What is a Blog?
A blog is a type of website.
The word “blog” is a contraction of “weblog.”
Of course “Web” refers to the “World Wide Web” (WWW), which is a very large set of interlinked documents accessed via the Internet. (Click here for the difference between the Web and the Internet).
A “log” is a regularly updated record of activities or events, such as ship’s log.
So, a blog is a website with regularly updated articles, photos, videos, audio recordings, etc.
The word “blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. (Example: I blogged about the word “blog” today.)
QUESTION: Since you can also routinely update a regular website with articles, photos, videos, etc., what makes a blog so special?
ANSWER: Three things.
- A blog is very easy to update with new articles or “posts.” Easier than a regular website. By its very nature, a blog is intended to facilitate a flow of updated material, while a regular website could remain static indefinitely, or perhaps might be updated only now and then.
- A blog has a built-in system that allows visitors to easily add their own “comments,” agreements, disagreements, or thoughts right after your posts. (Although you can control and limit this functionality). In this way, blogs are an important media for facilitating two-way communication and even community between individuals with a mutual interest.
- Blogs also have a built-in system (RSS) that automatically notifies search engines and other computers when new material is added. In this way, Internet users around the world have the potential to instantly be aware of, and view, your new material – without even visiting your blog (your words automatically show up on their computer). This third part, in particular, is a powerful way to leverage your views, knowledge and expertise via technology.
Blogs are be used by businesses, large and small, to facilitate frequent communication with customers and potential customers. Blogs are used by artists and writers who wish to develop new material online, and/or are desiring visitor feedback or participation. Blogs are used by anyone desiring to promote their services, their products or themselves. In each of these examples, blogs can generate MORE visitors than regular websites, especially when used effectively as part of an search engine optimization strategy. Furthermore, in each of these examples blogs are more effective at establishing increased INTERACTION with visitors, compared to regular websites. The reason why is outlined in the three points stated above.