Blogs have existed for a short time only, but it was enough for them to get very firmly into our lives and herewith they continue their development in geometric progression. At the moment there are a huge number of platforms that enable users to have their blogs paying fee or for free. Thus the cost for paid blogging platforms is relatively small, so everyone can afford having his own blog, and that is why blogging has become a very prevalent phenomenon nowadays.
If to start searching for information on the topic “What is a blog?” in Google, it is possible to find many points of view and arguments that do not clarify anything, except a general definition: “Blog is a website, the main content of which is regularly added notes, articles or other forms of data. Blogs are characterized by short notes of permanent significance” (Burnett, 2006).
From this definition it is clear that the blog is a Web site, organized in a certain way. As a rule, the main advantage of its structure is the chronological organization of blog: recent mesages are always on the surface. Also, all entries have categories to facilitate the readers to find the information. Thus, the blog is a convenient structure of the site.
Blogs are characterized by rather short entry with temporal significance, sorted in reverse chronological order (last entry at the top). Differences of a traditional blog from the diary are explained by environment: blogs are usually public, and involve third-party readers, who may enter into a public debate with the author (in the comments on blogs).
The basis of the popularity of blogs was the ease of use: to write a post no any special software installed on your computer is required. The person needs just a browser and an internet connection. An important factor influencing the popularity of blogs is the possibility of natural communication and interaction with readers. Using the comments, the creator of blog can keep in touch with his website visitors (Maxymuk, 2005).
The blog has several features:
- Blog is personal. It has the author – a living person (or authors, if it is a group blog). Moreover, the blog exists in the context of an individual author. This is how it differs from forum, which is more similar to an anonymous conversation in a crowded place.
- Blog is social. Firstly, the blog itself is a kind of community. Secondly, from the very beginning of blogs existence, their authors started to unite in the community through the publication of blogrollov (lists of popular blogs). Blogs are assumed to have readers, and some of them may know the author personally. This makes the blog unique in its unobtrusive and informative communication tool with a wide range of acquaintances, friends, clients, and so on, with the ability to get collective feedback.
- Blog exists in time – the mesages appear in chronological order (of course, this does not prevent the author from grouping them for some features, such as topics). This differ blog from the usual site, whose content is “forever.” Blog is discrete, in some sense, it is like travel notes.
- Blog is a conversation. People usually talk about what is interesting for them and what they are related to.
This differ blog from the monologue of usual news. The conversation involves a theme or focus. The focus does not necessarily have to be topical; it may be, for example, emotional (Blair, 2008).
Since the blog is connected to the time, so it seeks to maximize novelty, but since it is personal, so all new events are conceptualized and interpreted. So blogs create a good environment for new ideas, and the social dimension of blogs allows these ideas to spread and develop.
These two characteristics determine what a blog is:
1) Sort by date
The first requirement is that all articles on the blog should be ordered by date. Actually, this claim goes back to the formation of words: blog – weblog – web log. Web is an “Internet”, log is a “registration of events”. The events are registered and have their dates and later are sorted by them.
Why this requirement is reasonable and convenient for users? -Because it is easy to control the updates of the side which is structured like this. For example, a person can just go to see if there are any news at his favorite site. But it is much easier to get updates of the site through a feed, for example, through a convenient program for google reader, subscribing to the rss-updates.
There is a second characteristic. Blog is not a pure news site, since logging is something more. The blog should contain comments or at least an opportunity to write comments there. Moreover, it is desirable that these comments could follow in order not to miss the answer to the comment. Again there are two options – rss-feeds of comments to the messages, as well as subscribtion to e-mail.
Also in the blog often contains links to other sites. There are several types of blogs:
- Personal Blogs are analogues of a personal diary; they are usually created “for myself and my closest friends”. The content of personal blog includes the notes on the life of the author. Personal blogs are often created by famous people: politicians, musicians, actors; these blogs have a very high attendance.
- Specialized blogs contain notes on any particular subject, such as caring for dogs or fishing. People with the same interests can communicate there and find like-minded people.
- Imaginary blogs are created to promote the image of a person or organization.
- Blogs for news as a rule have few authors. These blogs can become profitable if to place banners and contextual advertising on them (Cho, 2010).
Many Internet users having known what the blog is start to blog with pleasure as blogs allow people to share their own problems or observations with other people. It is also a good way to meet new people, express themselves or to earn money; so the blogs in the network, become more and more popular.
Blair, Joanna., Level, Allison V. Creating and evaluating a subject-based blog: planning, implementation, and assessment. Reference Services Review, Volume 36, Number 2, 2008, pp. 156-166. Print.
Burnett, Rachel. Blogs. ITNOW, Volume 48, Number 6, November 2006, p. 34. Print.
Cho, Soyoen., Huh, Jisu. Content analysis of corporate blogs as a relationship management tool. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Volume 15, Number 1, 2010, pp. 30-40. Print.
Maxymuk, John. Blogs. The Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances, Volume 18, Number 1, 2005, pp. 43-45. Print.