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5 Reasons to Read Blogs, and How!

February 13, 2010 Leave a comment

What’s a Blog?

Blogs are no more than organized web sites that have a series of related “posts”. Posts are individually titled short articles that “fit in” with the overall theme of the blog. For instance, on the TechCrunch blog (one of the worlds most popular technology blogs), the most actively discussed posts are:

Google Plans To Deliver 1Gb/sec Fiber-Optic Broadband Network To More Than 50,000 Homes

Hulu Could Still Launch On The iPad

MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta Steps Down

Each of these posts has well over 100 comments by readers – it is these comments that make the “blogging” platform a social platform. Readers get to interact with the authors/writers in ways that aren’t acceptable or even possible in traditional media.

“and How”… or, How to Read a Blog

You can bookmark all your favorite blogs in your internet browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox or my new favorite – Chrome). This is unwieldy once you start reading a number of blogs – and difficult to organize by subject in your bookmarks tabs. But – this IS a way to read blogs – and may be the preferred method that blog authors would love you to use!

You can also bookmark using any number of social bookmarking sites (like StumbleUpon, Delicious, and Digg). This may also get burdensome for you, especially if you have varied interests. For example – I read a number of blogs in the following categories: social media, small business, Lifehacker, blogging, fly-fishing, sailing, and the list goes on!

My absolute favorite way to read blogs is in Google Reader. You can subscribe to blogs via RSS feed using an aggregator or reader. Initially, this may seem daunting, but after a couple of subscriptions – you’ll be a pro. Read more about Google Reader in this earlier post, “5 Things to Like about Google Reader”.

Ok, now the 5 Reasons to Read Blogs!

1. Keep up to date on subjects that are important to you. You are keenly aware that this is a fast paced world we now live in – blogs are the way to stay in touch with all that info – info that changes from minute to minute.

2. Contribute to the conversation. You’ve become engrossed in a topic/subject that is important to you, so much so – that you either want to ask questions or give your own insights to it. This is where the “comments” section of blogs come in. Type away – and contribute to the topic – just make sure that your add something relevant to the post, and always be polite!

3. Learn about topics that a new to you. Blogs aren’t just about keeping up to date. You can do a blog search by going to blogsearch.google.com as part of your normal search routine – you’ll be amazed at the amount of quality material out there on blogs!

4. Research product purchases. There are a myriad of product reviews on blogs – some sponsored, but a lot of the reviews are valid, well-written and complete. Next time you’re making a purchase – conduct a blog search on the item before you buy.

5. Win free stuff! So many blogs these days are conducting contest to draw in readers, but there are also free invites to use new software join early beta testing of new web sites, etc. If you’re into contests and prizes – there is no better place to jump in than blogs!

The Social IneptiDude, me – John, would love to hear your comments and thoughts on blogs and how you read them!

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