What is a Blog?

Definition: From the book and on the street

Many people have heard of the term “blog”, but what does it really mean. Some might look it up in the dictionary to give them a clue:

noun \ˈblȯg, ˈbläg\
: a Web site on which someone writes about personal opinions, activities, and experiences

Full Definition of BLOG
: a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer; also : the contents of such a site
— blog (verb)
— blog•ger (noun)
— blog•ging (noun)

Merriam Webster

This is a good start but this answer just makes a blog sound like an over glorified online diary. One student at Bemidji State University in MN put it like this:

“A blog is a retelling of one story, life, knowledge to a crowd of people through a use of the written language, pictures and videos”

This explanation is on the same track as the dictionary definition, but expands what a blog can use to tell/ show what the writer wants to share. This still doesn’t explain what a blog is though-

Common  Craft puts it like this…

I found that this cleared up a little confusion about what a blog is. So to recap-

  • A blog is a 21st century way of sharing news that is both professional and personal.
  • A writer of a blog writes about what interests them
  • Readers with similar interests read the blog posts and can create a conversation about the content of the post through comments.
  • Free to start up and easy to use, assuming you have enough passion and topics to talk about.

How do actual bloggers define blogs?

Darren Rowse at Problogger.net says: “a blog is a type of website that is usually arranged in chronological order from the most recent ‘post’ (or entry) at the top of the main page to the older entries towards the bottom”  

WordPress’s Introduction to Blogging explains that a blog is a term used to describe a website that is updated regularly with diary-type commentary on a subject that ranges from personal to professional.  An example of a blog subject could be, but not limited to: web design, home staging, sports, or mobile technology.

No matter what subject the blog is about WordPress points out there will be a few things in common

  • Entries will be listed in reverse chronological order. Newer post towards the top and older ones towards the bottom
  • Entries can be organized into categories and cataloged in an archive once they have left the main page
  • Comments can be left by reader
  • Links are sometimes provided for related sites
  • RSS feeds may be available

Are there different genres of blogs?

Yes. It has been hinted to above that so long as a person is passionate about their subject they can write about it. However a blog that talks about yarn crafts is going to be different than a blog that talks about the Smile Train. Dr. Morgan summarizes Rebecca Blood’s list of blog genres as follows:

  • journal blogs – writing as therapy
  • professional blogs- blogging as professional to give inside view of profession or job.
  • fantasy blogs – co-opting the identity of fictional character. (ex. fan-fiction emphasis me)
  • hobby blogs – two types:
    a) journal of hobbiest
    b) blog that collects info and links about particular past time
  • tech blogs – about techy stuff
  • celebrity blogs –
    a) commoners blogging about celebs.
    b) celebs who blog
  • sports blogs- fan’s blogging about athletes or athletes who blog

Hope this all helped, but in the chance that you are still confused as to what a blog is, try setting one up yourself using WordPress or Blogger. Get a feel of what blogging means to you and share your explanation either here or on your own blog.

In Case you Missed the links:

Merriam Webster : http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blog

Common Craft: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NN2I1pWXjXI

Darren Rowse’s “What is a blog” post:  http://www.problogger.net/archives/2005/02/05/what-is-a-blog/

WordPress’s Introduction to Blogging:  http://codex.wordpress.org/Introduction_to_Blogging

Smile Train: http://www.smiletrain.org/

Dr. Morgan’s Notes: http://mikeandthetoes.wikidot.com/blog-genres

WordPress start up: http://wordpress.org

Blogger start up: http://www.blogger.com/start

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One thought on “What is a Blog?

  1. Pingback: Weekly review two | Surviving Free time, My Way

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