What is a blog? A blog is a combination of a personal webpage and a journal – in some cases. In other cases, it is a way to get customer feedback. Others use blogs as a personal journal. There really is no answer these days to what is a blog, simply because a blog can be many different things, with many different uses – depending on the blogger who is blogging.
Blogging officially began in 1994 when a student, Justin Hall, began his personal blog. He blogged for eleven years, and he is recognized as one of the earliest bloggers. A weblog was originally a combination of a personal webpage and a journal. This is still one definition of a blog, but there are many other definitions as well today.
The term weblog was invented by Jorn Barger in 1997, but it was shortened to Blog by Peter Merholz in 1999. The word blog may have actually been a typo. Peter used the phrase ‘we blog’ in the sidebar of his weblog. Blogs started popping up more often on the Internet in 1999, and in March of 2003, the Oxford English Dictionary added the words weblog, weblogging, and weblogger to the dictionary.
Since 2003, blogs have been increasing in popularity. People have blogged about current events, war, politics, television shows, television stars, terrorism, and almost any other topic you can imagine. Blogs are used to inform people about services and products by allowing people to post reviews of specific services and products. They are used to stay up-to-date on events that occur within families, clubs, organizations, and businesses. Blogs are used to swap recipes, to learn, and to vent. If you can think it, it is probably on a blog someplace.
Blogs have gone from personal journals to a way to inform the public and discuss politics and world events to business use. Yes, people make money with blogs. In fact, blogging can earn you a very nice income if you know what you are doing. One blogger even auctioned his blogging services on EBay for thousands of dollars! Niche blogs are used to earn money as well. These are blogs where a person writes on a very narrow, yet popular topic, and uses affiliate programs or Google AdSense ads to earn revenue.
A blog entry was even used to catch a killer in May of 2005, when a person was blogging and mentioned in his blog that his sister’s boyfriend was at the house – right before he and his sister were murdered! Blogs have been used to figure out what caused people to commit suicide, and even to figure out why some people have committed crimes.
Teenagers were the first large group of people to use blogs. Blogging became a favorite past time between the years of 2000 and 2004. Teenagers still blog, but adults have caught the blogging fever as well.
Over the short years of blogging history, blogging has become simpler in some ways, and more complicated in others. Today, using a service such as Blogger at http://www.blogger.com anyone who has access to a computer with an Internet connection can be set up and blogging in less than five minutes. In that way, blogging has become simplified. However, RSS has come into the picture, which in some ways makes blogging very confusing for beginners.
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