Blog, a contraction of ‘web’ and ‘log’, describes a website comprising of date-related entries (or posts).
Blogs are typically of a personal nature, although their use by companies as a marketing tool is increasing.
Rebecca Blood’s Weblogs: a history and perspective categorises blogs into ‘filter’ and ‘short-form journal’ genres. In addition, new tools have created a new type of blog; ‘distributed conversation’.
A filter blog is constructed around commentary of selected hyperlinks. On a particular topic the editor may draw attention to contrasting articles on other websites, and build these into a single narrative or discussion.
A stream-of-consciousness record of thoughts, observations and events. The journal oeuvre is characterised by personal expression.
publishing software has enabled new forms of blog to evolve.
Blog publishing software has introduced tools that have enabled new forms of blog to evolve. In particular the ability to add a response to a blog entry (comment) and automate the creation of links between different blogs (reciprocal linking) have had a marked impact on the nature of the blogosphere. These features have made space for ‘the reader’s voice’.
A distributed conversation (potentially coined by Mena and Ben Trott of MoveableType blog publishing software fame) uses an original blog entry as the starting point for an ongoing series of posts, either as comments or reciprocal links. As responses are received, they are listed underneath the blog, in order of posting. The original author is then encouraged to clarify, defend, or alter their original post―particularly where the blog relates to a technical subject.
such a post… may be intended to cause controversy…
When an original blog entry goes against community norms it can polarise readers. Such a post may be thought of as ‘a red-flag to a bull’; intended to cause controversy; a large number of responses and the infamy of the author. As search engine rankings can be based on incoming links, a red-flag blog entry, may elevate the author’s profile (and perhaps secure a lucrative publishing contract or public-speaking engagement?).
A blogger is someone who maintains a blog.
blogosphere is used to describe the online community of bloggers and the content they publish.
The blogosphere has evolved from an informal network of communal links to a more structured network; with cutomised blog publishing software, public entry points, and technical standards to streamline the process of creating links from one blog to another.
Current blog design standards—at least in terms of navigation, nomenclature and taxonomy—are a barrier to consumer acceptance.