Weblogs, Blogs, and Blogging: Weblog and Wikis, Week 3
After sifting through a host of information on the internet about the purpose of a blog, it was ironic that the information I was searching did not necessarily come from academic sources, it came for weblogs about blogs.
Stepping back and looking at the source of information, more informational and academic sources started to show that first there is a difference between a blog and a weblog. With that said, does this difference really matter? In the bigger picture, it should not matter, because a “blog” is essentially an abbreviated version of a “weblog.” According to WordPress.org, Introduction to Blogging – What is a “Blog”?
“Blog” is an abbreviated version of “weblog,” which is a term used to describe websites that maintain an ongoing chronicle of information. A blog features diary-type commentary and links to articles on other websites, usually presented as a list of entries in reverse chronological order.
Reflecting back on, Understanding Blogging Part I: What is the Purpose of a Blog, it is clear that the genre of weblogs follows the rules of writing as any other genre; and like other fiction and nonfiction genres, each develops common elements that guide the author through the writing process. WordPress.org in general terms has a list of the few things blogs tend to have in common:
- A main content area with articles listed chronologically, newest on top. Often, the articles are organized into categories
- An archive of older articles
- A way for people to leave comments about the articles
- A list of links to other related sites, sometimes called a “blogroll”
- One or more “feeds” like RSS, Atom or RDF files
Of course, there are always exceptions to every list. Some blogs may have additional features beyond these. Watch this short video for a simple explanation for what a blog is.
Weblogs: a History and Perspective, by Rebecca Blood, looks deeper into what weblogs are by analyzing the history and connecting style to readers’ needs. The original intent of weblogs was to provide a valuable filter function for their readers. According to Blood, the web has been, in effect, pre-surfed for them. Out of the myriad web pages slung through cyberspace, weblog editors pick out the most mind-boggling, the most stupid, the most compelling.
At the same time, Blood notes that weblog editors participate in the dissemination and interpretation of the news that is fed to us every day; by highlighting articles that may easily be passed over by the typical web user too busy to do more than scan corporate news sites, by searching out articles from lesser-known sources, and by providing additional facts, alternative views, and thoughtful commentary.
Weblogs have evolved, but they still hold a place in society that gives people a voice. Weblogs continue to include a mix of links, commentary, personal reflections, anecdotal notes, and more recently provide a forum for discussions and asking questions. As we move into the next wave of blogs and bloggers, ethical issues arise throughout the world of journalism and media.