Blog

1. Introduction: At the initial stage of internet development, Usenet (a worldwide distributed discussion system of user-submitted message on various subjects), newsgroup, Email lists, Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) were used as a form of Citizen Media. Bulletin Board is a service whereby messages and points of interest can be posted to be read and replied to unlike list server. The news group provides access to thousands of topic based discussion group services which are open to all. The news reader software allows one to post an article to any group for others to read. A comment to the message (original) can be added to the thread of the article. In recent times these are effectively replaced by the blog.

The term weblog was coined by Jorn Barger on December 17, 1997 (Rosenberg, 2009, p. 75) to use in the RobotWisdom.com site. Then, Peter Merholz in 1999, jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog Peterme.com (McCullagh & Broache, 2007), from where it becomes popular as blog. Thus Blog is derived from Weblog and it have different meaning to different people, ranging from online journal (or newsletter) to easily updated personal website intended for the common or specific group of users. The blog contents of all the blogs over web and their interconnections are known as blogosphere and it constituted a major part of the Internet. The word blog was considered as most-look-up word in the year 2004 by Merriam-Webster dictionary.

 

2. Definition: Blog is a web-based publishing platform consisting primarily of periodic articles composed of text, links, image, video and others which are arranged automatically in a reverse chronological order or in a chronological order with options for the reader / users to leave their reflections or comments. Blogs are typically updated frequently using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog. The owner/member will post message which are sometimes rich with image, graph, audio, video and hyperlink periodically enabling others to view and comment. Topics often include the owners’ / authors’ / members’ daily life or views on a particular subject or topic of important to the user. The original post with its associated comments and discussion provide a very insight to the topic at hand. The activity of posting new content, updating and commenting on the users feedback in a blog is called blogging and someone who own, keep or maintain a blog is a blogger. Many blogs are frequently updated and publicly accessible i.e. they allow anybody to read the contents and comments on it at any time; some others are private where entry to the content is restricted. Some advanced users have server-side software, and often implement membership management and password protected areas.

 

3. Importance: Blogging combined the website with tools to make linking to other pages easier specifically permalinks (permanent URLs to individual pages and blog posts), blogrolls (list of links the author / writer likes and wants to share), TrackBacks (the provision that allows one website to notify another about an update or the methods for Web authors to request notification when somebody links to one of their documents) and Pingback (links to other sites that refer to the entry) create an inter-blog conversation and create the social relationship of a particular blog to those of other bloggers. This, together with search engines enabled bloggers to track the threads that connected them to others with similar interests. The importance of the blog can be seen from the following angles-

a) Act as a Self-Publicizing Medium: Blogs are easy to create and maintain as compared to websites. As a result, people are turning towards blog as a publication medium. It can also be used to push the messages directly to the public by avoiding the filtering process of the mainstream media (the editorial board of which often cut down the massage as a means to avoid the legal liabilities, to present credible news or at times to justify their presence!).            Blog is used to provide different information to different group of users, to express the thought and opinion with ease and be heard too, to connect with likeminded people or to connect with people who like your post, comment on it or subscribe to your posts, social share and so on.

b) Act as a Marketing Powerhouse: Blogging is a marketing powerhouse. It is the right place to promote and market about anything, to increase engagement and to build authority. The traditional website may contain 10 numbers of pages, but a blog may contain 100 pages each of which will have individual URL. The search engine loves fresh and massive content. So in case of blogging, one will have multiple times more chances of found by others and get noticed. One can even increase these chances by manifold by posting quality contents.

Currently a majority of blogs are coming up with their RSS feeds. Blog that are hosted over Wordpress and Blogger have an inbuilt feature of creating an RSS feed automatically. It means, every time when a post is posted they create a RSS feed. So, the author or owner of the blog does not require to create an RSS feed separately for their blog. This blog’s feed can be burned with Feedburner to provide news by way of Email to the users. Again, the Feedburner can be linked to Twitter through Socialize tab and the Twitter account can be linked to the Facebook Profile page. By this way, one can reach to all users across multiple platforms by just posting information over his/her Blog.

So, if anyone is interested to make a difference, starting with a blog is a good idea as because it will give them the strength to go further.

c) Act as a Substitute of Mainstream Media: Blog increasingly considered as a substitute of the mainstream media for news services, consultants, etc. As blog becomes a standard part of the publicity arsenal, it is used extensively as a tool for outreach and opinion forming and as means of applying pressure upon concern authority and like other. The emergence of blogging provides a medium to give readers new perspectives on the realities, as well as often offering different viewpoints from those of its official news sources. Many bloggers began to provide nearly-instant commentary on televised events, creating a secondary meaning of the word blogging i.e. to simultaneously transcribe and editorialize speeches and events shown on television.

d) Provide Latest Information: The literature search forms the backbone of any research activities. In recent times, a part of this business relies on internet and for a comprehensive list of resources over internet; the search should extend to blog also, as it contains the latest, up-to-the-minute information on a given topic.

e) Provide Insightful Information: Over the web, the original blog post with its associated comments and discussion provide a very insight to any topic at hand.

f) Can be used as a Website, Group, Mailing List or Forum: A blog can be used as blog, besides this, it can also be used a traditional website, a group, mailing list or a forum.

