A blog (a portmanteau of the term web log)[1] is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first). Until 2009 blogs were usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often were themed on a single subject. More recently “multi-author blogs” (MABs) have developed, with posts written by large numbers of authors and professionally edited. MABs from newspapers, other media outlets, universities, think tanks, interest groups and similar institutions account for an increasing quantity of blog traffic. The rise of Twitter and other “microblogging” systems helps integrate MABs and single-author blogs into societal newstreams. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

The emergence and growth of blogs in the late 1990s coincided with the advent of FTP had been required to publish content on the Web.)

Although not a requirement, most good quality blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other via [3]

Many blogs provide commentary on a particular subject; others function as more personal edublogs.

As of 16 February 2011 (2011 -02-16), there were over 156 million public blogs in existence.[6] blogs in existence worldwide.



Early example of a “diary” style blog consisting of text and images transmitted wirelessly in real time from a wearable computer with headup display, 1995 February 22nd

The term “weblog” was coined by [11]


Before blogging became popular, digital communities took many forms, including Usenet, commercial online services such as GEnie, BiX and the early CompuServe, e-mail lists[12] and Bulletin Board Systems (BBS). In the 1990s, Internet forum software, created running conversations with “threads”. Threads are topical connections between messages on a virtual “corkboard”.

From June 14, 1993 Mosaic Communications Corporation maintained their “What’s New” list of new websites, updated daily and archived monthly. The page was accessible by a special “What’s New” button in the Mosaic web browser.

The modern blog evolved from the sousveillance, and such journals were also used as evidence in legal matters.

Early blogs were simply manually updated components of common web hosting services.

Some early bloggers, such as zine, before the term blog entered common usage.

Rise in popularity

After a slow start, blogging rapidly gained in popularity. Blog usage spread during 1999 and the years following, being further popularized by the near-simultaneous arrival of the first hosted blog tools:

  • Open Diary in October 1998, which soon grew to thousands of online diaries. Open Diary innovated the reader comment, becoming the first blog community where readers could add comments to other writers’ blog entries.
  • LiveJournal in March 1999.
  • Andrew Smales created in July 1999 as an easier alternative to maintaining a “news page” on a Web site, followed by Diaryland in September 1999, focusing more on a personal diary community.[17]
  • Google in February 2003)

Political impact

On 6 December 2002, Josh Marshall’s blog called attention to U.S. Senator Lott’s comments regarding Senator Thurmond. Senator Lott was eventually to resign his Senate leadership position over the matter.

An early milestone in the rise in importance of blogs came in 2002, when many bloggers focused on comments by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott.[18] Senator Lott, at a party honoring U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond, praised Senator Thurmond by suggesting that the United States would have been better off had Thurmond been elected president. Lott’s critics saw these comments as a tacit approval of racial segregation, a policy advocated by Thurmond’s 1948 presidential campaign. This view was reinforced by documents and recorded interviews dug up by bloggers. (See Josh Marshall‘s Talking Points Memo.) Though Lott’s comments were made at a public event attended by the media, no major media organizations reported on his controversial comments until after blogs broke the story. Blogging helped to create a political crisis that forced Lott to step down as majority leader.

Similarly, blogs were among the driving forces behind the “original research?]

The impact of these stories gave greater credibility to blogs as a medium of news dissemination. Though often seen as partisan gossips,[original research?]

In [20]

Mainstream popularity

By 2004, the role of blogs became increasingly mainstream, as Tom Watson, began to blog to bond with constituents.

In January 2005, Fortune magazine listed eight bloggers whom business people “could not ignore”: Peter Rojas, Xeni Jardin, Ben Trott, Mena Trott, Jonathan Schwartz, Jason Goldman, Robert Scoble, and Jason Calacanis.[21]


The impact of blogging upon the mainstream media has also been acknowledged by governments. In 2009, the presence of the American journalism industry had declined to the point that several newspaper corporations were filing for bankruptcy, resulting in less direct competition between newspapers within the same circulation area. Discussion emerged as to whether the newspaper industry would benefit from a stimulus package by the federal government. U.S. President Barack Obama acknowledged the emerging influence of blogging upon society by saying “if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, then what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding”.[26]


There are many different types of blogs, differing not only in the type of content, but also in the way that content is delivered or written.

