So, Why Blogs?

pencils
Interesting question. Why do blooks exist in the first place? Why use blogs? If you take a look at Epiguide, you’ll find a slew of well established (some above 100 chapters) webisodes that run on normal websites.

Blogs give a few distinct advantages over the normal online novel. Let’s have a look at them:

Easier to update
Blogs do not require you to mess with html code everytime you want to update. You just have to create a new post in a Microsoft-Word-like environment. It saves time and prevents you from screaming once your table tags go haywire.

RSS
Billed as the future DNA of web, RSS is a very powerful tool to use when distributing your blook. Blogs automatically create RSS feeds as you update, and instead of visiting your blog (and thousands of others), readers just subscribe and have the feed delivered to their feed reader of choice. With feature rich services like Feedburner, you can even compile these feeds into an email subscription service – all the more to have chapters delivered to your readers’ doorsteps!

The Blogosphere
Writing in a blog automatically makes you part of the blogsophere – a lively, noisy (if you listen to podcasts, that is) ethos of opinionated people. This bodes well for your blook, as blogs trade links and connect to each other fairly fast. Hop over to Technorati to take a peek at all this action

The Coding Community
If you’re stuck building a website, there aren’t many places you can go to for advice. But blogging platforms have the benefit of collaborative users. If you have a layout problem with your blog (common when you’re trying to build a site for multiple browsers), just paste your code and have other users help you out. The Blogger forums are great for those dealing with the Blogger platform, while WordPress users have their support forums.

Trackbacks
Blogging is all about conversation. Trackbacks provide a way for you to link to a post you’ve read somewhere, thus helping you to both foster ties with other bloggers as well as driving new traffic to your blog. That’s the rough idea – for more info check out Movable Type’s explanation.

The Interaction
Core to the blogging experience is the fact that readers can comment easily on what you write. Fanmail is a thing of the past, and stories could very well be affected by what your readers expect and say on your plot. Draw a line here, however. Writers should determine how the story plays out, not the readers.

The Look, The Feel
Last, but not least, blogs provide an easy way for aspiring authors to present their work ina pleasing format. Websites require some work before they look good – blogs have ready-made, one-click templates. I admit things get a little more complex with some of the better blogging platforms (AJAX, anyone?) but overall blogs are a lot more accessible to the guy who knows how to write better than he codes.

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Category: Writing Web Fiction
  • http://www.alexandraerin.com Alexandra Erin

    I don’t know if anybody else is going to trawl this far back in the archive, but I’ll add another big things blogs have going for them: people come to them already in the mindset that they’re going to be reading words off a screen. You don’t have to convince them to trip that all-important mental switch.

  • http://criticalmass.crazydreams.org/ CrazyDreamer

    I’m with A.E. in that I don’t expect anyone else to trawl back this far, but hey, we’re both here. . . .

    I do note that a lot of these points are basically for people who aren’t interested in web design. For example, I’m in the midst of redesigning my website, and I’m certainly going to be putting in an RSS feed that is compiled via XSLT from the XML data files (which are easily updated) at the same time as the HTML visitor version is; I don’t need blog software to do it for me. Even on my one WordPress-powered site I’ve spent many hours tweaking and customizing the template and CSS because I know how to and I wasn’t 100% satisfied with any of the dozens of skins available to me.

    Of course, most people aren’t me–I’m the type who would export his story to LaTeX if he knew how–but it’s good to specify who your audience is when you’re recommending one thing over another.

  • http://www.novelr.com Eli James

    I would recommend it to almost anyone, really. It would make far more sense to use a blogging platform rather than a website, primarily because of the ease of which articles can be written and aggregated.

    And blogs definitely beat full blown CMSes, especially for writing.