Blogging 101: Is It Right For You?

Blogs have been in existence since the 1990’s. It is an online journal which is displayed in reverse chronological order. The blogger who is maintaining the blog may opt to post new blog entries more than once per day, daily, weekly, monthly or even at infrequent intervals. The postings in a blog are typically related in some way but they can be about any subject the blogger desires. Bloggers may maintain a blog for several different reasons and these blogs are private or public in nature.

Disclaimer: Some of the content contained in my article is available on Wikipedia under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.

 

The term “weblog” was coined by Jorn Barger on 17 December 1997. The short form, “blog”, was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog Peterme.com in April or May 1999. Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used “blog” as both a noun and verb (“to blog”, meaning “to edit one’s weblog or to post to one’s weblog”) and devised the term “blogger” in connection with Pyra Labs’ Blogger product, leading to the popularization of the terms.

Origins

Before blogging became popular, digital communities took many forms, including Usenet, commercial online services such as GEnie, Byte Information Exchange (BIX) and the early CompuServe, e-mail lists, and Bulletin Board Systems (BBS). In the 1990s, Internet forum software, created running conversations with “threads”. Threads are topical connections between messages on a virtual “corkboard“. From 14 June 1993, Mosaic Communications Corporation maintained their “What’s New” list of new websites, updated daily and archived monthly. The page was accessible by a special “What’s New” button in the Mosaic web browser.

The modern blog evolved from the online diary, where people would keep a running account of the events in their personal lives. Most such writers called themselves diarists, journalists, or journalers. Justin Hall, who began personal blogging in 1994 while a student at Swarthmore College, is generally recognized as one of the earlier bloggers as is Jerry Pournelle . Dave Winer‘s Scripting News is also credited with being one of the older and longer running weblogs. The Australian Netguide magazine maintained the Daily Net News[20] on their web site from 1996. Daily Net News ran links and daily reviews of new websites, mostly in Australia

 

Private vs. Public Weblogs
Blogs can be private or public. Private blogs are ones in which only the blogger and others who have been approved by the blogger can view the blog’s postings.  Public blogs are viewable by everyone. A blogger may opt to make a blog private or public depending on whether he is comfortable with others viewing his/her content. For example, a blogger who creates a blog for venting about frustrations in life may opt to keep a blog private so friends or family members can’t view what they write.

Alternatively, a blogger who is blogging to promote a cause will make the blog public so his message can reach as many people as possible However, bloggers who create a blog to express themselves through their writing, poetry or other form of expression may opt to make the blog private or public, depending on how the feel about the content being posted. Some bloggers will have a public blog because they want to reach others who may either share their feelings or may benefit from reading their blogs. There may be other bloggers who will make their blog private because they don’t others to view their most personal and intimate thoughts.

Blogging Professionally
Blogging can also be done as a source of income. There are several companies who maintain a network of bloggers and pay bloggers to maintain a blog in their network. These bloggers may be compensated per post, per page views the blog receives or through a combination of the number of posts and the number of page views. A career as a blogger requires a great deal of dedication. The blogger must be willing and able to update the blog regularly and to keep the readers interested (and coming back).
Blogging and advertising

It is common for blogs to feature banner advertisements or promotional content, either to financially benefit the blogger, support website hosting costs, or to promote the blogger’s favorite causes or products. The popularity of blogs has also given rise to “fake blogs” in which a company will create a fictional blog as a marketing tool to promote a product.

As the popularity of blogging continues to rise, the commercialization of blogging is rapidly increasing. Many corporations and companies collaborate with bloggers to increase advertising and engage online communities towards their products. In the book Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers, Henry Jenkins stated that

“Bloggers take knowledge in their own hands, enabling successful navigation within and between these emerging knowledge cultures. One can see such behavior as co-optation into commodity culture insofar as it sometimes collaborates with corporate interests, but one can also see it as increasing the diversity of media culture, providing opportunities for greater inclusiveness, and making more responsive to consumers”.

 

 

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