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A blog is a written discussion or information posted on a website over the Internet. The blog is posted with the most recent one first, dealing with any subject or topic within the constraints of the website administrator. Before 2009 most blogs were written by an individual or small group of people. Today, most websites use multi-author blogs (MABs) where a large number of authors write and submit content which is edited professionally.
Information gathered for a blog can be from newspapers, universities, other websites, and a variety of other media outlets. With the onset of Twitter and other blogging sites, MABs and single-author blogs have increased rapidly over the Internet.
Some websites where blogs are posted allow readers to leave comments and interact with the author. The typical blog will combine images, text, and links to other blogs and/or websites.
The term “weblog,” which was the original term, was thought of on December 17, 1997, by Jorn Barger. It was shortened to blog by Peter Merholz, in the spring of 1999 when he broke the word into a phrase “we blog” on his personal blog.
In the early 1990’s, Usenet, GEnie, BiX, CompuServe, e-mail lists, and Bulletin Board Systems (BBS), used an early form of blogging in Internet forums.
Blogging itself actually began in 1994 by Justin Hall, who was considered to be the first to start a personal online diary while attending Swarthmore College. The online diary blogger posts an account of his/her personal lives periodically to a web site. The modern blog evolved from the online diary. Another form of blogging in 1994 was done by a Wearable Wireless Webcam, where text, video, and pictures were sent to a website live by a wearable computer and video feed.
Early blogs were updated manually, but with ever increasing technology and software available, blogs are now hosted by dedicated blog hosting services, run on specifically designed blog software, or simply done with a regular web-hosting service provider.
In October 1998, Open Diary was launched and was the first blog community where reader comments could be added to other authors’ blogs. LiveJournal was launched in March 1999, along with Pitas.com in July 1999 with news page, and Diaryland in September 1999 as a personal diary community. In 2002 the blogging community began posting blogs that were politically motivated, sparking the importance of the blog, for relaying important information to the public, which was not reported by the media.
By 2004 political blogs were mainstream, and candidates, news services, and political consultants used blogging to express their opinions.
A negative impact of blogging has resulted in a decline of people reading daily newspapers and forcing several of them into bankruptcy.
There are several types of blog categories:
A personal blog is a post by the author, with views, comments, and/or an account of their daily life. This is the traditional and most common blog.
A corporate blog is used by business as a source of marketing, branding, or public relations.
A genre blog is where the blog focuses on a certain subject, like health, travel, fashion, education, etc.
A media blog is where certain content is posted. A video blog is called a vlog; one containing links is called a linklog; one that contains sketches is a sketchblog; one containing photos is a photoblog; and one with a mixture of media is called a tumbleblog.
A reverse blog is made up of multiple users instead of a single blogger who contribute blogs on a variety of topics.
There is a proposal by Tim O’Reilly, founder of O’Reilly Media, for a blogger’s code of conduct to enforce civility by being civil themselves and monitoring comments left on their blogs.