Tired of being a consumer of content? Maybe this year you want to produce content. How do you want to get your voice heard? This could be your time to start blogging. There are lots of options out there, so here’s an overview of some of the easiest ways to start.
Start small: Twitter
Twitter asks “What are you doing?” but people use the service to mention whatever they want. Using Twitter is very simple. After you sign up you’ve got 140 characters to get your point across. If you want to write a long-form dissertation, Twitter may not be your cup of tea. Unfortunately, Twitter does not support video, image, or audio embedding. You can always place a link to that kind of stuff if you want.
Facebook and MySpace
You can blog all you want on Facebook or MySpace. You can keep these blogs private depending on your settings. This could be nice if you just want to reach a few people. Obviously, if you have a public account, anyone can access your blog. Facebook has so many other things going that you can sort of lose your blog amongst the applications and other junk. MySpace has a similar problem.
Tumblr doesn’t have any character limits and you can embed videos, upload one mp3 file per day (or stream from another source), posts links, images, or just plain old text. Tumblr is actually a pretty powerful blogging solution and is extremely easy to use. If you spend some time, you can even customize the theme using some CSS.
The big guys
WordPress is an incredibly powerful blogging engine that can do lots of things. First and foremost, it was built to blog. There are a lot of plug ins and, if you want, you can customize WordPress extensively. If you want to run a podcast or vidcast, WordPress can do that, too. We’ll cover setting up your own show in another post.
Google’s Blogger is also very powerful and customizable. Blogger also has had a bad reputation for taking its sweet time adding new features like tagging posts. If you just want to write your ideas down, Blogger is a fine choice.
Keep some things in mind
Blogging can be whatever you want it to be. Posting links, commentary on whatever you like, jokes — most importantly, it should be your voice. Of course, you may want to temper your attitude if you’re looking to get employed or something since you will probably get Googled. Remember that your work can be very public.