In a blog, posts are normally arranged in the reverse chronological order i.e. from newer (first) to older (last).

 An electronic mailing list automatically delivers new messages to the subscriber.

A forum requires the member to visit the website and check for new posts. Because members may miss replies in threads they are interested in, many modern forums offer an e-mail notification feature, whereby members can choose to be notified of new posts in a thread, and web feeds that allow members to see a summary of the new posts using aggregator software. Visiting and participating in forums normally requires no additional software beyond the web browser and the threads in the discussion are normally arranged in chronological fashion i.e. older (first) to newer (last).

i) Blog as a Website: A blog can be use as a traditional website with added advantage for the readers to leave a comment, subscribe to its post via Email and so on.

ii) Blog as a Group: The Blog’s RSS Feed or Atom by burning with some feed-burning services can be used to provide Email subscription option (some blog hosting service even produce it by default). This feature can be used to notify the intended users or reader or subscribers about the recent post on the blog thus acting as a group of likeminded people. Further, the blog can also be customized in such a way so that people can post a piece of information over the blog by just sending an Email to a secret Email id.

iii) Blog as a Forum: The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format and the scope for adding more than one author in a blog can be used to create discussion forum. In a Wordpress or Blogger Blog, the comment at the bottom of a blog post in a threaded style is a discussion on that topic. Slash, on the other hand, is far more complicated, allowing fully threaded discussions and incorporating a robust moderation and meta-moderation system as well as incorporated many of the profile features available to forum users.

g) Provide Information to the User over Their Own Platform: Many internet users may not like to come to the website to know about the updates. So they need to be informed over their favorite site itself. This can be done by way of developing a blog and linking it to the user’s favorite platform through some other apps so that the information they are interested in can be received in their doorstep itself.

h) Updating the Site in No Time: Traditional websites consume much time to update whereas in case of blog, one can make the update in minute.

i) Help in Staying Active or Knowledgeable in the Field: Blogging means posting updated information. To post updated information, one must need to be updated himself/herself and its mean reading a lot of content posted by others. So, if you are managing a blog, you are likely to be updated and knowledgeable in the areas of your blogging.

j) Keeping Track with Updates: Blog allows one to automatically send email updates from the blog to its subscribers. Subscribers are updated each time a new blog post goes live.

k) Inexpensive Communication Medium: Generally creating and managing blog are free just like E-Mail account i.e. it does not demand buying space from the service provider, if it demands then also the price of setting up a blog and developing it into a knowledge and content management tool is much more less compared to others proprietary solutions.

l) Help in Collecting Feedback:  The blog can be used as a platform to collect feedback from others. It can be used as you spoke and we listen. Post your advice, suggestion here type of communication with the users.

m) Act as a Announcement Medium: Manny websites contain “What's New”, “News & Events”, “Announcement” and like other links from their home page, that displays the current information. These pages frequently need to be manually updated i.e. to be designed by using HTML, to be linked with the home page, need to be uploaded the file and so on, which is really a time consuming business. Such section of the website can be effectively replaced by launching a blog. Blog will automatically overcome all such barriers and also sort the information by date of posting with the option to retrieve other older post by labels or posted date / month or year.

n) To Make Money: Many blogger don’t make a single dollar in a day. Whereas some are running families that are entirely depend on a blog. So, by becoming creative, patience and commitment towards the blog, one can think of running an independent business based on his/her blog.

4. Anatomy of a Blog Entry: Blog uses web interfaces that allow anyone over the Internet, to create blogs by their own. It usually does not demand the maintenance of server software by the users themselves. It also does not demand to go for the HTML. A blog entry typically consists of the following:

a) Title: The main title, or headline, of the post;

b) Body: Main content of the post;

c) Labels: The keywords that categorizes the blog post within the blog;

d) Post Date: Date and time the post published;

e) Permalink: The URL of the full, individual article;

f) Comment: The feedback on the blog post by the reader of the post and their replies if any from the blog author / owner. Comments are a way to provide discussion on blog entries. Readers can leave a comment on a post (a way of correcting one’s error) or they can also leave their personal opinion on the post(s).

A blog entry optionally also includes author’s information.

