Afterword

ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

What is a blog? (K2 #5)

Question of the Week
Seems like everyone has a blog these days. What is a blog ? How do I create one?
-- Pema Choden, Thimphu


Answer
A blog (short for web-log) is the online equivalent of a diary or journal. However, there is one major difference between a blog and a diary: while a diary is often private and offline, the content of the blog is available online and is usually shared with anyone on the Internet. In a blog you can post text, photos, videos and music. A person who writes a blog is called a blogger. People who read your blog entries can typically post comments, thus creating interactive conversations. Some blogs are personal, where bloggers write about their own thoughts and experiences. Other blogs are topical, where bloggers share and spread knowledge about specific topics or hobbies. Organizations can also create blogs as a way to communicate with their customers or the general public.

One of the main advantages of blogs is that they are very easy to set up. You will usually need no technical knowledge to create and maintain a blog. Also, there are websites that allow you to create a blog for free. These websites are called "blogging platforms". The ones that I recommend are blogger.com, wordpress.com and tumblr.com. While most bloggers in Bhutan use blogger.com, the other two platforms are also highly recommended. tumblr.com is recommended for short posts (called microblogging) - a few sentences, a single photo, a link to a webpage, etc. You might want to give all of these blogging platforms a try and see which one you like best.

To create a blog, start by registering to the blogging platform of your choice. You will then be asked to choose a subdomain (for example, myblog.tumblr.com) and a blog name. Within minutes you will be able to share your wisdom with the world. Just remember: Your ramblings can be seen by anyone.

The best way to to learn about blogs is to read a few. While a couple of years ago there were barely a handful of Bhutanese blogs, today there are hundreds, and new ones are created daily. Here's a selection of some of Bhutan's more popular ones, listed alphabetically:

Readers are encouraged to submit technology-related questions to boaz@thimphutech.com