Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Blogger as an information management tool

Google's free blogging system ( is a great way to not only run a traditional style blog - and hence communicate your ideas to an audience online - but also to manage information for yourself while your surfing the Web. I, for example, now have about 6 blogs on my Google Blogger account (and they make it very easy for you to manage them all from one central 'dashboard'). There's better blogging software out there, but Blogger is just nice and convenient to use, and the fact you can access all your blogs from one dashboard - and from any computer in the world (that has 'Net access) just simplifies things enormously. If you use multiple computers, such as a computer at work and one at home, or a desktop and a laptop, this makes things particularly convenient for you. Also, some new features have been added to Blogger recently that make it even better, such as being able to specify categories of posts, and to be able to customise the design and colours of the template you are using.

If you are anything like me then you probably not only surf online a lot but have lots of bits and pieces of information (links, ideas, photos etc) that you want to be able to save and access from anywhere, or to share with others. This is where blogs are so useful. I think of them as a sort of online notepad. And as blogger is free to use, there's no limit on how many you can create, or how much information you can upload. And whilst real notepads are easily lost, forgotten, and only viewable if you are physically present in front of them, blogs suffer from none of these limitations.

I think many people still see blogs as a sort of unsophisticated-man's version of a website. But they can be so much more. For example, one of my blogs is only viewable by me (a great feature on blogger is you can limit who can see your blog - another way you might like to use this is just create one particular blog that can only be viewed by your friends or family members). I use this as a sort of homepage for myself, with my favourite links, a sort of private diary, notes, lists of goals, and products I want to get at some point in the future. If you created a personal blog like this, you could even set it as your browser's start-up page.

Other things you can do with blogs are: use one as a photograph archive, use one to pass on information/tips to your best customers, use one to archive posts you make on Internet forums, use one to save your favourite articles.

(Note: If you DO use blogger to create a range of blogs for yourself, I recommend taking off the 'profile' section from the top of the sidebar as this allows anyone who is viewing ANY of your blogs to see the whole list of all your other blogs, and you might not want that.)

Also see: Great time to start a blog

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