Blog? What is it? Does everyone really know what it is? Is there a difference between the terms “blog” and “weblog”?
The term “blogs” is an abbreviation of “weblogs”. Edelman and Intellissek published their article called “Talking from The Inside Out: The Rise of Employee Bloggers, Edelman Public Relations” (2005, p4) which stated the term “blogs”/”weblogs” is “easily published, personal web sites that serve as sources of commentary, opinion and uncensored, unfiltered sources of information on a variety of topics.” In other words, there is no difference between blog and weblog. These two terms are interchangeable. They collectively constitute the Blogosphere. They are also forming an interesting and dynamic subset on the Web.
Blogger.com says, “A blog is a personal diary. A daily pulpit. A collaborative space. A political soapbox. A breaking-news outlet. A collection of links. Your own private thoughts. Memos to the world.”
A simpler definition is that “A weblog is a coffeehouse conversation in text, with references as required.” (Blood, 2002). So, blogs are social networked media and the content of blog is the conversation. They are considered to be one of personal journals, market or product commentaries, or just filters that discuss current affairs reported elsewhere, participating in an online dialogue (Kolari, Java and Finin, 2006).
Everyone is so excited about blog and the cultural media convergence of it. Technorati releases its latest figures on the State of the Blogosphere 2009; tracking over 133 million blogs, every day 120,000 new blogs are created and 1.3 million posts are made (see Figure 1.0). However, according to Pew Internet and American Life Project (2005), 62% of all Internet users do not know what a blog is.
Figure 1.0 – Blog Usage Statistics
Blogs can have a wide range of content types (genres) such as travel, photography, business, historical stories, humor and social occasions such as weddings. They have representation in top-10 website lists across all key categories and have become integral to the media ecosystem (Technorati, 2008). They are easy to make and simple to maintain, so everyone can have one or even more. They do not have to be very technical. Their contexts can be text, music, audio, photos (images) and video.
People can instantly post anything to blogs. They can use blogs for anything such as relating their experiences in any kind of topic, sharing a point of view, updating their information or sharing life stories with to their friends and family. They can even discuss their political views. Blogs can be hosted with multiple contributors.
There are many different types of blogs, differing not only in the type of content, but also in the way that content is delivered or written (Wikipedia, 2010). Those blogs can be classified into four main types.
- Personal blogs – Personal blogs of individuals as they blog about their lives, emotions, experiences, reviews irrespective of topics and other random musings. A personal blog is blogger centric.
- Corporate blogs – Corporate blogs published by a company. They can be used enternally to enhance the communication with public for marketing and branding their products or services. They can be also used internally to share information within the company network.
- Professional blogs – Professional blogs are created to share their expertise on industry, profession or a subject.
- Micro blogs – Micro blogs have text or multimedia (video and images) posts (usually less than 140 characters) and share with other people. Twitter is one of examples that is using micro-blogging as service platform.
A blogosphere is a common term to describe the overall community of blogs and bloggers, which is interlinked through a large number of cross references between individual blog entries. (Bruns and Jacobs, 2006) Twingly screensaver says that people can experience the true blogosphere and visual the global blog activity on their screen in real time (see Figure 2.0).
Figure 2.0 – Twingly Screensaver
People available download Twingly screensaver from internet.
Obviously, blogging will have a deep effect on the future as people with similar ideas come together through technology and probably form pressure groups in society. Bloggers will invest a significant amount of time in creating and updating their blogs, as well as driving traffic, retaining their audiences/readers and other blog-related activities. They are also creating their own brands in the blogosphere.
Blogging can be an alternative media source. If politics are deferring what comes over the normal media, then blogging is an alternative way to know what people are thinking. For example, during the Gulf War, blogging provided important communication channel for the antiwar movement. (Jenkins, 2004)
In 2010, there are more blogs and bloggers than ever. There are number of different types of bloggers. They have been classified into the following types.
- Authority Blogger – They use blog to build an industry profile and share expertise with their readers.
- Relationship Blogger – They use blog as a social networking tool to make contacts and to form community group.
- The Make Money Online Blogger (Pro Blogger) – They use blog to make money for direct income such as Adsense.
- Journal Blogger – They use blog as an online personal diary to share their thoughts and experiences with other people.
- Hobby Blogger – They use blog to write about interesting things activities.
- Business/Corporate Blogger (Value Blogger) – They use blogs for their company where the purposes of blog is more towards share expertise and attact new clients. The content of blog is more about personal branding and service.
How can blogging be useful to you?
Blogging is an interactive way to promote a personal brand and business. It is also a great way to express ideas and enhance knowledge on things. A blog provides the opportunity and real-time interaction with the community on the Web. It also creates some interesting topics and excitment for current readers and can attract a new audience.
I think blogging gives me the real opportunity of self-discovery through writing. It is also helps me to grow and nuture my network both personally and professionally and to offer my professional expertise in an online marketplace – Elance. As well, it provides me the real way to build my personal brand on the Web.
What approach is Sacha Chua using to build a community and increase awareness of her activities?
Sacha Chua is a Web 2.0 evangelist, storyteller, and geek with IBM Canada (Chua, 2010). Her online personal journal – http://sachachua.com – is an great example of using blog as a platform to share her professional exterpises and researches with readers/people who are interested in. She is using her blog helping people connect, sharing knowledge on how to increase the individual and group productivity in an organization with Enterprise 2.0 and collaborate more effectively by using social technologies – Web 2.0 tools – wikis, blogs and social bookmarking.
Blogging examples for creative ideas and design knowledge
There are some good examples of inspirational blogs that i would like to share with others.
- Smashing Magazine – It focuses on design and web-development. It provides many useful information, latest trends and techniques, useful ideas, innovative approaches and tools. For examples, CSS techniques – CSS 3 Media Queries and inspirational designs.
- A List Apart – It explores the design, concept, development process, and meaning of web content, with a special focus on web standards and best practices.
- Blog design Blog – It is a blog for Blog Designers. It contains a lot of up-to-date infroamtion on how create a good blog design and also tips and tools to help to design a blog.
- I love Typography – It is a blog that specializing fonts, typofaces and all things typographical. It contains typographic inspiration, typeface reviews, interviews, free fonts, and graphic design.
What is blogging in an Enterprise Context?
An enterprise blogging can be used to help to build the social structured platform to improve internal and external communication. According to Guidewire Group’s A Guidewire Group Market Cycle Survey, “The vast majority of companies (89%) are either blogging now or planning to blog soon.” (2005, p2) In other words, blogging has becomes as a part of organization’s communications strategies(Oracle, 2008). It helps the organizations to connect with their networked people (customers, business partners and employees) fast and easy.
A. Bruns and J. Jacobs (Eds) (2006) Uses of Blogs, New York: Peter Lang Publishing (forthcoming).
BBC News (2006) ‘Blogosphere sees healthy growth’.
P. Kolari and A. Java and T. Finin (2006) Characterizing the Splogosphere.
H. Jenkins (2004) ‘The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence’ International Journal of Cultural Studies, Vol. 7 (1), 33-43.
PIP Director Lee Rainie (2005) ‘The state of blogging’.
R. Blood (2002) “What is a weblog?” and “Creating a practice weblog?” in The weblog handbook: practical advice on creating and maintaining your blogCambridge, MA: Perseus.
New Media Philippines (2010) 4 Types of Bloggers: Value, Hobby, Journal, and Google.
Chris Garrett on New Media (2010) What Type of Blogger Are You?
Article Monkeys (2009) Different Types Of Blogs.