Want to Blog, Podcast or Vodcast?

Got something you want to say? Well, the Internet is out there waiting for you to say it. Believe me, there are very easy ways to get your opinion or knowledge into print, audio, or even video for others to read, see, and hear – good or bad.

The simplest way to begin getting your opinions, thoughts, or experience ‘out there’ for the world to consume is to start ‘blogging’. Thankfully, there are many sites that offer the ability for you to sign up and ‘blog’ for free. You should be careful about using these free sites however as they will sometimes make you give up your rights to the content in exchange for the free service. Make sure to read the terms and conditions carefully.

Some free sites you can use for your writing are:

  • blogger.com (Google)

  • wordpress.com (WordPress)

  • xanga.com (Xanga)

You could also purchase your own domain, hosting, and use a platform on that domain. That is more complicated, and will cost approximately $30 to start. This process is beyond the scope of the column, but email me if you have questions about the process and I will help as best I can. One local blog you might check out is www.blondish.net.

If you feel like creating something of the audio variety, called a podcast, you also will have some free ways to get your content out in the wild for the world to consume. You can create the audio simply by using Audacity (free at audacity.sourceforge.net) to record from a cheap microphone attached to your PC or laptop. Audacity allows you to edit audio files and export (save) them as mp3 files. Unfortunately, this usually involves owning your own domain that you will host your podcasts.

If you don’t feel like editing your audio, there are websites that allow you to record and store them on their site for free. Again, be careful with these sites as they will often place advertisements in your podcast (audio) or tacked onto the end. If you want complete control, you will probably prefer to spend a small amount of cash and have complete control of your product.

Video is very similar to audio in that there are free sites to host them, and you can record them for free using a site such as Ustream. Unfortunately video files are much larger than audio and you will spend a much larger amount on hosting (cost for your own site) if you decide to go that route. Video editing is much more difficult than audio, and the programs can be very expensive as well.

To be honest, the Internet is full of blogs that contain writing, audio, and video. The sad fact is that most of these blogs have been abandoned once the ‘new’ wore off of whatever the people were doing. The worst part of that result is lots of clutter all around the web that we have to wade through. Be sure that you can make it past the first month before you begin. Writing is more difficult than most people imagine, just ask my editor.