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What Exactly is a Blog?

24. June 2009 15:07

The term “Blog” is short for “weblog”, blogs are essentially a type of website which initially became popular through personal online diaries and slowly gained in popularity from 2000 onwards around the time Blogger.com was launched.

Why do people use blogs?

Blogs became popular because they made it possible for non-technical people to publish their thoughts online with ease.  Blogs also opened up a two-way conversation with the blogs audience through the “comments system”.  Blog comments allow readers to voice their opinion by appending messages directly beneath the blog post for all the other readers to read and join in the conversation.

Blogs normally focus on a particular subject and contain text, images and links to other web pages and blogs.  Now-a-days blogs can be categorised in many different ways and written in lots of styles.

There are corporate blogs which are used for either internal communication or external marketing, branding or public relations purposes.  There are personal blogs which are essentially online diaries or commentaries about the lives of ordinary citizens. Then there are lots of blogs which are focused on a particular genre such as gadget blogs, travel blogs, music blogs etc.

The structure of a blog

Blogs are formed of numerous “posts” which are individual entries posted to the blog.  The blog posts are usually arranged in reverse chronological order so the latest post is at the top of the main page.  Each post maybe categorised using a number of “tags”, these tags are essentially categories the author (“blogger”) has created to categorise his or her blog.

A blog website is formed of a main page which features the latest dozen-or-so posts, archive pages which are usually formed of a number of pages containing a months worth of posts.  Tag pages featuring posts categorised with a particular tag, and finally individual post pages, which contain just one blog post each.

This structure allows visitors to easily browse a blog by category (tag), date, or simply read the latest entries.

What is a blog feed?

Another way blogs differ from other forms of website is that they facilitate “syndication” which means visitors can subscribe to a blog feed and read the latest blog posts as they are published without visiting website directly.  This functionality can be found on most blogs where you see the orange RSS symbol, like the one below.  RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication”.

Subscribe to our blog

Clicking on the orange RSS button will normally take you to your RSS reader of choice, depending on the web browser you use and if you have configured an RSS reader.  Once inside your blog reader you will typically be informed of your subscription to the blog to which you just subscribed. 
Examples of popular blog readers are:

If you are new to blogging and are interested in starting your own blog or joining the conversation in the Blogosphere.  The first step is to begin by signing-up for one of the RSS readers above and subscribing to blogs of interest to get a grasp for how blogging works, how they differ from other forms of media and from one-another, their informal editorial style etc.  This research will give you the confidence and knowledge to begin blogging on your chosen topic.


Category: Blogs

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