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For Gen Y bloggers

There are loads of teenagers’ blogs out there — but the ones I’ve seen are of the dark and angsty variety. Fair enough, says Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan.

india Updated: Jun 15, 2009 20:00 IST

Last time, we had talked about senior citizens blogging, so this time I thought I’d get hold of the opposite end of the spectrum and talk about blogs by the younger generation. There are loads of teenagers’ blogs out there — but the ones I’ve seen are of the dark and angsty variety. Fair enough, we all got the angst out of our systems when we were teens.

There are many excellent reasons why kids should blog — it teaches them how to write in front of an audience and it can give them their own space on the Internet. As a parent, controlling what your child sees on the Internet is kind of hard, even if you have some sort of filter involved. And you don’t want to seem too pushy either.

Moderation is what I’d advise, a weekly chat maybe, about what he or she will blog about, discussions about respecting other people, and the power of the written word should do it. Easier said than done, right? Right. Well, good luck, and since this isn’t a parenting column, I can thankfully drop the subject.

Handy tips
First, as all blogs, keep it articulate. Everyone is curious about what goes on in the minds of “kids today”, so don’t just fill up posts with odes to Miley Cyrus or whoever your current favourite idol is. Remember that this is something you might want to show other people, so talk to an audience. You could make it a journal-blog and talk about your day-to-day life, or simply something that you’re interested in.

Grammar. Although it’s a basically boring subject, it really makes things easy to read on a website. If you mix up capital letters with small ones and have hearts and smiley faces everywhere, chances are only your best friends will read you. And maybe even then you might have to force them.

Have a role model. Think of a website you really like, and then why you like it. Is it because it’s funny or candid or attractive? It’s always best to begin blogging with an ideal in mind so you know what you’re aiming for.

Remember, no matter who your ideal blogger is, the whole point of a blog is for it to be about you. Put in expressions that you use a lot, give your friends nicknames, talk about things that make you who you are, basically.

Respect people. Blogs stay up for a long, long time. Something you say about someone in a fit of rage, no matter how secret you think your blog is, could come up in a Google search. Just be careful who you’re talking about, and always ask yourself before you hit “Publish”, do I really want to say that? (Note: adults would do well to heed this advice also.)

And finally, just have fun with it. If you’re lucky enough to have a cellphone with a decent camera and email, you can even blog on the go by taking pictures and sending (articulate!) text messages to your blogging client.

Good luck! Send me your blogs when you’re done if you like, and I’ll use them in a future column.

Meenakshi writes a blog at thecompulsiveconfessor.blogspot.com. Send her your queries at meenakshimadhavan@gmail.com