Saturday, October 08, 2005

How To Easily Blog For People With Really Something Worthwhile To Say

I am writing this blog entry especially for several of my friends, online acquaintances, and others to strongly encourage them to start blogging as soon as possible.  This is not the first time that I have mentioned this to you either;)

It is one thing to send messages for the limited audience that subscribes to the same mailing list that we are both subscribers of versus making your thoughts, opinions, and expertise available for the entire world. 

Even when you probably sent past messages to people you thought would benefit from the message, you probably forgot someone accidentally.

Your thoughts and expertise are so passionate on the topic that I have read most of your messages on that I know that you have an audience that is ready, willing, and able to turn to you for advice, counsel, and guidance just like the audience that sits in front of Oprah on tv and around the world.

I recently composed a blog entry regarding my Fraternity that could easily apply to other people within the African-American community or mankind period.  There is too much wisdom that could really make a critical difference not being recorded and made available for other people worldwide.  Blogging makes this process very simple to create an archive for you and your family to have permanent access to and you can even restrict access if you desire.  You will always be in complete and full control of how your wisdom and information is used and received.

You might say that you are not releasing the cure for cancer anytime soon, but believe me there is somebody who is going to say "I knew that I did not feel this way alone" or "I am not the only one am I?" or "I am not alone in feeling this way" or "thank God that somebody finally said it".

So here are the most simple steps to start your blog.  You will have to wait until a chip is in your hand or forehead for it to get any easier:))

I use Blogger and it is owned by Google.  I do not consider myself an early user of Blogger but each month that I have been blogging, the free service has gotten easier to use.

I am not sure but one potential reason that everything has gotten easier is that I use another Google free service called Gmail.  I have invitations available if you want to try out the Gmail service yourself, but you can indeed continue to use the same e-mail program that you are currently using.

Gmail just allows me to use any computer connected to the internet versus being tied down to a single computer.  I truly feel mobile:)

Once you sign up and register for a free service like Blogger or another similar one, here is what you want to do.

1.  Go immediately to the control panel or management area where you can change the settings for the blog.  Within Blogger, the icon looks like a gear wheel like a bicycle chain would fit around on a bicycle.

2.  Then click on the E-mail link at the top of the page.  You should look for the Mail-to-Blogger Address.  Enter at least 4 characters (numbers or letters combination that you will remember) into the field, click the Publish box, and then click the Save Settings iconRemember this newly created e-mail address (the whole thing and not just the 4 characters entered).

Just FYI, the BlogSend Address that appears above is the email address that will receive any new blog entries created by yourself whenever you create a new blog entry or better yet, when anyone leaves a comment on your blog. 

I basically use it as a quality control check just to make sure that the new blog entry was indeed created.  It really comes in helpful when others leave comments that I would probably miss otherwise.  I have entered the e-mail address associated with my cell phone in the field so I will be notified via a SMS text message.

3.  Then click on the Site Feed link that appears right beside the Email link near the top of the page.  This change will allow your blog to be received by other people via e-mail, a RSS reader such as Google Reader, My Yahoo, or My MSN or received and used within a variety of ways.

4.  Change the Publish Site Feed setting to Yes.

5.  Change the Descriptions setting to Full.

6.  Change your Site Feed URL (file name) to end with atom.xml.  I am not sure whether the URL can end with anything other than atom.xml, but I have seen other pages use other names.

7.  Click the Save settings button at the bottom of the page.

You can now start blogging directly from e-mail and you would send your blog entries just like you have sent past e-mails to the e-mail address you created earlier within Step 2.

I know this is going to blow your mind but with the number of e-mails that you already have created and sent in the past, you probably have already written a book that would be well received by the same people who will subscribe to your blog.

The only potential tragedy in this is whether you were using an e-mail program that actually kept a copy of your sent messages.

Go back and locate your past sent e-mails and just post them to your blog.  You can even use the same date and time that the messages were sent to quickly create new blog entries without having to spend a lot of time wondering what to blog about next.

There is another free service called Feedburner that will help you create the icons that other people will use to subscribe to your blog.  I will not go into the details here, but know that the process has just gotten easier and you have no excuse not to blog.

One word of caution:  do not release or publicize the e-mail address that you will send blog entries to.  Use the Bcc function (blind carbon copy which does not not allow other recipients to see your special blog e-mail address) and enter the e-mail address there if you want to really write once and publish the message everywhere.

If you release or publicize the e-mail address that automatically creates your blogs, then you will have left the barn door open.  It is suggested that other people are allowed to leave reasonable comments or you can add others to write blog entries on the same blog.  But adding new contributors to your blog should be intentional versus accidental.

Here is one page where I am now creating content with others and it is being read as a mailing list, website, and within RSS reader websites and software.  Once the process is set up, it is seamless and automatic.

I intentionally chose to blog via e-mail after recently losing a very nice blog entry that was being created but lost at the point of hitting the publish button.  Although I basically remember the bulk of what was written, I have not found the energy to labor over it again. Gmail now has an automatic save feature to prevent the message from being accidently lost.  It also has a lot of nice formatting features that I was feeling limited from using directly on the Blogger website.

You can also blog from your cell phone by sending a SMS text message to your blog e-mail address or from your Blackberry, PDA, or Pocket PC device.  The number of ways of creating a blog entry is then limited to your imagination.

The next time you are in line at the DMV, post office, or anywhere where the line queue or delay is killing you, create a blog about it.

When you do not want to spend a lot of time away from your current activity, just send a title or one or two sentences and complete the blog entry later.  The key is not to lose the energy within the moment.

For anyone who has written a song, poem, or other creative work, just ask them how it feels to not write the lyric or content when the inspiration initially hit.  I know that I have lost multi-platinum songs this way already;)

Let people know that your blog is available both at the URL that Blogger gives as well as the Site Feed URL from Step 6. Feedburner lets you see how many people have subscribed to your blog and a host of other good things I will share later unless you find out first directly from them. 

Do not worry about having a ton of subscribers initially because if you write it, they will come:)

Definitely let me know the URL where I can subscribe to your blog.


Anonymous said...

She Loves Tech <--My new blog! You said to let you know.

Anonymous said...

Hi! My name is Chris and I work at One of our members posted a question and after reading your site I thought the solution might have something to do with signing up for VoIP. Can you provide an answer to this question?

"How do I text a message to a cell phone from my computer?"

Roney Smith said...


Thanks for your comment!

Sending a text message to a phone from a computer is virtually the same as sending an e-mail.

Different cell phone carriers have various domain names that work in conjunction with their text messaging services.

You will need to know the carrier for the specific person that you are trying to send the e-mail to.

Remember that text messages typically are limited to 160 characters as well.

I would suggest that in order to know the e-mail address, have the cell phone owner send a text message to your e-mail address. Then you can respond and send future messages to the appropriate address.

Otherwise, there are companies that I have located that can send messages based upon the telephone number alone without regard to the telephone carrier.

Most of these companies were located in the UK although there are some within the US.

I may have a list of the domain names for various US companies if needed.

Roney Smith said...

BTW, VOIP has nothing to do with my post.