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Of Writers, Blogs and Websites

writers webIf you’re paying any attention to me at all you know I believe every freelance writer needs their own websiteWhile looking for something else I stumbled into Why Professional Writers Need a Blog. Or Not, a guest post by Larry Brooks of Storyfix.com on Problogger.net.

How quickly things change on the ‘net!  Back in the dark ages, say a decade and a half or so ago, writers, like everyone else, could put up what today most of  would recognize, if we thought about it, as static websites. At first most sites were more or less like billboards along the so-called information highway. Changes were laborious and most people either had to learn some html coding or hire someone to make changes on their site.

Although there were many attempts to create easy-to-use content management systems it wasn’t until about 2002 that blogging as we know it began to explode. The next year, WordPress was launched and Google bought Blogger. For better and worse blogging was available to the masses, including us.

Why this seeming digression into the history of the web?

Because as I read Larry’s article I felt like the definitions of websites and blogs were getting blurred – not by Larry, but by all of us. Not surprising – I’m always startled when I run into an old fashioned website like (ahem) mine at www.annewayman.com. That’s a classic example of a static site. (I’ve not changed it because it works so well for me I don’t dare.) It’s been up forever and I had to learn how to use html editors to put it up.

Blogs, on the other hand are often sites like this one. New articles appear regularly. And you can leave comments.

The term blog originally was weblog and was intended to describe a sort of diary. The thing that made it work is that a blog is super easy to update. You can add content in a heartbeat, update old information, change the design on the fly, add and subtract links – all sorts of things with no knowledge of html or any programming at all.

It’s that ease of updating and change that leads me to suggest that when a writer puts up a website they do it using WordPress or other blogging software. There’s no law that says a blog has to change, or change often. But when you want to make a change in your website it it’s in blog format it will be a snap.

As a horrid example, my site was done in FrontPage which no longer really exists. I’m moving next Saturday and will need to change the address. Since my contact information occurs on something called shared borders I suspect I’ll have to do a total redesign (move it into a blog format) to make the change. On this site it will be easy.

So there are websites, there are blogs and there are websites using blogging software.

Does that make sense to you? Is it helpful? Is your site static or easy to change?


Image from http://www.sxc.hu

    { 6 comments… add one }
    • I put my blog on Wordpress, following Anne’s recommendation. I love it. It’s very easy to use and easy to comment on. I hate blogs where you have to jump through a bunch of hoops or register to comment. Starting out, I’d like to have it as easy as possible for people to leave feedback. They’re more likely to come back that way if they like my content.
      .-= Elizabeth West´s last blog ..“Tell me about yourself” =-.

    • I use Wordpress, and my home page is static. My resume is static, also. However, I constantly add content so that my site serves as my portfolio. I suppose you could call it a website/blog. One benefit of constantly adding content is that you can promote it on social networking sites. I set up a Twitter feed and linked my Facebook profile to it.
      .-= Gina-Marie Cheeseman´s last blog ..Why the FDA Needs the Power To Recall Drugs =-.

    • I have a static site at millercathy.com, but changed it to contain just the home page that directs people to my blog/website at simplystatedbusiness.com.

      I keep the static site for storing documents for my portfolio links and I have my personal blog attached to it.

      I wanted the flexibility and Worpress offered more than what I was using.
      .-= Cathy Miller´s last blog ..Stand Out in a Crowd =-.

    • My site is static. My blog is on a free site. Remember when it was considered amateurish to have a free professional website? Funny how that doesn’t seem to apply to blogs! Mine is doing great and I’ve gotten some great buzz from it.
      .-= Lori´s last blog ..Monthly Assessment – May 2010 =-.

      • Anne

        Any thoughts of changing your site to blog format just for ease of updating? And yeah, I like your blog.

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