Friday, June 16, 2006

Dear Diary, Dear World – All About Blogging
By Khieng Chho

The Internet has changed the way we live, breathe, and even write – in fact, it is mainly due to the blogging phenomenon that we receive headlines, change them, and even get the latest buzz on issues newspapers and popular media will not dare tackle. Blogging has become so common, it has prompted dictionary makers to create new terms. For instance, each article on a blog is called a “post,” “entry,” or “blog post.” A person who blogs is called a “blogger.”

But what is blogging, and why is it so popular?

Blogging refers to the activity of updating one’s blog. What is a blog? A blog is a web log, or an Internet-based publication which contains articles about a variety of topics. Blogs are either run on dedicated hosting services, or they can be run on any ordinary web hosting service using scripts meant for blogs.

Blogs often focus on a particular subject. They can tackle movie reviews, political issues, important local news, or one’s personal opinion. Most blogs serve as online diaries, and will contain personal images, artwork, and writing.

Blog posts will contain the following elements.

• A title – Some personal bloggers have modified this, and have added subtitles to add “meat” to their entries. They may indicate the music they are currently listening to, their current mood, and the subject of their post. Journalistic bloggers will often link their title to similar articles available online.

• The body – This is the main content of the blog. It can be a fictional entry, in the case of story or novel blogs; or a non-fiction entry, in the case of other blogs, such as news blogs or diaries.

• A permalink – this is the link to the individual blog entry, which other bloggers can use if they would like to link or refer to the article.

• The date – this is simply the date, time, and sometimes place in which the entry was first posted.

Some blogs may also contain the following.

• A comments section – this enables readers to make comments or react to the blog entry. This is also a useful way by which other bloggers can make themselves, and their blogs, known.

• The tags – this is the section where bloggers list the categories under which their current article falls. For instance, a post on “Saving the Whales” can be categorized under “environment,” “whales,” and “ecology.”

• Trackback – Also known as pingback, this is a list of links of other sites that refer to the article or post.

There are many different kinds of blogs available, depending on the topic they tackle. A few types include the following

• Personal – These blogs focus on personal experiences, and feature an online diary, usually with images or artwork. Some photoblogs fall under this category, where bloggers post pictures instead of writing about their experiences.

• Paid – Some bloggers are paid to blog their career experiences, or the latest news about a company.

• Socio-cultural – Some blogs are devoted to socio-cultural experiences, and can allow people of other cultures a glimpse into the quirks and specialties that make other cultures unique.

• Science – Some scientists have taken to blogging about their research findings, or to share laboratory techniques. Such a method, however, has been met with derision in the science community, since it overrides the traditional peer-based review of research.

• Political or News – Some blogs focus on the latest news, and can even offer political opinions on certain subjects.

Blogging is definitely here to stay, and it can influence cultures and headlines through the widely popular medium of the Internet. Have you tried blogging yet?

Khieng 'Ken' Chho - Online Blogging Resources. http://blogging.1w3b.net/

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