You may have heard the term “blog” being bandied about the internet or on TV.
You may not be quite aware of what a blog actually is, though. The word is a blending of the term “web log“, and it is used in reference to a type of website or part of a website.
Blogs are maintained (either by an individual or a group of individuals) on a regular or semi-regular basis with entries of text commentary or other media such as images or video. It is commonplace for this material to be displayed in reverse-chronological order (for example, newest articles first while older articles fall down the list and are eventually archived).
“To blog” is a verb meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
Blogs can be interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and see/respond to the comments others have left. It is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites.
The uses of a blog are many and varied. A lot of blogs provide ongoing commentary regarding their particular subject of interest; others are intended to be more personal online diaries. Typically, a blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and whatever other media may be related to its topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (art blog), photographs (photoblog), videos (video blogging or vlogging), music (MP3 blog), and audio (podcasting). Microblogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts similar to the service provided by Twitter.
As of 16 February 2011, there were over 156 million public blogs in existence.
“Blogosphere” is another term you may have come across. Simply put, the blogosphere is made up of all blogs and their interconnections. The term implies that blogs exist together as a connected community (or as a collection of connected communities) or as a social network in which everyday authors can publish their opinions.
Blogging is becoming more and more popular everyday.
Should you join the blogosphere? Take a look at this list to help you make your decision about blogging.
1. Blog to express your ideas, thoughts and opinions
You have something to say, no matter what it may be, and blogs provide a place to say it and be heard.
2. Blog to promote something
Do you have a business, product or service? Blogging can be a good marketing and promotion tool.
3. Blog to help others
Many blogs are written to help people who may be going through similar situations that the blogger has experienced. Many parenting and health-related blogs are collaborated upon by knowledgeable individuals for this purpose, and some allow viewers to leave comments or feedback in order to promote a real sense of community.
4. To establish yourself as an expert
Blogs are wonderful tools to help bloggers establish themselves as experts in a field or topic. For example, if you”re trying to get a job in a specific field or hoping to publish a book on a specific topic, blogging can help legitimize your expertise and expand your online presence.
5. Blog to connect to people like you
Blogging brings like-minded individuals together. Starting a blog can help you find those people and share your opinions.
6. Blog to make a difference
A lot of blogs are issue-based, which simply means that the blogger is trying to provide information to sway people”s thinking in a certain direction. Many political blogs and burning social issues blogs are written by bloggers who are trying to make a difference in their own way.
7. Blog to remain active and knowledgeable in your field of interest
Since successful blogging is dependent upon an ability to post new articles frequently and providing updated, fresh information, it is a great way to help a blogger stay abreast of the events in a specific field or topic.
8. Blog to keep in touch with friends and family
Since the Internet has become more and more mainstream (at least in western society) the world doesn”t seem as big as it used to be. Blogs provide a simple way for family and friends in different parts of the world to stay connected and share their stories, photos, videos and more.
9. Blog to make money
Although it is important to point out that most bloggers don”t make a lot of money through the act of blogging, the potential does exist to generate revenue from your blog with hard work and commitment. With patience and preserverence, you can make money through advertising and other income-generating activities.
10. Blog to be creative and have fun
Many people start a blog simply for fun. Perhaps a blogger is a fan of a particular show or actor, or simply loves birdwatching and wants to share that passion through a blog. One of the most important keys to successful blogging is having a passion about your blog”s topic, so you can write prolifically about it. Some of the best and most interesting blogs started out as blogs that were written just for fun and to give the blogger a creative outlet.