Personal blogs
The personal blog, an ongoing diary or commentary by an individual, is the traditional, most common blog. Personal bloggers usually take pride in their blog posts, even if their blog is never read. Blogs often become more than a way to just communicate; they become a way to reflect on life, or works of art. Blogging can have a sentimental quality. Few personal blogs rise to fame and the mainstream but some personal blogs quickly garner an extensive following. One type of personal blog, referred to as a microblog, is extremely detailed and seeks to capture a moment in time. Some sites, such as Twitter, allow bloggers to share thoughts and feelings instantaneously with friends and family, and are much faster than emailing or writing.
Microblogging is the practice of posting small pieces of digital content—which could be text, pictures, links, short videos, or other media—on the Internet. Microblogging offers a portable communication mode that feels organic and spontaneous to many and has captured the public imagination. Friends use it to keep in touch, business associates use it to coordinate meetings or share useful resources, and celebrities and politicians (or their publicists) microblog about concert dates, lectures, book releases, or tour schedules. A wide and growing range of add-on tools enables sophisticated updates and interaction with other applications, and the resulting profusion of functionality is helping to define new possibilities for this type of communication.[27]
Corporate and organizational blogs
A blog can be private, as in most cases, or it can be for corporate blogs. Similar blogs for clubs and societies are called club blogs, group blogs, or by similar names; typical use is to inform members and other interested parties of club and member activities.
By genre
Some blogs focus on a particular subject, such as Splog.
By media type
A blog comprising videos is called a vlog, one comprising links is called a linklog, a site containing a portfolio of sketches is called a sketchblog or one comprising photos is called a photoblog.[36] Blogs with shorter posts and mixed media types are called tumblelogs. Blogs that are written on typewriters and then scanned are called typecast or typecast blogs; see typecasting (blogging).
A rare type of blog hosted on the Phlog.
By device
Blogs can also be defined by which type of device is used to compose it. A blog written by a mobile device like a mobile phone or PDA could be called a moblog.[37] One early blog was Wearable Wireless Webcam, an online shared diary of a person’s personal life combining text, video, and pictures transmitted live from a wearable computer and EyeTap device to a web site. This practice of semi-automated blogging with live video together with text was referred to as sousveillance. Such journals have been used as evidence in legal matters.[citation needed]
Reverse blog
A Reverse Blog is composed by its users rather than a single blogger. This system has the characteristics of a blog, and the writing of several authors. These can be written by several contributing authors on a topic, or opened up for anyone to write. There is typically some limit to the number of entries to keep it from operating like a Web Forum.

Community and cataloging

The Blogosphere
The collective community of all blogs is known as the blogosphere. Since all blogs are on the internet by definition, they may be seen as interconnected and socially networked, through blogrolls, comments, linkbacks (refbacks, trackbacks or pingbacks) and backlinks. Discussions “in the blogosphere” are occasionally used by the media as a gauge of public opinion on various issues. Because new, untapped communities of bloggers and their readers can emerge in the space of a few years, Internet marketers pay close attention to “trends in the blogosphere”.[38]
Blog search engines
Several blog search engines are used to search blog contents, such as Bloglines, BlogScope, and Technorati. Technorati, which is among the more popular blog search engines, provides current information on both popular searches and tags used to categorize blog postings.[39] The research community is working on going beyond simple keyword search, by inventing new ways to navigate through huge amounts of information present in the blogosphere, as demonstrated by projects like BlogScope.[citation needed]
Blogging communities and directories
Several [41]
Blogging and advertising
It is common for blogs to feature advertisements either to financially benefit the blogger or to promote the blogger’s favorite causes. The popularity of blogs has also given rise to “fake blogs” in which a company will create a fictional blog as a marketing tool to promote a product.[42]


Researchers have analyzed the dynamics of how blogs become popular. There are essentially two measures of this: popularity through citations, as well as popularity through affiliation (i.e., blogroll). The basic conclusion from studies of the structure of blogs is that while it takes time for a blog to become popular through blogrolls, permalinks can boost popularity more quickly, and are perhaps more indicative of popularity and authority than blogrolls, since they denote that people are actually reading the blog’s content and deem it valuable or noteworthy in specific cases.[43]

The [1].

Blogs are given rankings by [44]

Blurring with the mass media

Many bloggers, particularly those engaged in person of the year as “You”.

Many mainstream journalists, meanwhile, write their own blogs — well over 300, according to’s J-blog list.[citation needed] The first known use of a blog on a news site was in August 1998, when Jonathan Dube of The Charlotte Observer published one chronicling Hurricane Bonnie.[46]

Some bloggers have moved over to other media. The following bloggers (and others) have appeared on radio and television: [50]

Blogs have also had an influence on Gaelic languages. Minority language publishing (which may lack economic feasibility) can find its audience through inexpensive blogging.

There are many examples of bloggers who have published books based on their blogs, e.g., Julie & Julia, apparently the first to do so.

Consumer-generated advertising in blogs

Consumer-generated advertising is a relatively new and controversial development and it has created a new model of marketing communication from businesses to consumers. Among the various forms of advertising on blog, the most controversial are the sponsored posts.[54] These are blog entries or posts and may be in the form of feedback, reviews, opinion, videos, etc. and usually contain a link back to the desired site using a keyword/s.

