Er, mea culpa. This is what happens when you type drunk, kids.
I have been negligent in updating my wildly popular feature, For Those About To Blog, (first iteration here) because of my own laziness and my unerring instinct to spell out every last detail from the general to the particular, which means that I should finish this project some years beyond the extinction of the solar system.
So I'll just give you my raw notes for the second instalment free of charge. Never be too curious about how laws, sausages, or blog entries are put together.
Does it cost anything to blog?
You mean, besides your health, your savings, your mental stability, your career and the prospect of eternal life in Heaven?
Yes, apart from all that, you can blog for free!
There are numerous free blogging services. The most famous one is the former BlogSpot, now Blogger. For some reason (more than likely my computer at the time) I couldn't use it, but I did use Crimsonzine for a couple of years. There are others like Xanga and Livejournal which are also popular, but as I've never used them, I can't vouch for their reliability. Search on Google for "free blogs." Or see my sidebar advertising, which explodes with "free blogs" as soon as I mention 'em.
Technical support on any free blog is minimal to non-existent, but you get what you pay for.
If you're just starting out, I'd recommend a free blog, just so that you can get a feel for it and to see if it's something that you're willing to devote time and effort to working at. If, after six months or so, you decide you want to continue, you might want to start thinking about moving to a hosted blog. More about that later.
Do I need to know about HTML and all that geeky computer stuff?
No. All the free blogs have default templates that you can choose from -- you can sign up (usually all you need is a legitimate email address for confirmation), pick a template and start hammering away in a couple of minutes. Some of the best bloggers in the world use free blogs and never change
they worry more about the words they put down than the way they look.
cover hosted blogs next FTATB?
http://blogquebecois.com/archives/000686.html - I
Some of those links are now out of date -- I was going to use the Belmont Club as an example of someone using a default Blogger template, but he's since moved to his own custom site.
Anyway, now that I've gotten that semi-digested chunk of advice out of my system, I can presumably update this series a bit more regularly, with a bit less concern about where each piece fits in the Grand Scheme Of Things.