What is a Blog?

Blog = contraction for web log.

“Let’s start at the very beginning,” sings Julie Andrews in her role as “Maria” in The Sound of Music. “That’s a very good place to start.” I will take her lead and do the same.

If I am going to teach you to blog a book while I provide an example of how to do so right here in this blog, I think everyone should understand what this term means. So, let’s start by defining the term “blog.”

Although for some people find it’s hard to conceive that anyone in this day and age might not understand the term “blog,” people do exist who have not read or written a blog. For those people—and for those who have never bothered to research the origins of the word—you need to know that a “blog” represents a contraction of “web log,” which is a shared on-line journal in which a person can post diary entries about their personal experiences or hobbies. At least, that’s how blogs began.

Once upon a time, people thought of blogs as a place to write a “stream of consciousness.” Now, blogs tend to be much more targeted and directed at particular audiences and subject matters.

While blogs may be about personal experiences, hobbies and opinions, they are anything but personal in the sense that they are published in cyberspace for anyone and everyone to read. There’s nothing personal about that; in fact, writing a blog is about as public as you can get.

Many blogs offer commentary on a particular subject, cover the news or offer expert advice on a particular subject. Blogs often combine text with images and links to other similar blogs, websites and online resources. Readers also can comment on blog posts, which makes blogs a bit more interactive.

A blog also constitutes a type of website typically maintained by an individual—the “blogger.” A blogger (noun) is someone who writes or edits a blog. A blogger adds posts or content to his or her blog by “blogging.” “To blog,” the verb, means to write or edit a shared on-line journal. Blog maintenance entails “posting,” or publishing, to the Internet any regular entries, or “posts.”

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