Sunday, July 16, 2006

Blogging in Indian Languages...

Blog your thoughts out in Language you speak…

Blogging is now all set to become universal phenomena. Blog syndrome has bitten computer-internet users real hard and now every other guy in the town has its own blog. Blog was declared word of the year for year 2004. More and more people are adopting Blog to express their thought and to read other’s. If we believe the figure given by one of the top Blog site - Live Journal, which has more than 67 Lakh blog accounts as of now, there are 144 people publishing their blogs every minute! With the help of blog, publishing thoughts in any form – they may be any kind - like some poetry, short story, political-social comment or very personal tale were never so easy, and, readers are also too happy because there are all kinds of so many stuffs to read.

And, finally with Yahoo! jumping in to the fray who is also providing its registered users free blog, blog world has stirred once again. Now, for publishing your blog, you have many better options to choose from – from free blog services like Google’s Blogger and Yahoo!’s 360º to highly professional, paid services like Movable Type to Live Journal. Let us see which one is offering what so that we can choose the best one to fit for our need.

Blogger

Blogger (http://www.blogger.com) is since been one of the best, free, old, trusted sites for early breed of bloggers. It remains in top position as a best choice for many new bloggers as well. Blogger is now promoted by Google. With Blogger’s simple interface, you will be able to blog in 3 easy steps – 1- create an account – which is as easy as you create an e-mail account, 2 – Name your Blog so that it will shine well in blog world and well recognize in the crowd of millions of blog – for example, if you are planning to write about Cricket, then suitable name may be “Cricket Mania” and, finally – 3 – Choose a template – the pre-designed web pages that will host your every day postings in a beautiful way. Now you are ready to rock the world. Yes, your blog can rock as a blog named Mediah, (http://mediaah.blogspot.com/) having readership of merely 8000 had already rocked media mogul Times Of India!

Blogger also let's you post Pictures for free along with your blog but with the help of other free picture hosting service like Flickr or Hello. You can easily edit its template (the main page where your blog appears) pages for customized look and feel. You can add items, menus and add on such as RSS link and stat counter on your Blogger template. Blogger also supports Indian languages well, and in fact, you will find that most of Indian Language blogs are hosted on Blogger. Indeed, Blogger is best free blog service available as of now. Is has only drawback that at some time, its pages renders very slow. May be due to its huge user base, Blogger becomes slow in loading pages.

Blogger let's you change your individual post’s look and feel through HTML or through its own, online Composer tool which does not require any knowledge of HTML. Therefore, in Blogger, a plain computer user can also post his blog in many beautiful ways. Blogger also lets you to publish your blog post through email. There are many settings too which can be further customized – for example, the way your post appear or the way your previous post should archived etc.

Yahoo! 360º

Yahoo! 360º is a recent entrant which provides free Blog service. Presently it is in Beta stage and if we look at it even in this raw, beta stage, it seems that Yahoo! 360º is all set to revive and redefine blog world soon. It has acquired Flickr, and is giving built in option to publish photos in Yahoo! 360º blogs. All you have to upload your photos to Flickr (or any other site) and paste the URL of that photo in its input field. It has nice GUI composer window for formatting your post. You can see the blog post with or without photos, or only photos, if you are interested.

Yahoo! 360º tries to integrate your Internet experience with this one, big bold move. It tries to give you all the service – yes, all the service in its own, one integrated tabbed window. From E-mail to IM to Web search and now Blog in same place, you never need to go places for hunt. Presently, with many tab and buttons, the Yahoo! 360º blog service looks cluttered, but once you get accustomed with it, you will start loving it. Yahoo! 360º loads faster than Blogger, but presently it has few template to choose from. As of now, it is giving you limited option to customize your blog, but it is still in beta stage and has many new attractive features that others lack. For example, it has built in RSS feed generator, whereas, in Blogger, you have to subscribe to some other service for that.

So, if you are planning to start a new blog, with available free services, then you may safely choose Yahoo! 360º because it has many features that you can count which are indispensable, and hope for many more in its full version.

Paid Services:

If you want designer blog with every bells and whistles dancing with your tune, you must opt for some paid services. With little monthly or yearly charges, you will be able to host your own or company’s group blogs in a designer way. Some of popular paid blog services are – Movable Type (http://www.sixapart.com/movabletype/pricing ) and Live Journal ( http://www.livejournal.com/ ). You could hire a host and start your own customized, high speed Blog with some highly popular tool like Wordpress ( http://wordpress.org/ )

Life beyond Blog:

As blogs have becomes hot property, everybody out there had started to handle them carefully. While American Legislature is considering to bring Law to regulate Political Blog content, here, in India, Times of India had effectively issued notices to shut the shop of a blog named Mediah, (http://mediaah.blogspot.com/) . Meanwhile, all kinds of blog related sites and tools have surfaced on the Internet. For example, people have started giving best blog award in may categories ( http://indibloggies.blogspot.com/ ), there are blog directories and blog ranking services ( http://india.blogstreet.com/ ), the blog magazines (http://akshargram.com/nirantar/ ) the Blog Digger services that digs interesting blog contents for you (http://www.myjavaserver.com/~hindi/ ) , Group blogs such as (http://bunokahani.blogspot.com/ ) where number of bloggers write different parts of stories, Blog Mela ( http://www.madhoo.com/ ), and so on.

In a way, everybody is blogging out there. So what are you waiting for? Start blogging today itself. If you already have one, then start another. You already have a couple of blogs, then better still, join a group blog and have your say!

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