What is a blog?

From LitWiki


Blog: "Blogs are frequently updated websites consisting of dated entries arranged in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first," (Walker). A relatively new idea, a blog is a web site where you write stuff on an ongoing basis (Blogger). "Typically, weblogs are published by individuals and their style is personal and informal." (Walker).

How did it all start?

"The original weblogs were link-driven sites. Each was a mixture in unique proportions of links, commentary, and personal thoughts and essays." (Blood). Formed from communities of Bulletin Board Systems, Usenet listings, and e-mail exchanges, weblogs came forth as an extension of personal webpages in an effort to log events bloggers (the authors of weblogs) found important.

"Weblogs could only be created by people who already knew how to make a website. A weblog editor had either taught herself to code HTML for fun, or, after working all day creating commercial websites, spent several off-work hours every day surfing the web and posting to her site. These were web enthusiasts." (Blood). The community of bloggers presented with the task of knowing how to manipulate the internet to placate their thoughts was indeed small. In contratst to modern method, there was no user friendly GUI, no cut/paste method. It would be until the invention of such that the number of blogs was manageable.

What are parts of the blog?

A complete blog will encompass the following:

  • Title, the main title, or headline, of the post.
  • Body, main content of the post.
  • Permalink, the URL of the full, individual article.
  • Post Date, date and time the post was published ("Blog").

A blog entry optionally includes the following:

  • Comments.
  • Categories (or tags) - subjects that the entry discusses.
  • Trackback and or pingback - links to other sites that refer to the entry ("Blog").

Why should I start a blog?

"A blog gives you your own voice on the web. It's a place to collect and share stories, pictures, recipes, prayers, travel tips, and love poems that you find interesting— whether it's your political commentary, a personal diary, or links to web sites you want to remember." (Blogger). You can use a blog to organize your thoughts, publish breaking news, or tug at the hearts of your audience (Blogger).

How do I get started?

The roots of blogging began in digital communities taking many forms, including Usenet, e-mail lists and bulletin board systems (Wikipedia). However, it is not wise to try the same tactic today with any hope of success.

What are some types of blogs?

Not all bloggers share the same goal, or intent, when starting up their very first blog. It's best to be familiar with your choices so as to fully understand how you'll be understood by your intended audience.

Understanding that there are more options available to you, here are some popular blog types as shown on Wikipedia on Types of Blogs

  • Business
  • Travel
  • Online Diary
  • Political
  • Topical

These common blog types fully cover the spectrum as it exists today, so I encourage these to be your respective starts.

Where can I find some examples of blogs?

A variety of different systems are used to create and maintain blogs (Wikipedia).

  • Web Applications
    • Often times incorporating the use of user friendly web interfaces
  • Blog creation tools and blog hosting can be used, often free of charge.
    • These services are available through the following:
      • Webhosting such as Tripod.
      • Internet Service Providers (ISP): AOL.
      • Online Publications like salon.com
      • Internet Portals resembling Google.
      • Mix of Blog and Wiki, called a bliki("Blog").

Where do we go from here?

The future of blogging, an uncertain thing, has been alluded to due to it's popularity. As written in a CNET news article on the topic: "Recently, blogs have been credited with everything from CBS News anchorman Dan Rather's departure, to unauthorized previews of the latest Apple Computer products, to new transparency in presidential campaigns. The big question is whether blogs[...]have the staying power to become more than just online diaries." Blogs, having been redifining themselves from conception. Starting with personal accounts, evolving into business use, grounds for publishing one's own works, even keeping track of presidential campaigns (CNET).

"I don't have an answer. In our age the single page website of an obscure Turk named Mahir can sweep the web in days. But the unassailable truth is that corporate media and commercial and governmental entities own most of the real estate. Dell manages more webpages than all of the weblogs put together. Sprite's PR machine can point more man-hours to the promotion of one message--"Obey Your Thirst"--than the combined man-hours of every weblogger alive. Our strength--that each of us speaks in an individual voice of an individual vision--is, in the high-stakes world of carefully orchestrated messages designed to distract and manipulate, a liability. We are, very simply, outnumbered." (Blood).

"We are being pummeled by a deluge of data and unless we create time and spaces in which to reflect, we will be left with only our reactions. I strongly believe in the power of weblogs to transform both writers and readers from "audience" to "public" and from "consumer" to "creator." Weblogs are no panacea for the crippling effects of a media-saturated culture, but I believe they are one antidote." (Blood). The need for blogging as a cure for the choke on information available through the web. That is a new direction for us to look forward to, or just sit on our haunches and type about that fattening donut this morning.




Works Cited

"Blog." Wikipedia. 2006. Wikipedia. 20 Jul 2006 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog>.

"The future of blogging." CNET News 05 April 2005 25 July 2006 <http://news.com.com/The%20future%20of%20blogging/2030-1069_3-5654288.html>.

"Types of Blogs." Wikipedia. 2006. Wikipedia.com. 25 Jul 2006 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Types_of_blogs>.

Walker, Jill. "Final version of weblog definition.", Jill/txt. 22 Aug 2003. 25 Jul 2006 <http://jilltxt.net/archives/blog_theorising/final_version_of_weblog_definition.html>.

Blood, Rebecca. "Weblogs: A History and Perspective", Rebecca's Pocket. 07 September 2000. 27 July 2006. <http://www.rebeccablood.net/essays/weblog_history.html">.