Page last updated at 06:40 GMT, Wednesday, 20 July 2005 07:40 UK

Pick of the blogs: 360 Degrees of Sky

By Darren Waters
BBC News entertainment reporter

Blogs and blogging have become buzzwords in the last 18 months, with millions of people setting up their own web logs to record their lives, comment on world events or share news.

There are almost as many different types of blogs as there are bloggers. Some are highly professional while others are simple online diaries. We pick out six of the best.

Please note that some blogs can contain strongly-worded language and highly-personal views.


Boing Boing

Underground

Tokyo Times

360 degrees

Dooce

Zucchini


360 DEGREES OF SKY

WHO WRITES IT?

Clay Pot is a volunteer working for a UK charity in Zambia. She does not use her real name on the blog, nor the name of the organisation she works for, because her "views and opinions don't necessarily reflect those of the charity I work for".

She said: "Also, free speech is not as free in Zambia as it is in other countries so I prefer to be cautious."

Many of the challenges for blogging in Zambia were technical, said Clay Pot.

"If our satellite system goes down it's a two-hour drive to the nearest internet cafe, or indeed the offices of the guys who can fix our equipment.

"If our generator goes on the blink there's no power for our computers."

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

News and views about life in the bush in Zambia. The blog touches on issues of aid to Africa, dealing with the sometimes difficult conditions of her life and her charity work in Zambia.

Clay Pot said: "We are totally out in the bush at this project. There's no TV, no cinema, no shops, no bars, no restaurants, no gym, no clubs or classes, and not much company to be honest.

"It's a two-hour drive to the nearest town to get food, and that town doesn't even have much in the way of amenities. Blogging is also a way of practising my writing."

She added: "It's so isolated where I am, that writing about what I see around me is in no way a reflection of the whole of Zambia, or even the district I'm in. I really am just blogging from one tiny patch of viewpoint."

HOW OFTEN IS IT UPDATED?

Not every day, but at least several posts a week. Readers who want to follow Clay Pot's blog can use RSS to stay up to date.

IN WHAT STYLE IS IT WRITTEN?

360 Degrees of Sky is a very personal blog, full of strong opinions. The language is often considered and informative.

Clay Pot said: "I've discovered some really excellent writers on blogs, who brighten up my day.

"You can also learn from other people's styles of writing, and often a blog post by someone else will trigger my own memories and suddenly I've got new material for a story or whatever.

"When you're limited to reading only those who are traditional print journalists or published writers, you actually miss out on a lot of good stuff."

SHOW ME AN EXAMPLE POSTING

Many Africans get indignant at the constant cries from wealthier nations of 'Give them Aid!' and I can totally see why. But unless you level the playing fields and break down trade barriers as well how can they compete? Africa has a wealth of resources but is unlikely to profit from them if trade rules and lack of opportunities continue to stand as they are.



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