By Abigail Kwok INQUIRER.net IT was not until two years ago that I got hooked into blogging. Before that, I found it absurd that people would post their thoughts and their daily activities for all the world to see. I found it even more absurd that peo ple would post on their blogs yet change the preferences to private so other pe ople will not read the entries. I thought, "Why create an online diary if you a re not going to make it public anyway?" So I shunned the idea of creating my own blog, even as my friends maintained ei ther a personal website or an account with a blog site. But everything changed two years ago. My friend sent me a link to her blog, and I decided to check it out. Within minutes, I found myself absorbed in reading her blog and was amused at how many people gave their inputs to her entries. It was more like an onlin e community where you can share your thoughts with your friends and they get to share their points of view as well. It was then that I realized that blogs are more than just personal diaries wher e you write your daily activities. Rather, blogs are powerful tools for communi cating with others. Nowadays, people use their blogs to share their most intima te thoughts, such as political views, entertainment rants and raves, and cultur al views. Blogs like that of Newsbreak and PCIJ are just some of the popular online journals that people regularly visit to read ab out political insights and editorials. That was when I decided to start my own blog. I created an account with LiveJournal, one of the popu lar blog sites today. What got me hooked into LiveJournal, or LJ, is that it al lows you to create and participate in an online community where you can connect with hundreds of people. Itâs also a plus that most of my friends have LJ acco unts, making it easier for me to connect with them. Having an LJ account also l ets me get in touch with my friends because I can read their entries and share my comments. It also gives me the venue to create new relationships, like parti cipating in online communities and groups. Below are some of the features available in LiveJournal:
- LJ communities -- these function like online discussion boards where people group together to discuss common interests, like tea or Harr y Potter. I, for one, am a member of several The Beatles LJ communities. T he perks? I get updated about anything Beatles-related, like reunion conce rts, Beatles merchandise, and even Beatles gossip. This is a great way to get connected from people all over the world who share the same interests as you.
- The LJ Scrapbook -- if you own your personal scrapbook, then m anaging the LJ Scrapbook will be a breeze for you. The LJ Scrapbook allows you to post pictures of memorable events or people and personalize them a ccording to your preference and style. LJ provides 1GB of free storage spa ce for you to post all the photos and media you want.
- Memories -- if you have a memorable event or occasion you want to remember forever, then place it in your LJ Memories.
- Customization -- LJ allows you to customize your blog site dep ending on your style and preference. Your blog site includes an avatar or a picture of you that acts as your ID or nametag, so to speak. When you wr ite your entries, you can also indicate your mood, and location, as well a s the kind of music you are listening to right at the moment. This gives y our reader a background or context of you as the writer as you were writin g that particular entry.
- Protect your entries -- another perk offered by LJ is protection. You can customize your entries with its protection feature. So if you want just a handful of close friends to read your entry, you can create your own list of people that you want access to your entry/entries.
- User-friendly -- LJ is also user-friendly. If you arenât knowl edgeable with HTML, you donât have to worry, because LJ has a step-by-step guide on how to manage and customize your site. It is also very easy to n avigate, so it is also great for beginners. I have to admit though, that L J is not as easy as Blogger or Wordpress. Neverthe less, its features are easy to learn.