Blogs — like the blog you can set up on Change Everything — are among the hottest Internet tools. Short for "web log", a blog is just a web page that organizes content (like journal entries or news items) in reverse chronological order. But what's made blogging hot are all the different software options and web sites that make blogging the easiest way to create and maintain a personal web site, accessible to people with a wide range of technology skills. If you know how to use a word processor or a web browser, you're techie enough to start blogging.

By making it possible for just about anyone with a web connection to create their own online content, blogging has radically democratized content creation and personal publishing. More people can now communicate a message to the world than at at any time in human history. But how can that make the world a better place?

Let me suggest 5 ways that you can use your blog — on Change Everything, or on another blogging site — to change the world:

  1. Endorse a cause.More and more organizations are running onlne campaigns as a way of building issue awareness and political pressure. Projects like Make Poverty History and Save the Internet have used blogs as a crucial way to spread their message and even raise funding. Your own blog — whether it's on knowledge management or knitting, environmentalism or engagement parties — can expose your readers to the causes you care about. It's as easy as dropping an "I support…" button in your sidebar.
  2. Share your knowledge. If you've figured out how to rewire a lightswitch, make your computer run faster, or get your baby to sleep on time, that's wisdom that other people can use. Your blog is a great place to share your own how-tos and tips so that other people can benefit from your knowledge.
  3. Challenge the mainstream media. If you've ever been frustrated with the gaps in a TV story, or annoyed by the perspective of a newspaper editorial, you no longer have to suffer in silence. Use your blog to challenge one of those established voices, and you're helping to broaden the range of ideas and voices on current issues.
  4. Connect to your community. There are already other bloggers in every community you belong to: your neighbourhood. Your fellow dog owners. The global community of Yanni fans. Use blog search tools like Technorati or Google Blog Search to find other people who are blogging about the things you care about, and use your blog to respond to their news and ideas. It's a great way to build the individual connections that knit people into communities — and building community is crucial to making our democracies, our economies and our families work better.
  5. Tell your story. There's one subject you're uniquely qualified to write about: you. Blogging matters because it allows more people to tell their own stories, so our understanding of other people's lives, values and dreams is no longer limited to the handful of people who write or get written about in newspapers and magazines. When you add your own voice to the mix, you're helping to bulid our capacity to understand and empathize with one another — surely the most crucial foundation for change.

What are other ways a blog can support social change? Leave your ideas on this page by clicking the "add comment" link below.