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    Posted August 12, 2014 by
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    Tech talk

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    How Using a Website Builder to Create Blogs Changed the Online Game


    Back in 2001, blogging wasn’t a popular thing. Only technical writers like Heather B. Armstrong – better known as “Dooce” by her long term readers – had figured out how to use this new thing called the Internet, whereby computers actually talked to one another, to express emotions that we’d been used to seeing up until that point mostly in emails, letters or books – not on personal websites.


    Let’s also not forget the fascinating blogger named Julie Powell, a woman who began a cooking blog in 2002, and gained such an enormous following that her words turned into both a book and movie, titled Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously.


    Although it’s almost taken for granted now that we have so many blogging platforms and website builders to use to help even non-technical people make gorgeous websites without a lot of effort – (see http://www.webbuildersguide.com/website-builder-categories/website-builders-for-blogs/ for more examples) – it wasn’t always that way. Writers more than a decade ago couldn’t jump on Tumblr and start blogging their hearts out without knowing techie details, like how to write an HTML page from scratch.


    The blessing of the evolution of easy website builders

    The best thing about having much more than a select few folks that know how to create their own website pages these days is that the playing field has been leveled, and many more voices are available to pick and choose from online to read and soak up their wisdom.


    For example, years ago, the dearth of websites available to read meant that only certain agencies or knowledgeable people could place their opinions online. These may have represented dull government sites or purely tech-focused genres of articles.


    Once sites like Blogger and Live Journal came along, however, it became tremendously easier for writers who didn’t know many or any programming languages to create brand new blog posts for anyone to find. Take this writer, for instance. Back in 2005, I began a Blogger.com blog as a way to easily show magazine editors samples of my writing. In fact, creating online pages in that manner is what helped me learn a lot of HTML code, because I’d initially compose the blog post in the “visual” or WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) side of the post – and then I’d flip over to the HTML side in order to allow Blogger to reveal to me the code underneath.


    Over time, I memorized how to insert hyperlinks and perform other tasks like bolding text, creating italics or other ways of formatting words to help make the blog posts prettier, more readable, and more findable by search engines.


    Lots of other people jumped on the blogging bandwagon as they realized that they, too, could share their words with the world without needing to know the “geek-speak” of a developer. And it’s a great thing they did. Can you imagine a world without Just Jared, Perez Hilton or all those creative folks being discovered on a daily basis and going viral – getting book deals, TV shows, movie appearances and more, simply because they were discovered online?


    I’m glad we don’t have to envision that world, and that even the still, small voice can be heard in a big way in the 21st century.

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