Blog is a word derived from web log. It is essentially a website where you can post your thoughts, commentaries on current events, events for the day, photos, videos, music. Though written in chronological order, the entries appear in reverse order. You can ‘maintain’ a blog or ‘add content’ to a blog. While blogs may provide news and events on a particular subject like food, politics, religion, immigration, etc, some blogs function as purely a personal diary.
The facility for users to leave comments in an interactive environment is a big plus for blogs. Most blogs combine texts, images and links to other blogs, web sites, web pages and other media related to the specific topic. While most blogs carry textual content, there are specific blogs which focus primarily on art (artlog), photographs (photoblog), sketchblog, videos (vlog), music (MP3 blog), or audio (podcasting).
There were many community forums before blogging took its present form. People used Usenet, commercial online services such as GEnie, BiX and the early CompuServe, e-mail lists, and bulletin board systems (BBS). Then in the ’90s, running conversations were created with ‘threads’ – which are connectivity between messages. The blog site, or a coordinator in a forum can create a ‘thread’ and when you comment on it, you are following the ‘thread’ or starting a conversation with many that may also leave their comments on the ‘thread’.
Creating a blog set up is considered an important promotion tool to drive traffic to a web site. The device used to create a blog, can decide its type – for instance a blog written by a mobile device like a mobile phone or PDA is called a moblog. There are blogs which specialize on a particular topic or genre. Examples are political blogs, travel blogs, fashion blogs, project blogs, legal blogs (often referred to as a blawgs) or dreamlogs. A blog can be used within an organization to enhance open-communication and improve organizational climate. When used eternally for marketing, branding or corporate PR purposes, it is called corporate blogs.
There are many blog search engines which hunt for blog contents, also called blogosphere. Blogdigger, Feedster, and Technorati are such blog search engines. Technorati provides latest information on popular searches and tags used to categorize blog postings. Blogs are also given rankings by Technorati. The rankings are based on the amount of incoming links and Alexa Internet based on the web hits of Alexa Toolbar users. In August 2006, Technorati listed the most linked-to blog as that of Chinese actress Xu Jinglei and the most-read blog as group-written Boing Boing. There are several online communities and directories available which act as connectivity tools between people who blog. They also connect people to blogs.