Blog for Animal Rights
Create your own animal rights blog and influence as many people as possible on the Web. This is an opportunity to be inventive and explore issues that interest you.
Blogging in a Nutshell
A blog is one or more pages on the Web where you can display stories, news, revelations, illustrations and video clips about what interests you. Blogs are easy to set up, often free or inexpensive, and have the potential to be read by numerous people around the world. There is a multitude of blogs online of all genres and tastes. You can set up more than one blog and a single blog is sometimes the work of a group of people.
Blogs originally began as online personal diaries in the late 1990’s and evolved as valued contributions to society (authoritarian regimes suppress them). Some blogs nowadays are obviously blogs but some resemble traditional web sites. When creating a traditional web site you must learn html, the coding used to layout web pages (see the glossary below). But an advantage of a blog is that you build it using quick and simple-to-understand software without needing to learn the workings behind it.
Is Blogging for You?
There are many books and online tutorials about blogging, but to make a good job of it you must draw on your resources from within yourself:
- Time and energy on top of your daily schedule
- Motivation and self-discipline to revise your blog regularly
- Ability to write clearly about your subject
- A capacity to attract new readers and keep them coming back for more
A blog can be static, with no input from its readers, or ‘interactive’ in that readers leave comments on it. With an interactive blog you should be receptive and respond to your commentators; therefore chose a subject for your blog that you are prepared to debate with your readers. Of course you need a computer and some associated knowledge.
Which Subject to Blog?
||You don't have to write your messages in stone anymore.
Promote a subject related to animal rights as a blogger and in time you could become an acknowledged specialist on it. Appropriate animal rights subjects are diverse and could be almost anything, from selling animal-rights-related commercial products to preaching animal-rights-related religion.
A feature of blogs is that you should keep the content of your blog reasonably fresh with new relevant and interesting material. Therefore choose a subject that you are hot-blooded about and can pursue until the end of time. A quick round up of some animal rights areas for blogging are:
- Art: animal rights photography, paintings, posters, images of all sorts
- Commodities: selling products like non-leather shoes or animal rights books
- Conservation: about extinctions, wildlife management, zoos, wildlife ‘culls’
- Entertainment: animal baiting, circuses, rodeos, zoos
- Experimentation: advocating animal-free commercial and military research
- Factory Farming: about confined animals, disease, environmental contamination, economics
- Food: veal, foie gras, bush meat, school meals, vegetarianism and veganism
- Fundraising: sponsoring people’s activities for animals
- Fur: about the national or international trade, cat and dog fur trade
- Garb: relating to fur, feather, leather, perfume, ornaments
- History: of any topics on this list
- Hunting & Sport: about shooting, coursing, trapping, baiting, racing
- Law: relating to animal rights/welfare, animal abuse court cases
- News & Current Affairs: digging up news stories about animal rights
- Personalities: animal rights celebrities, workers, teachers, philosophers
- Philosophy: animal rights or more broadly animal ethics
- Politics: what politicians are or are not doing about animal rights
- Education: teaching children or adults about animal rights
- Trafficking: about zoos, pets, body parts, quack medicine, trinkets
- Undercover Investigations: clandestine work uncovering illegal doings
- Unintentional: about motorist kills, habitat destruction, climate change
Cannot find a subject? How about writing a blog about animal rights blogs? Do not just write a list of blogs. Find the best and worst blogs. Compare them. Comment about their aims and their effectiveness. Generalise or specialise in a subject, like veggie blogs, animal experiment blogs or fur blogs.
You can find out a lot by reading blogs related to your subject - assuming there are related blogs (you might be pioneering a new field). Find inspiration from other blogs and let other bloggers spark your imagination. Build on their work by adapting suitable ideas to your own needs and improve on the ideas by going one better. Always give sources of inspiration credit where appropriate.
Go online and look up a blog service provider (or blog ‘platform’ in the jargon), a company that supplies the necessary resources for people to start blogging. There are many competing providers, with seemingly similar facilities and levels of service. Some providers are free, others charge a fee, and some are a bit of both, only charging for extras. Try the free providers to get to know your way around and what is on offer. You can change your blog service provider anytime, but it can be a nuisance to change once your blog is well established.
Setting up your blog takes just a few minutes and is straightforward:
- Choose a bog service provider
- Open an account by following the provider's online instructions
- Select your blog’s Web address (or ‘URL’)
- Choose a title to call your blog
- Choose a blog template
- Modify the template’s themes
- Start writing your blog's posts and uploading images
Sit back and admire your blog. Keep modifying it until you are satisfied. Start a completely new blog or try a different free blog service provider if all else fails.
In the influence stakes, your blog is not about you or even animals. It is about your readers. You are trying to influence as many people as possible. Readers scan your posts and will leave your blog if it seems boring or irrelevant. So help them by making your pages interesting and easy to scan.
- Write in plain English (can be understood at the first reading)
- Compose crisp informative titles for posts
- Break up text into small chunks surrounded by lots of empty whte space
- Think up informative headings and subheadings
- Highlight particularly important text
- Employ bullets
- Display attractive relevant images
Create your own images or search web sites where you can pick up reasonable images free or for a small fee.
Measuring Your Success
How well is your blog reaching out to people and what influence is it having on them? Analytics software collects statistics about your blog’s readers. By analysing the data you can make some conclusions about the efficacy of your blogging. Among the statistics analytics can tell you are:
- How many and which pages people view
- How visitors found your blog
- Which keywords visitors typed into search engines to find your blog
- How many readers return another day to your blog
- Where visitors come from
- The length of time people spend on your blog pages
Some of the many analytic web sites are free and some offer more services for a payment.
Copyright offers a measure of legal protection to a work’s creator, should the creator wish to engage in litigation if their work is misappropriated. In many countries, like the US and Britain, you automatically possess the copyright of the work you create (such as an essay or an image) and do not have to do anything to claim copyright.
Often you do not need written permission from a copyright owner when you publish just a small part of their work (like one or two sentences). But for anything substantial it is good practice to obtain written permission, then cite its source on your blog and provide a link to it. ‘Fair use’ is a term that covers quoting something more substantial than a couple of sentences. However, what exactly constitutes fair use is a grey, debatable area. People defamed on blogs have prosecuted bloggers through the law courts. It pays to be sensibly and act with tact.
Bloggers' Code of Conduct
There are various codes for bloggers, intended to elevate blogging. Here are a few rules of conduct that convey the flavour:
Glossary of Blog Terms
- Be open about who and what you are
- Be truthful and accurate about what you write
- Provide original material (not rehash)
- Do not plagiarise material
- Cite and give credit to other people’s material
- Respect all your readers and critics
- Promptly reply to reader’s comments
- Do not publish email sent to you privately
- software that gathers information about readers of your blog by which you can assess how well your blog is reaching out to people.
- someone who keeps a blog or more generally reads and contributes to other people’s blogs.
Blog Service Providers
- business companies that enable you to publish a blog on the Web.
– observations readers leave on your blog about its posts.
- what you put on your blog, eg text, graphics, adverts.
- Hypertext Markup Language. The coding used to layout the text and images on blogs and web sites.
- a graphic or bit of text you can click on that takes you from one place on a page to another place.
- Blog service providers.
- an entry such as a message, image or article you put on a blog.
- a selection of predesigned pages that you can choose for your blog’s appearance.
- components you can choose within a template, such as fonts, font colours and page background colours.
- Uniform Resource Locator. An address on the Web of a web site, blog or page, eg www.animalethics.org.uk.
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