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Introduction to Blogs and Blogging

A weblog, commonly truncated to blog, is basically a website carrying published items, including articles, photographs, videos and audios.

A typical blog is an information hub comprising of text, images and weblinks related to other web pages and blogs, along with other media related to the topic.

Meanwhile, in layman language, a blog is essentially defined as a frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and web links.

The act of authoring and maintaining a blog, or adding an article to an existing blog is known as blogging. Individual articles on a blog are referred to as blog posts or entries and the person who posts these entries is called a blogger.

History

The pre-digital electronic community witnessed many forms of electronic communications including the likes of wire fights of AP wire, usenet, e-mail lists and bulletin board systems (BBS), going on to threads, the running conversations created by WebEx.



The concept of a blog as we know it today evolved from the system of online diaries where people would keep a running account of their personal lives. The term weblog was coined in 1997 by Jorn Barger and abridged to blog by Peter Merholz.

Functions

A blog has one or more of the following functions to perform:

To focus on a particular subject, such as food, politics, news etc.
To function as an online diary for various thought groups.
To disseminate information.

Making of blogs

Specific server-based systems are used to create and maintain blogs.

The users use tools such Ecto, Elicit and w.bloggar to maintain their web-hosted blog without being online while composing or editing posts.

Besides, blog creation tools and blog hosting services are also provided by many of the web hosting companies, internet service providers, online publications and internet portals. Some of these service providers include Tripod, America Online, Salon.

com, Yahoo! 360? and Google.

Some of the blogging software are b2evolution, geeklog, blogger, bBlog, LifeType, Nucleus CMS, PostNuke, Serendipity, TypePad, Typo, WordPress and Xanga.

Blog Composition

A blog entry has two types of components .i.

e. vital and optional. The vital components essentially include:

Title: main title or headline of the post.
Body: main content of the post.
Permalink: the URL of the full, individual article.


Post Date: date and time the post was published.

The optional components include:

Comments: comments added by readers.
Categories / Tags: subject that the entry discusses.


TrackBack / Pingback: links to other sites that refer to the entry.

Types of Blogs

A weblog is designed as such that it can be used for a wide range of possible uses. Normally, a blog is identified by the purpose or the main subject it is used for.

The main forms of blogs include business, cultural, science, political, spam, topical, travel blogs, link blog, moblog, photoblog, shockblog and vblog.

Role of Blogs

Blogs have come to play an important role which benefits the community on a whole.

Here weve discussed a few of them:

Information dissemination
Many times, bloggers have to their credit leading the way in bringing key information to public light and breaking and shaping news stories. This leaves the mainstream media with the task of reacting to this news, instead of it being vice-versa. One of the major instances is the furor created by the blogs of the left-swing and right-swing bloggers during the Iraq war.



Mobilising public opinion
Blogs have played a major role in bringing the common mans opinion to the forefront and raising the magnitude of its effectiveness and influence. The incident in year 2002 when the U.S.

Senates Majority Leader Tent Lotts infamous comments carrying a tinge of racial segregation were brought to the limelight by the onslaught of bloggers is a major example. Lott was eventually forced to step down owing to the public pressure built this way.

Public Contact
Blogs have also come to act as a major link between the politicians and leaders and the general public. Blogs are increasingly used by these leaders to express their opinion on wars and other issues, acting as major contact between them and the common man.

This has made blogging an important tool for outreach and opinion forming.

Common Terms

Here we list a few terms out of the blogging jargon, which are the most common in the world of blogging:

Audioblog: A blog where the posts consist mainly of voice recordings.
Blaudience: The audience or readership of a blog.
Blawg: A blog focusing on commentary about law, normally written by a law professor, law student or a lawyer himself.


Bleg: A blog entry which is a request to the readers
Blog client: Software to manage blogs from an operating system with no need to launch a web browser.
Blog feed: An XML-based file in which the blog hosting software places a machine-readable version of the blog for syndication to allow further distribution to the web.
Dark Blog: A non-public blog.
Flog: A blog thats ghostwritten, for instance by the marketing department.


Multi-Blog: Creating, maintaining and running multiple blogs.
Ping: The alert in the TrackBack system that notifies the original poster of a blog post.
Splog: Spam blog.


Troll: A commentator who has the job of attacking views expressed in a blog and incites a flamewar.
Vorage: Act of foraging for video on the internet and sharing it with others.

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About the Author (text)Get more tips on blogs and blogging at http://www.e-bloggers.com

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