Column: What is a blog?
Mar 17, 2010 | 1331 views |  0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A blog (a contraction of the term “web log”) is a type of Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.

“Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

Blogging began in the 1990s but became trend in the following decade when the “blogosphere” — the term for the collective community of blogs on the Web — was born.

Blogs are used for a variety of reasons. There are personal, business, celebrity and news blogs. In the era of the read/write Web, anyone can publish on the Internet and become a blogger.

Some of the most popular sites where one can go and start a blog in a matter of seconds are www.blogger.com and www.wordpress.com. It is as easy as creating an account and writing content in order to gain an audience. Blogs can also open up for comments from their audience, which makes for a very interactive virtual conversation.

A blog’s popularity can change from day to day depending on how many hits, links and comments it generates. One site that tracks the daily popularity of blogs is Technorati.com. On this particular day some of the popular blogs are The Huffington Post (a news blog), TMZ (a celebrity gossip blog), and Techcrunch (a technology and gadget blog).

Why have a blog? Many industries have found blogs to be the key to a new audience. Consumers feel a personal connection with the product, service or person who maintains a regularly updated blog.

Would you want to create one yourself? I have created a blog for my family where we can share pictures, news, and information about kids to relatives in other states.

I have also used a blog in my classroom to connect with parents and students alike. I have been a part of commenting on various blogs regarding education and technology.

Many local agencies and individuals maintain blogs to keep their audience abreast of what is going on. One example is my favorite weatherman, James Spann. His blog is invaluable when severe weather hits.

Most notably, our own superintendent, Mrs. Jenny Seals, has begun her blog called Superintendent’s News (http://stclaircountyschools.edublogs.org). She is just beginning and is experimenting with news and stories about our schools.

It is easy and free. If nothing else, pick a few blogs of interest and read, comment and enjoy. There are plenty to choose from in the blogosphere.

Just go to Technorati.com or even Google.com and type the topic you are interested in and the word blog. The possibilities are endless.

Happy blogging.

Brandi Caldwell

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