How PNG can benefit from Blogging
In my 20-odd years in journalism, I have written hundreds of stories and taken hundreds of photographs on a vast array of subjects, covering everything from rugby league to politics, from Kavieng to Daru.
Many of these articles were written before the age of computers, in the era of typewriters and fax machines, hence could not be saved.
Only after computers and the Internet came on the scene, in the late 1990’s, could these articles be preserved on floppy disks and CDs.
I couple of years ago, as I was cleaning up my house, I was faced with the dilemma of what to do with this myriad of stories and pictures.
Family and friends, particularly my late wife Hula – my greatest fan – had often encouraged me to compile a book of all that I’d written over the years.
After considering all the possibilities, I decided to set up my own Blog on the Internet, featuring my articles and photographs, and with the express purpose of promoting our beloved country Papua New Guinea.
So, I copied some of what I’d written and photographed over the years on a flash drive, and spent long hours on weekends at Internet cafes posting them on my Blog.
Slowly, but steadily, readership of my Blog grew and I started receiving emails from all over the world.
These came from former PNG residents, tourists who wanted to know more about the country, students doing assignments, academics, researchers, businessmen, writers, book publishers, and many, many more.
Needless to say, I’m proud that my Blog has, in one way or another, served to promote PNG around the world and may have brought in an extra kina or two into our coffers.
At the height of the Taiwan scandal earlier this year, I was surprised to receive an email from a leading TV station in Taipei, wanting to know more about Timothy Bonga and Dr Florian Gubon.
The TV station had apparently found my Blog on the Internet!
A Blog, a shortened form of the term ‘web log’, is a website, usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video.
Entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order.
"Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a Blog.
Many Blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries.
A typical Blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic.
The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many Blogs.
Most Blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (artlog), photographs (photoblog), sketchblog, videos (vlog), music (MP3 blog), audio (podcasting) are part of a wider network of social media.
A Blog gives you your own voice on the web.
It's a place to collect and share things that you find interesting— whether it's your political commentary, a personal diary, or links to web sites you want to remember.
Many people use a Blog just to organise their own thoughts, while others command influential, worldwide audiences of thousands.
Professional and amateur journalists use Blogs to publish breaking news, while personal journalers reveal inner thoughts.
Whatever you have to say, Blogging can help you say it.
Blogging is about more than just putting your thoughts on the web.
It's about connecting with and hearing from anyone who reads your work and cares to respond.
With Blogging, you control who can read and write to your Blog — let just a few friends or the entire world see what you have to say!
Blogging let anyone, anywhere, to offer feedback on your posts.
You can choose whether you want to allow comments on a post-by-post basis, and you can delete any comments you don't like.
Access Controls let you decide who can read and who can write to your Blog.
You can use a group Blog with multiple authors as an excellent communication tool for small teams, families and other groups.
Or as a single author, you can create a private online space for collecting news, links, and ideas, to keep to yourself or share with as many readers as you want.
Bloggings let you find people and Blogs that share your interests.
Your profile, where you can list your blogs, your interests, and more, lets people find you (but only if you want to be found).
Whether you're starting your Blog or just think it's time to give your existing Blog a facelift, user-friendly editing tools help you easily design a great-looking page.
A collection of templates will get you started with an attractive site right away without you having to learn any HTML, though you can edit your Blog's HTML code whenever you want.
When you're ready to take the next step, you can further customise templates to create a design that perfectly reflects you and your Blog.
You can easily upload photos on your Blog.
The fastest way to understand Blogging is to try it out, and in less than five minutes, you could be part of the phenomenon that’s transforming web and media to a participatory approach.
As I have mentioned before in this column, several companies and individuals in PNG are profiteering from the ignorance of our little people by charging them huge amounts of money to build a website for their small businesses.
And after being ripped off by these companies, the little people then feel the brunt of paying excessive fees for a domain name, regular rental to the Internet Service Provider (ISP), as well as Internet usage fees to Telikom.
In a small economy, such as that of PNG, small businesses cannot survive with such exorbitant costs.
This should no longer be the case, as it is quick and easy to design a website, such as a Blog, using templates freely available on the Internet, where you do not have to pay for a domain name or ISP rentals.
Your just have to pay for your Internet usage fee at the nearest Internet café if you don’t have Internet access in your office.