 

5. Types: There are various types of blogs, and each differs in the way content is delivered or written. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic, the ability to quote another user’s post with special formatting in ones post is also a special feature of many blogs. Blog can be categorized as follows:

 

a) Based on Types of Content or Media: Based on the types of content blog can be of the following types

i) Linklog: A blog comprising links;

ii) Photolog (or Photoblog): A blog comprising photos;

iii) Audioblog: Blog containing audio for example podcasting;

iv) Videolog (or Videoblog or Vlog): A blog comprising videos.

 

b) Based on the Way the Content is Written: Based on the way the content is written, a blog can be of the following types.

i) Personal Blogs (or Individual Blog): The personal blog is written by an individual;

ii) Group Blogs (Or Collaborative Blogs): A type of blog in which posts are written and published by more than one author.

 

c) Based on the Way the Content is Delivered: A blog can also be defined by which type of device is used to compose the content or read the content.

i) Moblog: A blog written with the help of and targeted to a mobile phone or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA);

 

d) Based on the Length of Content Posted: Based o the length of a post, a blog can be Regular Blogging (or Blogging) and Microblogging.

i) Regular Blogging: A blog that allows to write limitless words on a particular topic.

ii) Microblogging: A Blog consisting of small pieces of text, images, pictures, links or videos, or other media. For example a tweet can be restricted to 140 characters or doubled to 280 for non-Asian languages (from November 2017).

 

By genre the blog can be political blogs, fashion blogs, food blog, library blog, journalism blogs, health blogs, travel blogs, book blogs, beauty blogs, lifestyle blogs, party blogs, wedding blogs, photography blogs, and legal blogs and so on.

 

6. Blog Hosting Services: Blogs are generally hosted by dedicated blog hosting services or on regular web hosting services. Most of the free blog hosting services are ad-supported but generally have unlimited posting bandwidth and storage space.  Generally, a small advertisement square banner is placed on the user blog, which does not affect the overall make up of the said blog. Many blog hosting services also notified the blogger when someone adds some comments on his/her blog. All the blog hosting services like Wordpress, Blogger can be used by the people to develop their own blog.

a) Wordpress (https://wordpress.com): WordPress.com is a blog hosting service that runs on a modified version of WordPress.org, an open source content management system (CMS). It provides free blog hosting for registered users and is financially supported via advertising, paid upgrades and “VIP” services.

b) Blogger (https://www.blogger.com): Blogger is a blog-publishing service that allows multi-user blogs with time-stamped entries. Generally, the blogs developed by using Blogger are hosted by Google at a sub-domain of blogspot.com, however, user can also use custom domain for their blog. Blogger was started by Evan Williams and Meg Hourihan (Pyra Labs of San Francisco) in August 1999 and was purchased by Google in February 2003.

c) Wordpress (https://wordpress.com): Wordpress.org is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP (previously Personal Home Page, but now stands for the PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) and MySQL that can be used to design a website, blog or app and can be hosted on most of the web server or web hosting servers. Features include plugin architecture and a template system, referred to within WordPress as Themes.

The main difference between the Wordpress.org and Wordpress.com is that WordPress.org hosts and creates the WordPress software, while WordPress.com provides free hosting using the WordPress software. WordPress.org software is able to be self hosted or hosted with assistance on any website or server, while WordPress.com is simply one such provider for WordPress software hosting.

 

7. Conclusion: The top three content marketing tactics are social media content, blogs, and email newsletters and we cannot ignore them. Blogs engage readers and build a virtual community around a particular person or interest. If anyone don’t like to pay to maintain the domain name then their blog website address will include the name of the free blog hosting service provider. In such cases the address would look like http://badanbarman.blogspot.com where blogspot (Blogger) is the free sub-domain service provider. However, if one is really serious about blogging, purchasing a custom domain is the right job to start with.

The revolution in blog is so that when we treat it as a publication medium we can use it for both good and evil. The emergence of blog already brought a range of legal liabilities, as the top level managers always have fired employees, and now when they have the technology at their hands, so they go for it to discuss their employers. The major areas of concern are the issues of proprietary or confidential information, and defamation. Many of the bloggers do not respect copyright and the role of the mass media in presenting society with credible news. At this situation, we can refer-to the contrasting words of Charles Dickens novel, “A Tale of Two Cities” – It is the best of times, it is the worst of times, it is the age of wisdom, it is the age of foolishness.. In simple, the choice is left to us how we are going to use the blog platform.


How to Cite this Article?

APA Citation, 7th Ed.:  Barman, B. (2020). A comprehensive book on Library and Information Science. New Publications.

Chicago 16th Ed.:  Barman, Badan. A Comprehensive Book on Library and Information Science. Guwahati: New Publications, 2020.

MLA Citation 8th Ed:  Barman, Badan. A Comprehensive Book on Library and Information Science. New Publications, 2020.

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