Blogging Basics : What Is A Blog?

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Blogging Basics : What Is A Blog?

Although many people have heard of blogs, are regular readers and may even be a blogger, some people are unclear what a blog really is.

Definition Of A Blog

What is a blog? Quite simply it’s a regularly updated website or web page written in an informal, or conversational style.

Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

The modern day blog evolved from online diaries where diarists would keep a running account of their personal lives.

Earliest Blogs Dating Back To 1994

One of the earliest bloggers was Justin Hall, who began personal blogging back in 1994 while a student at Swarthmore College.

Other early bloggers included Jerry Pournell and Dave Winer’s Scripting News, credited with being one of the oldest and longest running weblogs.

Diarists, Journalists, Journalers, Zines

Early bloggers referred to themselves as diarists, journalists or journalers. Their work was sometime referred to as zines.

Eventually zines became blogs and diarists became bloggers.

Blogs Transition To Vlogs And Beyond

The Wearable Wireless Webcam was an early blog in 1994. It included an online shared diary of a person’s personal life combining text, video, and pictures transmitted live from a wearable computer and EyeTap device to a web site.

When blogs contained both text and video, they became known as vlogs.

Weblogs To Blogs

Blogs, which is a truncation of the expression weblog, is published on the Internet.

It consists of a series of posts which are typically displayed in reverse chronological order. The most recent post usually appears first.

Importance Of Social Interaction

Although many blogs encourage interaction with their visitors, some do not. A majority of modern day blogs are interactive.  They allow visitors to leave comments, even messaging each other via GUI widgets on the blogs.

Blog interactivity distinguishes blogs from static websites.

Key Social Networking Services

The ability of blog readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important contribution to the popularity of many blogs. Interactivity of blogs triggered their reputation as a key social networking service.

Bloggers not only produce content to post on their blogs, but also build social relations with their readers and other bloggers.

Blogger, Webpress And Other Blogging Tools

Early blogs required a knowledge of such technologies as HTML and FTP, required to publish content on the Web.

When web publishing tools such as Blogger and WordPress, to name just a few, were introduced in the late 1990s it became much easier for non-technical people to post content on a wide range of topics.

Once blogging became an easy process, the number of blogs exploded.

Millions Of Blogs In Existence

As of 2014 there were an estimated 400 million or more blogs published on the Internet. Experts estimated approximately 172 million Tumblr and 75.8 million WordPress blogs in existence worldwide.  Blogger and other platforms keep their statistics private.

Subject Specific Blogs?

The majority of blogs provide commentary on a particular subject. Others function as more personal online diaries.

Some blogs primarily function as online brand advertising portals or news outlets for a particular individual or company.

A typical blog combines text, images and links to other blogs, Web pages, and/or other media related to its topic.

Single Bloggers Versus Multi-Author Blogs

Until 2009, blogs were usually the work of a single individual. Occasionally they were the work of a small group. They often covered a single subject.

More recently “multi-author blogs” (MABs) have developed, with posts written by large numbers of authors. They are usually professionally edited.

MABs from newspapers, other media outlets, universities, think tanks, advocacy groups, and similar institutions account for an increasing quantity of blog traffic.

Microblogging

Microblogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts. The rise of Twitter and other “microblogging” systems help integrate MABs as well as single-author blogs into global newstreams.

Most blogs are primarily textual. Others focus on art (art blogs), photographs (photoblogs), videos (video blogs or “vlogs”), music (MP3 blogs), and audio (podcasts).

In education, blogs may be used as instructional resources. These types of blogs are referred to as edublogs.

Summary – What Is A Blog?

Just like everything else on the Internet, blogs have changed dramatically since they were first created.

Although blogs used to have a narrow definition, over time, they’ve transitioned into a dizzying array of categories and classifications.

Guest post by 

Karen Marie Shelton – CEO/Hairboutique.

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