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The easiest way to get acquainted with the conventions of the blog format is to start reading them. The more blogs you read, the more you'll get a feel for the depth and breadth of style and subject matter they have to offer.
Here are a few sources:
- Blogdex (http://blogdex.com/)
- Daypop (http://daypop.com/)
- Technorati (http://technorati.com/)
These three sites monitor millions of blogs every minute of every day, searching for the top key words being mentioned in blog posts or in the most popular links and sites. It's like being in a huge convention hall eavesdropping on billions of conversations at the same time. This is a fantastic way to do market research and to see what everybody is buzzing about. The collective 'hive' of blogs is often called the blogosphere. Often, links and news bubble up in the blogosphere first, even before they reach your evening television news program.
Blog Search Engines and Directories
- Blogarama (http://blogarama.com/)
- Globe of Blogs (http://globeofblogs.com/)
- The Open Directory (http://dmoz.org/Computers/Internet/On_the_Web/Weblogs/)
Just like web sites, there are also directories and search engines devoted to cataloging the ever-growing global network of blogs. Try searching by topic or geographic location.
- Google (http://google.com/)
- Yahoo! (http://yahoo.com/)
- A9 (http://a9.com/)
As usual, Google and friends to the rescue! These are the more traditional and widely known search engines. Type in some topic and the word 'blogs' and see what results come up. The more specific keywords, the more likely you are to find bloggers talking about what you're interested in.
And number ten is the blogroll. Most blogs have a blogroll, which is a list of a blogger's favorite blogs and websites. If you find a blog you like, try checking out the other sites that the blogger likes. You might find other valuable sites and blogs to read.
The more your read blogs, the more you'll catch the nuances and conventions that have made them the fastest, easiest, cheapest way to publish online.
Andy Wibbels is a blogging evangelist and creator of the Easy Bake Weblogs seminar that has helped hundreds of small businesses all over the world leverage blogs and RSS news feeds to increase profits and save time. You can download his free special report on business and blogs at http://easybakeweblogs.com/