A portmanteau word from “web log,” a blog is a Web page that serves as a publicly accessible personal journal for an individual, or as a communications platform for a business. Typically updated daily, blogs often reflect the personality of the author. Blog can also be used as a verb (“I will be blogging live from CES this year.”). Updates to a blog are called “blog posts,” “posts,” or “entries.”
In this definition...
A brief history of blogging
The earliest recorded website created to be similar to a modern-day blog is thought to be links.net, which was started in 1994 by Justin Hall. The website contained short posts with shared links that gave visitors access to his writing work and other websites. This led the New York Times Magazine to label Hall as the “founding father of personal bloggers.”
In 1998, online blogs were created to quickly connect with their favorite news outlets to allow readers to connect with their favorite news outlets. In 2001, Opera Software reported that close to 600 news sites allowed their visitors to leave comments and interact with other readers in this new way of sharing. After 10 years of constant growth, modern blogging was born.
Characteristics of a blog
Blogs are generally ongoing personal or business journals where users add content regularly to the website. Blogs can also be found based on products, companies, and services while often providing focused industry insight and sharing the latest news. Blogs contain chronologically ordered posts, based on the date they were published from newest to oldest. The most recent posts sit at the top of the front page, and then older posts continue down the page as your scroll or use a “load more” feature on the page. Blog pages also frequently display a sidebar with links to archives, categories, feature articles, and other posts to read.
What is a blog’s purpose?
Blogs can be used for numerous diverse objectives, both for monetary and non-monetary goals. People may use blogs to promote their art or creative writing or share information about a particular topic or passion. Some create blogs to share their personal experiences and stories with friends, family, and like-minded people who share similar interests. Bloggers can also utilize their talents and interests to earn income through online ads, sponsored posts, and affiliate income. Businesses usually operate blogs to promote their products, increase traffic and get customer feedback.
Types of blogs
Personal blogs are usually websites similar to an online diary that people can share with the world. Countless personal blogs can include niche topics surrounding travel, beauty, lifestyle, and even cooking. Many bloggers today also use video blogs called vlogs. They are more popular via Youtube and Instagram, where people can post about their everyday lives and share decor tips, recipes, and reviews about someone else’s site, book, or products. There are also numerous news and digital media blogs that cover current information on what is going on globally and can be based on the opinions of those who run the blog.
Bloggers can face multiple liabilities when they publish, including employment risks, personal safety, and potential defamation issues between individuals depending on the information shared on blogs. Additionally, bloggers may face copyright infringement issues arising from stolen or improperly attributed blog content, photos, and social media posts from other people or blogs on the internet without permission
How are blogs used in business or enterprise settings?
Many businesses and enterprises utilize blogs in a multitude of ways. The main methods that blogs are used for companies are to increase traffic to their website and attract potential new clients. Also, many companies often utilize a blog on their websites as a marketing method by sharing their industry expertise, showcasing their business as a public portfolio, and providing customer testimonials of their interactions with the business. For example, a landscaping company can include a blog discussing yard tips and tricks, customer project testimonials, and showing some of their completed projects as a way to drive new customers to their business and website.
Numerous blogging applications and platforms assist people with building a blog website to create and share with others. Here are five of the most common blog software programs that can be used to create blogs:
- WordPress – The most widely used platform to build websites and blogs allows users to create pages and posts to publish on the internet.
- Wix.com – Offers a free hosting or paid self-hosting option for creators allowing a simple drag and drop design for website builders.
- Squarespace – An all-in-one solution for creating a website or blog, including domain hosting, eCommerce, galleries, analytics, and 24/7 website support.
- Medium – A blogging platform designed for blogging and social media for users to write, share, and even monetize their posts and writing.
- Tumblr – Simplifies blogging by allowing uploading posts available on any device, offers a blogging platform for free, and enables users to share on social media.
See The History of Blogging in the Quick Reference section of Webopedia.