Blogs have led to some disintermediation and a breakdown of the traditional advertising model where companies can skip over the advertising agencies (previously the only interface with the customer) and contact the customers directly themselves. On the other hand, new companies specialised in blog advertising have been established, to take advantage of this new development as well.

However, there are many people who look negatively on this new development. Some believe that any form of commercial activity on blogs will destroy the blogosphere’s credibility.[55]

Legal and social consequences

Blogging can result in a range of legal liabilities and other unforeseen consequences.[56]

Defamation or liability

Several cases have been brought before the national courts against bloggers concerning issues of defamation or liability. U.S. payouts related to blogging totaled $17.4 million by 2009; in some cases these have been covered by umbrella insurance.[57] The courts have returned with mixed verdicts. Internet Service Providers (ISPs), in general, are immune from liability for information that originates with third parties (U.S. Communications Decency Act and the EU Directive 2000/31/EC).

In Doe v. Cahill, the Delaware Supreme Court held that stringent standards had to be met to unmask the anonymous bloggers, and also took the unusual step of dismissing the libel case itself (as unfounded under American libel law) rather than referring it back to the trial court for reconsideration.[58] In a bizarre twist, the Cahills were able to obtain the identity of John Doe, who turned out to be the person they suspected: the town’s mayor, Councilman Cahill’s political rival. The Cahills amended their original complaint, and the mayor settled the case rather than going to trial.

In January 2007, two prominent [60] This is the first such legal case against bloggers in the country.

In the United States, blogger Aaron Wall was sued by Traffic Power for [64]

In 2009, a controversial and landmark decision by The Hon. Mr Justice Eady refused to grant an order to protect the anonymity of Richard Horton. Horton was a police officer in the United Kingdom who blogged about his job under the name “NightJack”.[65]

In 2009, [67]


Employees who blog about elements of their place of employment can begin to affect the brand recognition of their employer. In general, attempts by employee bloggers to protect themselves by maintaining anonymity have proved ineffective.[68]


In early 2006, Erik Ringmar, a tenured senior lecturer at the London School of Economics, was ordered by the convenor of his department to “take down and destroy” his blog in which he discussed the quality of education at the school.[73]

Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, was fined during the 2006 NBA playoffs for criticizing NBA officials on the court and in his blog.[74]

Mark Jen was terminated in 2005 after 10 days of employment as an Assistant Product Manager at [76]

In India, blogger Gaurav Sabnis resigned from IBM after his posts questioned the claims of a management school IIPM.[77]


Catherine Sanderson, a.k.a. [82]

On the other hand, Penelope Trunk wrote an upbeat article in the Boston Globe back in 2006, entitled “Blogs ‘essential’ to a good career”.[83] She was one of the first journalists to point out that a large portion of bloggers are professionals and that a well-written blog can help attract employers.

Political dangers

Blogging can sometimes have unforeseen consequences in politically sensitive areas. Blogs are much harder to control than broadcast or even print media. As a result, authoritarian regimes often seek to suppress blogs and/or to punish those who maintain them.

In Singapore, two ethnic Chinese were imprisoned under the country’s anti-sedition law for posting anti-Muslim remarks in their blogs.[84]

Egyptian blogger Kareem Amer was charged with insulting the Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and an Islamic institution through his blog. It is the first time in the history of Egypt that a blogger was prosecuted. After a brief trial session that took place in Alexandria, the blogger was found guilty and sentenced to prison terms of three years for insulting Islam and inciting sedition, and one year for insulting Mubarak.[85]

Egyptian blogger Abdel Monem Mahmoud was arrested in April 2007 for anti-government writings in his blog.[86] Monem is a member of the then banned Muslim Brotherhood.

After the [100]

After expressing opinions in his personal blog about the state of the Sudanese armed forces, [103]

In Myanmar, Nay Phone Latt, a blogger, was sentenced to 20 years in jail for posting a cartoon critical of head of state Than Shwe.[104]

Personal safety

One consequence of blogging is the possibility of attacks or threats against the blogger, sometimes without apparent reason. blogger’s code of conduct.


The Blogger’s Code of Conduct is a proposal by [109]

O’Reilly and others came up with a list of seven proposed ideas:[114]

  1. Take responsibility not just for your own words, but for the comments you allow on your blog.
  2. Label your tolerance level for abusive comments.
  3. Consider eliminating anonymous comments.
  4. Ignore the trolls.
  5. Take the conversation offline, and talk directly, or find an intermediary who can do so.
  6. If you know someone who is behaving badly, tell them so.
  7. Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say in person.

See also


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Further reading

External links

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Blogging, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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