While a sizeable chunk of the world's population may well read and write one
everyday, many people still wouldn’t recognize a blog, even if it stood right in
front of them waving a placard.

So if you're one such person, then simply put, a blog is an online diary or
journal - a widely used and relatively informal platform through which you can
show and tell the world what you’re thinking, where you’ve been and what you
do. For those who still want a voice but only have 140 syllables to get off their
chest, there are micro-blogs, such as Twitter.

Admittedly it does seem that everyone today has something to say. From
angst- ridden teenagers and campaigning world leaders, to full-time mums
and the trumpet-blowing stars of the film, music and sporting world. And let's
not forget a certain freelance writer..

Of course it’s probably safe to say that millions of these blogs probably aren’t
even worth the screen space they’re written on. Many are started on a whim
and forgotten in an instant. They are the flotsam and jetsam of the Internet age.

While the average personal blog may well contain the intellectual equivalent
to candy floss, in the business world, major corporations such as Dell, Boeing
and McDonalds are proving that there are far more benefits to the humble blog
than initially meets the eye.

With their more informal ‘conversational’ format and the ease at which they can
be updated, blogs are now being perceived as an extremely cost-effective and
highly effective marketing tool.

They can help businesses to increase their brand awareness, build additional
web traffic and reach a far wider audience than convential print alternatives.