Do to others what you want them to do to you

19 Jan 2012

What is a blog?

I was quite surprised when I found out that a number of people including academics, are not aware what a blog is. Here is an article I wrote on my old website at the University of Warwick. It was first published on Sat 16 Feb 2008.

In 2007, Technorati was tracking approximately 70 million weblogs, with about 120,000 new ones being created worldwide everyday - around 1.4 new blogs created every second (Sifry, 2007). By 2011, the number has gone up to 182,397,015 (Matthew Hurst, 2012).

The word “Blog” is derived from “Weblog”. It was Jorn Barger, who first coined the term, on 17 December 1997. In April or May of 1999, Peter Merholz, came up with the word “blog” after breaking the word weblog into the phrase “we blog” in the sidebar of his blog Peterme.com

Though some authors argue that the word is not a portmanteau of the words 'web' and 'log,' the terms ‘blog’, ‘weblog’ and ‘web log’ are often used interchangeably.

There are several definitions of the word blog and most refer to it as a “personal online journal”. However, this may not be correct considering the fact that blogs are “public” and interactive in nature. In fact most of the blogs on Technorati's Top 100 list are collaborative blogs with several contributors. Most companies have also realised the importance of connecting and interacting with their customers - both external and internal. This has given rise to the growth of the so called "corporate blogs". Some of these blogs are accessible only to the employees through the corporation's Intranet and are called an internal blog.

I personally liked the short definition provided by The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang, which defines it as ‘An Internet website containing an eclectic and frequently updated assortment of items of interest to its author’. However, this definition does not really give you an idea of a blog.

Our definition recognises the interactive nature of blogs and define blogs as an “interactive website with posts that are up-dated frequently and may contain links, images, video or music clips, of interest to its author or authors that are archived and arranged in reverse chronological order” (Mutum and Wang, 2010).

There are a number of free blog publishing systems on the net. The two most popular are Blogger (owned by Google) and Wordpress.

I started blogging in September 2003 and have been blogging ever since. My oldest blog is ah ok lah, which is hosted with Blogger.

Reference:

Mutum, Dilip and Wang, Qing (2010). “Consumer Generated Advertising in Blogs”. In Matthew S. Eastin, Terry Daugherty and Neal M. Burns (Eds) Handbook of Research on Digital Media and Advertising: User Generated Content Consumption (Vol 1), pp. 248-261, IGI Global: Pennsylvania (ISBN13: 9781605667928).

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