Why Blogs changed the Face of the Internet
The proliferation of online personal journals known as weblogs or more
commonly, blogs, has revolutionized the way people interact online and changed
the manner in which they consume information. Not only do people share the
mundane facts of their day-to-day lives (at times even their sex lives), but
they also vent their political opinions, raise money for charity, review books
and movies, draft short stories and novels, relate their travels, and give the
conventional news media a run for its money. The number of unique uses for blogs
is a great as the number of blogs themselves.
In 2004 a number of political bloggers were given press credentials at the
presidential nominating conventions of both major political parties. Since that
time more and more politicians have begun hosting their own blogs as a way to
interact with constituents. In addition, many reporters who covered the opening
days of the war in Iraq posted accounts of their exploits on personal journals
as well as filing stories with their news agencies. Today popular news programs
like PrimeTime Live have blogs that augment their programming material.
Normally blogs are updated on a regular basis with entries appearing in
chronological order, usually reverse. A number of free blog services make it
quite easy for the novice blogger to establish a presence on the web. Blogs from
Blogger, LiveJournal, and EasyJournal fit into this category. Many people,
however, seek to customize their blogs with designs and content that fit their
personalities and interests.
Often in this scenario the blogger registers a domain name, pays for the
services of a web hosting company, and either installs and customizes the blog
software or hires a blog designer to do so. Software popular for this more
sophisticated application includes TypePad, Expression Engine, MoveableType, and
WordPress. (Note that WordPress is a free blog application but many designers
for hire create custom templates for this popular content engine.)
Blogs not only contain text entries, but link to other blogs and sites across
the web. Blogs may include photographs, video, and increasingly audio files,
often in a talk show format known as “podcasts,” a reference to the wildly
popular portable media player from Apple, the iPod. Podcasts have taken the
basic idea and format of blogs and moved them into the spoken word. Many
podcasters post transcripts or “show notes” of their program in conventional
blog format as well as making their downloadable “broadcasts” available.
With the availability of content management software that makes keeping a
website as easy as filling out a form and clicking a button, people who would
never have seen themselves having a web presence have joined online
in droves. Bloggers come from all sections of society and all age
groups from teenagers to octegenarians. Whether personal in nature or
politically themed, blogs have changed the online world in a decisive fashion
and continue to proliferate at a steady rate.
If you don't have a blog of your own, you should definitely consider starting
one. Possibilities are endless and shouldn't be neglected.
Kevin Dark is an Internet marketing expert.