I know many of you’ll be surprised to read the title of this post. You may wonder why I would write a post on such a simple topic as what is a blog? TechWelkin is full of articles on blogging. I love to write about various aspects of professional blogging. So, why to go back to a very basic question of what is a blog?
There are two major reasons behind this post. First reason: we should not forget the basics of our trade. Irrespective of trade, no one should forget the fundamentals. So, I thought it would be a good idea to write about what exactly is a blog. Second reason: you will be surprised to know that a lot of bloggers may not able to clearly define blogging. Therefore, in order to prepare a full package of articles for bloggers, it is important for me to start with the basics.
What is a Blog?
Definition of a blog: A blog is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete entries typically displayed in reverse chronological order.
- According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary a blog is a web site on which someone writes about personal opinions, activities, and experiences.
- According to Cambridge Dictionary, a blog is a regular record of your thoughts, opinions, or experiences that you put on the internet for other people to read.
- According to Oxford Dictionary, a blog is a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.
- Dictionary.com defines a blog as a website containing a writer's or group of writers' own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites.
The word blog is a short form of the term web log. A web log, in the initial days and as the name suggests, used to be a log (a diary of sorts) of activities or thoughts. People used to publish web log on the Internet. We all keep various kinds of logs when we are engaged in tasks that span over a longer period of time. For example, when we do experiments in chemistry labs we keep a log of what has been done and what results were achieved. Such chronological logs, when published on web, became web logs. Because web could be easily accessed from various geographical locations –sharing such logs with colleagues and friends was much easier than sharing paper logs.
According to Wikipedia, it was Jorn Barger who came up with the term “web log” on 17 December 1997. The term was further compressed by Peter Merholz in April 1999. Peter rearranged letters in “web log” to playfully coin “we blog”. The rest is history. The word blog became one of the most used words from the web dictionary.
- There are over 156 million public blogs (as on 16 February 2011)
- On 20 February 2014, there were around 172 million Tumblr and 75.8 million WordPress blogs in existence worldwide.
- Technorati has 1.3 million blogs (22 February 2014)
- Google's service Blogger is considered to the most popular among blog writers. However, there are no statistics to prove it.
- Justin Hall is believed to be the first blogger. Justin is an American journalist and he published his first blog in 1994.
The only characteristic that distinguishes a blog from a regular website is the chronological arrangement of data. Data is added to a blog in the form on posts and these posts are saved according to date and time of posting.
In the present day, people are using blogs for posting information on almost every subject under the sun. Modern blogs are no longer akin to diaries. These are more like an easy to maintain and easy to update website. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to be able to create and maintain a blog. Although each post on blogs still maintains its date and time sequencing but the material posted may not necessarily show chronological sequence.
For example, TechWelkin is a blog and all the posts here appear in date-wise formation. But it is not like a diary because the material in different posts does not flow or has any relation with a particular date.
Simply putting it, blogging mainly comprises writing posts, publishing posts and maintaining the blog. Most of the owners of hundreds of millions of blogs out there feel connected to first two parts; i.e. writing and posting. But in professional blogging maintaining a blog's technical side is also a very crucial part. As I said above, there is not much difference between a blog and a website. So, just like a website is maintained –a blog also needs maintenance.
Maintenance of a blog may comprise the following:
- Maintaining and updating the programming code
- Search engine optimization (SEO) of blog posts
- Daily specific tasks if you want to make money from blogs.
The basic question of what is a blog has now come a log way. A blog is no longer just a diary, it can actually become a means of earning money.
Traditionally, blogging was not really a profession. It was seen more as a way to keep record of information and share it easily with colleagues. But soon, as information revolution began to unfold, bloggers sensed an opportunity of making money by sharing the information that they had through their blogs. As more and more people got connected to Internet and search engines like Google, Yahoo!, Bing and more began to answer billions of queries every day, blogs became an important source of getting information. Free blogging services like WordPress and Blogger, Ad networks like Google AdSense, and promotional ads/reviews opened the playing field to everyone who wanted to write and make money through it.
In recent years, the trend of multi-author blogging has emerged and been pretty successful. Traditionally, a blog was authored by a single person –but on multi-author blogs, multiple persons write and make posts. This model has been facilitated by free blogging service providers like WordPress and Blogger by allowing multiple users to post on a blog.
MABs have seen great success in many cases like Mashable, TechCrunch and various news paper blogs. A united effort by many people easily brings success to MABs because more material gets posted. However, personal conflicts and quality of material may become hurdles in the path to success. Once such things are taken care off, MABs can sky-rocket.
Well, so this was a small introduction to what is a blog and what is blogging. If you're getting into the rough waters of professional blogging; knowing such simple fundamentals is always useful.
If you have any questions related with the topics of blog or blogging, please feel free to ask in the comments section. I will try my best to assist you. Thank you for using TechWelkin. Stay connected!