A brief history of blogging

A brief history of blogging


A blog is a type of website or part of a website It gets its name from the term “web log” which originally which originally referred to an online log of partner websites, personal updates and newsworthy items. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. Most blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other via widgets on the blogs and it is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites. Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual; some focus on art, photographs, videos, music and audio (podcasting). Micro-blogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts. 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 and Bulletin Board Systems (BBS). In the 1990s, Internet forum software created running conversations with “threads.” Threads are topical connections between messages on a bulletin board websites. They are so named because they have an initial topic and then a string of follow-up comments in some type of chronological order. A forum could have many sub-forums with many topics and many strings of conversations and replies. The modern blog evolved from the online diary where people would keep a running account of their personal lives. Most such writers called themselves diarists, journalists, or “journalers.” Justin Hall, who began personal blogging in 1994 while a student at Swarthmore College, is generally recognized as one of the earliest bloggers, as is Jerry Pournelle. Dave Winer’s Scripting News is also credited with being one of the oldest and longest running weblogs. Another 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 in 1994. This practice of semi-automated blogging with live video together with text was referred to as sousveillance, and such journals were also used as evidence in legal matters. Early blogs were simply manually updated components of common Web sites. However, the evolution of tools to facilitate the production and maintenance of Web articles posted in reverse chronological order made the publishing process feasible to a much larger, less technical, population. Ultimately, this resulted in the distinct class of online publishing that produces blogs we recognize today. For instance, the use of some sort of browser-based software is now a typical aspect of blogging. Blogs can be hosted by dedicated blog hosting services or they can be run using blog software, or on regular web hosting services.

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