So, just what is this “blog” thing that everybody has been talking about?
Much like social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, creating and maintaining a blog is a way to communicate and connect with like-minded people online. Short for “web log”, a blog is a website or sub-section of a website that is frequently updated with new content and acts as a personal diary which the public can access. The word “blog” is also used as a verb to describe the act of updating (known as posting), writing, and generally maintaining one’s blog. There is even a word for the world of blogs; it is collectively known as the “blogosphere”.
Genres vary from creative blogs about art, music, and literature to political and social commentary blogs, and those run by corporations and organizations. The latter may exist as an in-house only entity created to improve and develop the culture of the corporation or it may be an external blog used for branding, marketing, or public relations. And while it is still somewhat controversial in the blogsophere, many bloggers are making a living blogging by offering advertising space on their blogs
The most popular type of blogs are run by individuals who produce steady entries of commentary on any number of subjects or even their own lives, and most are interactive, allowing readers or followers to comment on the content and even message the blogger. Bloggers often go on to develop social relationships with their followers and some bloggers use the medium to further promote and develop their creative and/or business brands. There are many sites online that host blogs for those who do not wish to create their own blog website or for those individuals seeking the sense of community that these blog hosting sites foster. Some examples are Blogger, Typepad, and WordPress; some are free and others charge a nominal fee. There are currently over 156 million public blogs in existence on the Internet.
Many bloggers have crossed into other media, brokering book deals or even gaining television shows. The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, has made the jump from Weblog of the Year for 2009 and 2010 at the Annual Weblog Awards (The Bloggies) to Food Network TV personality. Writer Julie Powell is a blogger who not only published a book based on her experience writing a blog about cooking all of the recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year, but also has the distinction of being the first person to have a movie based on her blog. The popularity of blogs even prompted Time Magazine to name as their 2006 Person of the Year, “You”, referring to bloggers.