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What is a Blog?

Posted By Darren Rowse 5th of February 2005 Start a Blog 346

So what is a Blog anyway? I am asked every week via emails, conversation and Instant Messaging chats to define: ‘what is a blog’. If you’re reading this you may well be asking the same question.

There are a number of ways I could answer this question ranging from the broad to the highly technical.

Before I define the ‘what is a blog’ question – here are a few definitions from other much wiser people to get us started:

‘A weblog is a hierarchy of text, images, media objects and data, arranged chronologically, that can be viewed in an HTML browser.’ Source

‘A frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and Web links.’ Source

‘From “Web log.” A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is “blogging” and someone who keeps a blog is a “blogger.”‘ Source

‘A weblog is kind of a continual tour, with a human guide who you get to know. There are many guides to choose from, each develops an audience, and there’s also comraderie and politics between the people who run weblogs, they point to each other, in all kinds of structures, graphs, loops, etc.’ Source

‘A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is “blogging” and someone who keeps a blog is a “blogger.” Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog. Postings on a blog are almost always arranged in cronological order with the most recent additions featured most prominantly.’ Source

‘A blog is a website in which items are posted on a regular basis and displayed in reverse chronological order. The term blog is a shortened form of weblog or web log. Authoring a blog, maintaining a blog or adding an article to an existing blog is called “blogging”. Individual articles on a blog are called “blog posts,” “posts” or “entries”. A person who posts these entries is called a “blogger”. A blog comprises text, hypertext, images, and links (to other web pages and to video, audio and other files). Blogs use a conversational style of documentation. Often blogs focus on a particular “area of interest”, such as Washington, D.C.’s political goings-on. Some blogs discuss personal experiences.’ Source.

So What is a Blog???

Confused yet? Don’t be – its really quite simple. To put it as simply as possible – a blog is a type of website that is usually arranged in chronological order from the most recent ‘post’ (or entry) at the top of the main page to the older entries towards the bottom.

Have a look at the main page of my blog at here for an example. for a different example you might like to look at this one (another of mine).

Ok – now you are a seasoned blog reader – you’ve seen two already at least.

Blogs are usually (but not always) written by one person and are updated pretty regularly. Blogs are often (but not always) written on a particular topic – there are blogs on virtually any topic you can think of. From photography, to spirituality, to recipes, to personal diaries to hobbies – blogging has as many applications and varieties as you can imagine. Whole blog communities have sprung up around some of these topics putting people into contact with each other in relationships where they can learn, share ideas, make friends with and even do business with people with similar interests from around the world.

Blogs usually have a few features that are useful to know about if you want to get the most out of them as a reader. Lets examine a couple briefly.

Archives – You might look at the front page of a blog and think that there is not much to them. A few recent entries, some links to other sites and not much else. However its worth knowing that there is a lot more going on under the surface that might initially meet the eye. For example in addition to the main page of this blog – at the time of writing this post there are over 520 other pages or posts below the surface that I’ve written over the past few months.

When I write a post like this one it goes to the top of the front page. As it gets older and as I add more current posts it begins its journey down the page until it disappears from it. This is not the end of its life however, because it goes into the ‘Archives’ of my blog. It sounds like a dusty dark place but its really just like a filing cabinet that is easily accessible in a couple of ways. You can read my ‘archives’ simply by looking on the ‘sidebar’ (over on the left of this blog) at the ‘archives’ or ‘categories’ section. There you will see links to all my old posts which you can access either by category. You’ll see a category for ‘Advertising’ – click that link and you’ll see all my old posts on the topic of Advertising with the most recent at the top and the oldest at the bottom.

Comments – Not all blogs use comments – but most do. This blog is not a monologue but a conversation. You can give me feedback on almost everything I write simply by clicking the ‘comments’ link at the bottom of each one of my posts. This will take you to a little form where you leave your name, email and a link to your own blog if you have one as well as your feedback, comment, critique, question, essay on why you love my blog, promise of money…. etc). Try it now. Scroll to the bottom of this page, click ‘comments’ and fill in the blanks with a little introduction to yourself.

A great way to learn about blogs is to read a few. Leave some comments, ask questions and bookmark your favourites. An even better way to learn about blogs is to start your own blog. Ok – you might be laughing at me now – you think you are not web savy enough to have your own site? You wouldn’t know where to start? You don’t know how?

