Blog, Blogging and Blogger?

About 75,000 people create their own blog everyday and the fact that you are reading this article, I will assume that you are either curious about blogging or you are interested to start your own blog. This article aims to define the word blog, identify its features, explain its purposes and briefly discuss its dangers.Definition of BLOG

Below are definitions of the word blog from various sources.
Blog is an inexpensive medium of expressing any forms of literature that is presented in a chronological order and is usually frequently updated.
Blog is a personal diary. A daily pulpit. A collaborative space. A political soapbox. A breaking-news outlet. A collection of links. Your own private thoughts. Memos to the world. In simple terms, a blog is a web site, where you write stuff on an ongoing basis. New stuff shows up at the top, so your visitors can read what’s new. Then they comment on it or link to it or email you or not.
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.
Blog (a portmanteau of web log) is a website where entries are written in chronological order and displayed in reverse chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

Blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (artlog), photographs (photoblog), sketchblog, videos (vlog), music (MP3 blog), or audio (podcasting), and are part of a wider network of social media.

Features of a Blog

Blogs are inexpensive medium to express yourself.

There are several media (television, radio, prints etc.) that you can use to express yourself but often times these media are expensive. Contributing an article in a newspaper about your opinion on a political issue is unlikely to be published if you are not an authority of the topic or if you are not an outstanding writer. Blogging offers an inexpensive medium to express yourself and virtually anyone who has basic skills of computer and internet can own a blog. To create your own free blog, I highly suggest that you use Blogger. There are also blog service providers aside from Blogger that provides a free blog service to people. Watch out for my succeeding posts where I’ll be featuring sites that allow people to create their own personal blog for free. If you don’t have enough time to browse the internet and visit my blog for new posts, you can always subscribe to my rss and all my new posts will be sent to you via email.

Blogs are typically updated on a regular basis.

What makes a blog distinct from the regular website is that it is frequently updated by the blogger. Problogger for instance, a blog by Darren Rowse, posts three articles or more on a daily basis.

Blog entries or posts are arranged chronologically with the latest on top.

Blogs are generally arranged chronologically where the latest entry or post is located on top of the page while the oldest post is found at the bottom or at the archive. Hence, posts or entries are dated for this purpose. If you visit, you will find that the posts are chonologically arranged such that the latest article is on top. I have not yet seen a blog where the oldest post is located on top and the latest can be found at the bottom. Besides, should that be the case, you defeat the very purpose of blogging.

Blogs are generally interactive

One reason why blogging attracts a lot of people is because it’s interactive. Blogs allow readers to post their comments (positive or negative) regarding what has been written by the blogger. Not all blogs however allow readers to publish their comments. Some bloggers moderate comments from their readers to avoid spams. For the same reason, if you find this article worthy of your appreciation and you try to leave a comment, your comment will not be published immediately. I will have to read and approve your comments. Don’t worry if you have negative feedbacks to my articles, I only delete purely irrelevant comments.

Blogs have a lot of features other than what has been said. At the end of this article, you will find links to related articles you may want to visit.

Purposes of a Blog

Bloggers use blogs to advertise or promote their websites

Because blogs naturally attract search engines, some websites create a blog to promote their own website and or their products and services. Despite the overwhelming popularity of Google, it has created its own official blog at google.blogspot where it advertises and promotes its other services like youtube and blogger. In my up coming posts, I will be writing more about the details why it’s favorable for companies to create a blog and use it to optimize their sales.

Bloggers use blogs to share or express opinions, ideas etc.

If you have submitted your articles to newspapers and magazines who never had them published, don’t lose hope. If you want your ideas to be heard, to be read, to be appreciated or not, a blog will come handy. Diary of a Goldfish is an example of a blog where the blogger tries to express and share his ideas and opinions about disabilities.

Bloggers use blogs to generate revenue or income.

Blogs can also be used to earn income or generate extra-revenue. Most successful bloggers like Steve Pavlina earns a living from their blogs. As I’ve mentioned earlier, blogs are becoming increasingly popular to the netizens so much so that advertisers like Google-adsense and Yahoo-publisher are taking advantage of it. Bloggers earn from advertising products and services of different companies on their blogs.

Bloggers use blogs to gain popularity or fame.

Everyone wants to become famous, and the chance of becoming one is likely to happen if you create a useful blog. Ed Morrissey, started a blog in late September 2003 and works hard everyday to become better in his field. After nearly 4 years of hardwork, Ed Morrissey has become an A-list blogger. You can find his blog at Captain’s Quarter.

Bloggers use blogs as their past time.

Believe it or not, I find blogging as a relaxing way to spend my idle time even if it means I have to research my topic and read articles to substantiate my posts or entries to my blog. At night before I sleep or during siestas after lunch, I normally find myself infront of my laptop reading blogs or writing my next entry.

These are a few of the many purposes of a blog. If you have an idea about other important purposes of a blog that I failed to mention, please do share it with us through the comment section. Thank you very much.

Dangers of a Blog

Blogs are breeding grounds for wrong information.

This shouldn’t be taken as a generalization. The fact remains however that because blogs are usually subjective in nature, it is highly susceptible to wrong information, wrong facts etc. A point in case is the alleged hate speech that was written by Art Bell against the Filipino community. The hate speech was published by Philippine’s most widely read news company, Philippine Daily Inquirer, which later on retracted the news after it was discovered to be a hoax. You can read the complete account of the story here.

Blogs are sometimes misused.

I have come accross several blogs that attack a certain race, culture or tradition with no valid grounds. It’s unfortunate that some bloggers use their blogging skills to spread their contempt, hatred etc. to other people. As the number of bloggers increase at a speedy rate everyday, blog service providers find it even more difficult to screen blogs. This leads me to my last point.

Blogs are usually unregulated.

The idea of regulation may sound an impediment to freedom of expression but I honestly believe that the internet is badly in need of it. The article written by ‘the inquirer’ titled Google refuses to tackle racist blogs, seems to prove that Google condones hate messages. You can read the article for more insights.

In your own idea, do you think that should regulate blogs? What do you think about the dangers of blogging? Will it discourage you to blog? Or will it rather encourage you to create your own blog and contribute something good to the blogosphere? Your opinions are highly appreciated, please leave them in the comment section. Thank you very much!