The origins of blogging go further back than the Internet to the days of personal diaries, chronicles and other written forms of personal musings. Today, a blog is considered to be a Web page that serves as a publicly accessible personal journal for an individual or company. Blogs are typically written in chronological order and displayed in reverse chronological order to the reader. Online media, such as discussion forums and e-mail lists are also considered to be predecessors to the blog.
The word blog itself is a play on the words Weblog, as most blogs will be displayed in a journal or log entry format, where most are updated daily or more frequently than most Web sites would be. Blogs often reflect the personality of the author or the company employees they represent. To this end the most accurate and fitting evolution of today's blog comes from online diaries where the diarist would keep an online journal of themselves.
Other popular forms of blogging in business have included updates published by using the finger protocol. This was a widely popular delivery method for online journals in the mid 1990's — made popular by 3D game developers, such as id Software and 3DRealms, who used the finger protocol to provide news and interesting details about in-development games to their fans.
The Origins of the Word Blog
The Blog Herald cites the origins of the term weblog to G. Raikundalia & M. Rees, two lecturers from Bond University on the Gold Coast. The term was first used in a paper titled "Exploiting the World-Wide Web for Electronic Meeting Document Analysis and Management." Popular use of the term Weblog as we know it today is from Jorn Barger of the Weblog Robot Wisdom (robotwisdom.com) in December 1997. Barger coined the term weblog meaning logging the Web. In 1999 programmer Peter Merholz shortened the term weblog to blog.
Timeline: Notable Blogging Events
Justin Hall a Swarthmore College student creates what is considered to be the very first blog "Links.net". Some industry trackers cite the first blog as belonging to David Winer, "Scripting News" (1997).
Jorn Barger coins the term Weblog.
Open Diary is founded.
April: Peter Merholz shortens Weblog to blog.
The first free weblog tool launches (Pitas).
Pyra releases Blogger.
Heather Armstrong is fired for discussing her job on her blog. The term "Dooced" (see below) is coined.
Google buys Blogger from Pyra (1 million blogger users, with 200,000 active).
Google launches AdSense and incorporates matching ads to blog content.
TypePad (blogging and hosting service) launches.
MSN Spaces launches (which ties in MSN Messenger and Hotmail services with blogging)
AOL launches its RED Blogs service, aimed at the teen segment
News Corp buyst Intermix Media (owner of Myspace.com) for $580 million.
AOL buys blog publisher Weblogs Inc. ($25 million).
TypePad launches TypePad Mobile (mobile blogging tools).
Andrew Sullivan moves his popular blog "Daily Dish" to Time.com. Time gets advertising revenues from the blog and Sullivan is paid a fee for his services.
DigitalGrit launches its Business Blog Service
eBay launches user blogs at its eBay Live! conference.
Google pays $900 million in shared revenue to be the exclusive search provider for MySpace.com
Blogs & Blogging Terminology
Like most new technologies, the blogosphere (blogging world) is full of new words, terms, and slang used to describe blogs and the act of blogging. To get you started on knowing the lingo, here are some of the many blog-related terms you'll find written online today.
blog: Short for Web log, a blog is a Web page that serves as a publicly accessible personal journal for an individual. Typically updated daily, blogs often reflect the personality of the author.
blogger: A person who blogs.
blogging: The act of writing or updating your blog.
blogosphere: Meaning all blogs, it is an expression used to describe the 'world of blogs'.
blogroll: Found on blogs it is a list of links to other blogs and Web sites that the blog author commonly references or is affiliated with. Blogrolls help blog authors to establish and build upon a their blogger community.
blogsnob: (1) A slang term used to describe a blogger who doesn't respond to blog comments left by people outside his or her own circle of blogger friends. (2) Written as BlogSnob, a free advertising exchange for blogs and personal sites.
b-blog: Short for business blog, a blog used by a business to promote itself.
klog: Short for knowledge blog, klog is a type of blog usually used as an internal / Intranet blog that is not accessible to the general public and that serves as a knowledge management system. The term klog is also being used to describe a blog that is technical content oriented.
moblog: Acronym used to combine the terms "mobile" and "Web log". Where a Web log (also called a blog) is a Web page that serves as a publicly accessible personal journal for an individual, a moblog is a blog which has been posted to the Internet from a mobile device such as a mobile phone or PDA.
tagging: Commonly used in blogs, site authors attach keyword descriptions (called tags) to identify images or text within their site as a categories or topic. Web pages and blogs with identical tags can then be linked together allowing users to search for similar or related content. If the tags are made public, online pages that act as a Web-based bookmark service are able to index them. tags can be created using words, acronyms or numbers. Tags are also called tagging, blog tagging, folksonomies (short for folks and taxonomy), or social bookmarking.
Blog and Ping: An online marketing term applied to a system that utilizes blogs and pings (short for pingback) to deliver content and /or sites for indexing in search engines with the ultimate aim of profit. Also called blog ping.
vlog: Short for video blog, it is the term used to describe a blog that includes or consists of video clips. Typically updated daily (or with regular frequency) vlogs often reflect the personality or cause of the author. Also called vog.
"I've Been Dooced!" Did You Know... The term dooce means "To lose ones job (fired) because of something you have posted in a blog." Dooce was coined ion 2002 by Heather Armstrong, a Los Angeles Web designer who lost her job after writing about work colleagues in her personal blog, dooce.com.
Before blogging services were freely available, bloggers needed at least some knowledge of HTML and have a place to host their Weblog. In the late 1990s blogging became very popular, and as a result multiple free blogging software and services have become available. Free services offer bloggers an easy to use browser interface to maintain and edit blogs. Users can freely join the following hosted blog services.
Based in Nova Scotia, Vangie Beal is has been writing about technology for more than a decade. She is a frequent contributor to EcommerceGuide and managing editor at Webopedia. You can tweet her online @AuroraGG.