My Secret

Let me share a secret with you – three years ago I knew nothing about blogs, I had never used the internet for anything more than email, surfing and chatting to friends and I could only barely do any of that! But one day I discovered a blog and after surfing from one to another (blogs tend to link up to other blogs a lot) for a few hours I was hooked and wanted to start my own. I found that there are free blog services that almost anyone could set up in a matter of minutes. Really it is that simple. Literally millions of people blog from around the world. Its not just something for young people, or geeks, or cool folk, or Westerners, or even for people with their own computers – instead its something virtually anyone with access to a computer and the internet once or twice a week can start up.

Are you still confused? Would you like more information? Below are a few helpful articles on the topic – there are many more on the web – just do a search on your favourite search engine. Otherwise shoot me an email using my ‘contact’ button with your question and I’ll do my best to get back to you.

Update: If you’d like to start a blog I’ve written a book – ProBlogger the Book – which is specifically written for new bloggers. I hope you find it helpful. Also check out my How to Start a Blog tutorial and my How to Make Money Blogging guide.

If you are new to blogging and want some hints on how to get started – keep an eye on my Blogging for Beginners Page for more ways to explore blogging.

One more post you might be interested in – What Is RSS?

Lastly – let me finish with a video that explores the question of what is a blog in a visual form that I’m sure many of you will find helpful.

So now you know WHAT a blog is – learn how to start one and use it to build an online income with ProBlogger the Book.

Also check out Become a Blogger Videos – a free series of videos that talks new bloggers through how to set up a blog.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. Funny, I have never considered definition of a blog before but you explain it well.
    http://seventoten.com

  2. hey,

    do you know how to segment blog? or “blog segmenting /segments”?

    i need help.
    thnx

  3. Avanger says: 04/26/2008 at 8:53 pm

    Hello,
    mr. darren,
    I m new bigenner for blog
    from a far time ago,i m coming to listen a word “BLOG”.
    today “i was serching what is blog?”
    And i found your artical on blog.
    can u halp me to understand Blog.
    I have most of thoughts to exaplan, but i have no platform.
    perhaps i think it is plateform.
    thankyou

  4. I am a realtor and am looking to expand my real estate or realty business. greg moser

  5. I’m trying to get started on blogging I am a realtor and want to expand my real estate business. greg moser

  6. Christian Caswell says: 04/30/2008 at 10:22 am

    Excellent information. I’m looking to set up a blog soon for my business, but, I’m worried that one of my customers may damage our reputation in the industry. Is there a way that you can delete unwanted posts or is that the advantage of blogs, what gets posted can not be removed? I guess the best course of action is to be proactive and respond to that customer immediately. Other customers will see that we’re really trying to help out that person. I can see that one person could really eat up a lot of time if we keep going back and forth on an issue. Any suggestions?

  7. 5wokdi Hello! I’m Samuel Smith, i’m from Switqerland i and find your site really brilliant!

  8. Blogging is awesome. I love blogging
    Want to know what blogging is? Then check out my blog….hehe
    But seriously I love it and this explanation is great for newbies

  9. Great post!

    I read this post previously and it has helped me gain an insight into what blog is. Along the way I’ve learned to use blogger to manage my own blog and it is, no doubt, a very effective tool.

    I hope others will find your post useful.

  10. Dorothy says: 05/10/2008 at 5:28 am

    Darren, I am a stay-at-home mom with a teenager with chronic medical conditions and two parents who are needing more care. This makes it difficult for me to hold a ‘regular’ job. I have been studying your site and have ordered your book. I love writing and am, by profession, a teacher and researcher. This just sounds exciting! Is it possible to run multiple blogs? I have several areas of interest that I am exploring but they don’t always fit well together…

  11. I’m trying to get into blogs because I love writting out my thoughts on paper and now I know you can make a very good desirable living from blogging..I just want more information on how to start blogging…thanks

  12. christopher says: 05/10/2008 at 6:44 am

    I’m just getting into blogging reading up on it trying to get some information because I’m very new to it

    I wasn’t aware that you were able to actually make a good living from blogging…so I’m basically just looking for information on how do you actually get started…thanks in advance

  13. Matthew F. Metts says: 05/20/2008 at 7:20 am

    I am an activist in my local community and would like to expand my work using the internet. Most of the blogs that I’ve read on topics I’m interested are from the “big boys”- either media organizations or online magazines. This seems to be true because they are that ones that appear first through a Google Search.

