will then be on the way to passing the critical test of choosing an appropriate topic about which to blog. Such a topic should be recognizable and compelling, but must also be presented in a way that extends to readers an invitation, as well as the opportunity, to participate in an ongoing dialog with the blogger and with each other.

At times the mere definition of “blog,” which is short for weblog, poses a problem for some who are not familiar with the term or the activity; but the term weblog is defined by Dictionary.com as:

Essentials of a blog

“a personal Web site that provides updated headlines and news articles of other sites that are of interest to the user, [and] also may include journal entries, commentaries and recommendations compiled by the user;” and although the word blog have at times been defined in other ways, this contemporary definition should be enough to clear up any misconceptions of what a blog is.

Articles written and published (publishing is the process by which content is placed on the Web) to a blog are described as posts and are presented in reverse chronological order.

So essentially, a blog is comprised of articles, journal entries, commentaries and other such content posted and updated on a regular basis. And although the majority of blogs are in text form, there are also photo blogs and video blogs which may sometimes incorporate text content on a given blog-site, or may be the singular kind of content found on some blogs.

There are additional aspects of blogging that are mostly technical in nature, but should be studied or researched by individuals who are thinking about setting up their own blogs for the first time. Such terms as blogging platform, web host, domain and domain name cannot be avoided or ignored by individuals – including bloggers – who intend to publish content to the Web, because the terms describe integral components of blogging in particular and Web publishing in general.

Technical aspects of blogging

So let’s take a closer look at these technical terms.

Blogging Platform is a computer software program that allows individuals to write posts and to update their blogs. A blogging platform is also used to design the look of a blog, in terms of color scheme, formatting and font size. Some popular blogging platforms are WordPress, Blogger, Linked-In and Tumblr (a photo blogging platform).

Web Host (or host) is an entity that provides the space which a blog or website occupies on the Web. Hosting can be described as a virtual file cabinet where the blog (and other content) is stored and made available to visitors; but without hosting for such content, it cannot get on the Web.

Domain is the Web address of a website, Web page, video or blog that is published to the Web; and while most domains might end in .com, there are some that will end in .net, .info, .biz or one of several other extensions, depending the kind of blog being published, and the purpose for which it is being published.

Domain Name is what the domain is actually comprised of and can also be the name or title of a blog or website, but may also differ from the blog title. For example, in the Web address, “www.tpjaveton.net,” the domain name is “tpjaveton” and, as is true for this blog, the online address differs from the blog title, which is TPJaveton WebNet, although the title could easily have been identical to the domain name.

Your uniquely creative blog

In conclusion, having a relatively good understanding of what a blog is, as well as a working knowledge of the technical terms of blogging-related essentials like domains, domain names and Web hosts will be exceedingly helpful to new bloggers from all backgrounds and professions who aspire to share their own unique stories with interested members of the larger WWW (Wide Word Web) community.