A blog is basically a website carrying published items such as articles, photographs, videos and audios. A typical blog is an information hub. A layperson defines a blog as a frequent and chronological publication of personal thoughts and web links. This act of writing and maintaining a blog or adding an article to an existing blog or web link is known as blogging. Individual articles on a blog are referred to as “blog posts” while the person who posts these entries is called a “blogger”.
The concept of a blog evolved from the system of on-line diaries where people keep a running account of their personal lives. The term “weblog” was coined by Jorn Barger in 1997 and abridged to “blog” by Peter Merholz. A blog has the following functions to perform :
- It focuses on a particular subject, such as food, politics and news, etc.
- Functions as an on-line diary for various thought groups.
- Disseminates information.
Generally specific server-based systems are used to create and maintain blogs where the users use tools such as Ecto, Elicit and others to maintain their web-hosted blog without being online while composing or editing posts. The blog creating tools and blog hosting services are also provided by many web hosting companies, Internet service providers, on-line publications and Internet portals. Some of these service providers include Yahoo! 360° and Google. A blog entry usually has two types of components .i.e., vital and optional. The vital components essentially include title, headline of the post, body and content as well as the URL of the full article along with the date and time the post was published. The optional components consist of comments added by readers subject to the fact that the entry discusses and links to other sites that refer to the entry.
Mostly blogging deals with information related to business, cultural, science, political, topical and travel. Blogs play an important role that benefits the community like information dissemination. It leads the way in bringing key information to public light and breaking and shaping news stories. It mobilizes public opinion and plays a major role in bringing the common man’s opinion to the forefront which raises the magnitude of its effectiveness and influence. Blogs act as a significant link between the politicians, leaders and the general public. They are explicitly used by these leaders to express their opinion on war and other major issues thereby being the focal communicating point between them and the common man. This function has made blogging an important tool for outreach and opinion forming.
Some common terms used in the blogging glossary are :
- Audioblog – A blog where the comments primarily consist of voice recordings.
- Blaudience – Blog audience.
- Blawg – A blog focusing on law comments written by a law professor, law student or a lawyer himself.
- Bleg – A blog entry at the request of the readers.
- Blog client – Software to maintain blogs from operating system without need of web browser.
- Blog feed – An XML-based file wherein blog hosting software places a machine-readable version of the blog for syndication to allow further distribution in the web.
- Multi-Blog – For creating, maintaining and running multiple blogs.