Blog Series: What Is A Blog?

In the last several years, blogs have increased exponentially in popularity. These days, it seems like almost everyone has a blog. Students have blogs. Parents have blogs. Even businesses have blogs. Blog posts are everywhere! They also seem to be about almost any topic. So, this might make you wonder: what exactly is a blog?

According to New York Magazine, the word blog comes from the term ‘weblog.’ It has been widely reported that the term ‘weblog’ stems from a man named Jorn Barger, an early blogger, who referred to his work as “Logging the Web.” At its most basic, a blog is a collection of information in the form of a series of posts that are accessible on a website on the internet. Blog posts are made on a regular basis and focus on one or two specific topics associated with the individual blog. Most blogs produce content related to a specific topic, industry, or concept. But, there are blogs that post about anything and everything – topics practically not restricted. Posts are typically written in a more conversational format than news stories or articles and can vary in length from just a few words to just a few thousand. A key feature of most blogging platforms is that readers have the ability to interact with posts in the form of comments or likes. This allows for a higher level of engagement with the content and authors than readers have access to in other information platforms.

The relaxed formatting and topic requirements reflect the earliest forms of blogging in the 1990’s when blogs were seen as a form of diary accessible on the web. People could write about their experiences and post their thoughts for other people to read and interact with. New York Magazine reports that the first recorded instance of a blog is when a college student, Justin Hall, created a website about his life in 1994. Justin Hall’s website is still active and exemplifies what many early blogs looked like. As the format gained popularity, blog posts began to appear in other contexts as well. News platforms, businesses of all sizes, just about everyone started creating blogs for their own purposes. Suddenly, there were news blogs, customer support blogs, cooking blogs, and more. These days, many companies have multiple blogs operating at once, each focused on a specific function. For example, a company might have a blog dedicated to news and a blog dedicated to customer support. There are also numerous blogging platforms that allow individuals to create their own free account with potentially multiple blogs. As a whole, the blogging platform has become one of the most popular ways for people to share ideas, information, and opinions with others worldwide. To learn more about blogs and why they are an important tool for any business, keep an eye out for the rest of this Blog Series.

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