What is a “blog”?
“Blog” is an abbreviated version of “weblog,” which is a term used to describe web sites that maintain an ongoing chronicle of information. A blog is a frequently updated, personal website featuring diary-type commentary and links to articles or other Web sites. Blogs range from the personal to the political, and can focus on one narrow subject or a whole range of subjects.
Many blogs focus on a particular topic, such as web design, politics, sports, or mobile technology. Some are more eclectic, presenting links to all manner of other sites. And others are more like personal journals, presenting the author’s daily life and thoughts.
Generally speaking (though there are exceptions), blogs tend to have a few things in common:
- A main content area with articles listed chronologically, newest on top. Often, the articles are organized into categories.
- An archive of older articles.
- A way for people to leave comments about the articles.
- A list of links to other related sites, sometimes called a “blogroll”.
- One or more “feeds” like RSS, Atom or RDF files.
Some blogs may have additional features beyond these.
What is a blog?
A blog is a web page made up of usually short, frequently updated posts that are arranged chronologically — like a what’s new page or a journal. The content and purposes of blogs varies greatly — from links and commentary about other web sites, to news about a company/person/idea, to diaries, photos, poetry, mini-essays, project updates, even fiction.
Blog posts are like instant messages to the web.
Many blogs are personal, “what’s on my mind” type musings. Others are collaborative efforts based on a specific topic or area of mutual interest. Some blogs are for play. Some are for work. Some are both.
Blogs are also excellent team/department/company/family communication tools. They help small groups communicate in a way that is simpler and easier to follow than email or discussion forums. Use a private blog on an intranet to allow team members to post related links, files, quotes, or commentary. Set up a family blog where relatives can share personal news. A blog can help keep everyone in the loop, promote cohesiveness and group culture, and provide an informal “voice” of a project or department to outsiders.
See also Website Tips for more of this series.