    Do you offer techniques for using Google to make a blog relevant in their search parameters, or does it just take a lot of time blogging to become relevant? I want the blog to be an additional tool in my work, not something that requires a full time commitment.

  14. I just typed in “What is Blog” & it brought me to your site Darren.

    Cool stuff. I’m putting a powerpoint together on blogging.

    Thanks for the cool stuff yet again!

  15. Hi Darren,
    I’ve only recently discovered blogging and I’m currently ploughing my way through all of your information. I’m currently stuck at home following a car accident and this seems like a great way to try and generate an income. What special skills do I need Darren? Do I need to be a computer whiz? I have experience in short story writing – would this help?
    I’d appreciate any advice/encouragement you can offer.
    Cheers mate,
    Andy

  16. Andy – when I started blogging I was only at the beginning of my journey with computers. I could email, use Word etc – but that’s about it. There are some good easy tools to get started with blogging. Check out the blogging for beginners series for a starting point.

  17. Hey Darren! I saw your bit on the news and was most impressed by the possibilities… I am new to blogging but look forward to seeing what I can do. Do you have any ideas on particular topics for blogs ie. what would be a waste of time and is it clever to tune in to broad market appeal topics? I’m a great researcher and so can probably blog on about anything! Thankyou!

  18. hey darren, i am new to all this i already work part time at home so this would be a great side thing for me to do. i saw the clip on channel ten and i was like why not ill have a look. i am not to good with the computers though and worried it may be to hard to do but ill do some research and see how i go. im going to check out some other blogs now so wish me luck lol. im also unsure you say you can get paid to do this but i dont get how that works?

  19. i would like to learn more about blogs n blogging, and make money, all this is new to me but i m very interested if you can help me, thanks

  20. As is the case with most of the comments on this page I’m just getting started and here I am. Thanks for the help.

  21. Thanks for the description of various definitions about what a blog is. You brodened my horizon. That is like a phd thesis introduction.

  22. Thanks for the info…do people understand the value of your information? I hope so as it is very educational.

  23. Your ideas from the experience in blogging is informative on this subject, but for me how do i get started, i have just started my business in immigration & travel and would want a blog for marketing into the world.

    God Bless!

  24. This blog is very useful to me, after reading this blog i got an idea to start blogging.

    thanks…..

  25. Thanks for the info Darren; I totally understand Blogs now without any questions , so far(smile)

  26. I recently purcheased this website a few months ago because I am very interested in making money at home
    I havn’t had any comments or any action what so ever on
    my website.I am beganning to get the blogging is very important in getting traffic to my site. I knew nothing about blogging until I found your site on blogging today.I still am somewhat confused. If you have a minute, would you please take look at my website to see if you could shine some light on what I need to do to get it moving.

    Thanks

  27. I do agreed with you that anyone now can start a blog to share their thoughts or news. It’s almost replace with the media role. The power of blogs is amazing. It’s can reach the world within a second once you published your blogs.

    To your success
    Bryan Hee

  28. The great thing of setting up a blog is that it is very easy for people who don’t have the technical knowledge. My first blog was at a free blogging service, but now (years later) I have more knowledge about webdesign and programming codes, I’ve setup a blog on my own host. Blogging is a great inventure!

  29. thanks for this info, you have no idea how much work i have avoided for reading these, and also how much money i can save. i’m going to use blogger.com service. i wonder if its anyway to track your traffic in blogs, maybe google analytics?

  30. I am a new blogger, I am in awe of the information you have here… great going

  31. I find your format enjoyable to read, easy to understand and encouraging. So many times reading instructions on how to do something is so intimidating and when you have dyslexia it is easy to get discouraged. Thank you for helping this newbie.

  32. Dave Leedal says: 07/13/2008 at 8:36 am

    First time post, have wanted to get my head around the whole blogging thing for a while, this is really useful. Unlike most web-type people I’m not so good at diving in and seeing what happens, I always feel the need to read a text book first! This blog is helping to fill in the back knowledge that everyone else seems to already have; finally, I GET IT!!!

  33. A blog is a website consisting of entries (also called posts) appearing in reverse chronological order with the most recent entry appearing first . Blogs typically include features such as comments and links to increase user interactivity. Blogs are also called as a weblog or web log. Blogs are similar in format to a daily journal.Blogs are created using specific publishing software.

  34. Krizzel says: 07/22/2008 at 4:16 pm

    I am beginner of blogging and I’m not familiar with it. Although I read about your definition of what you call blog, I am still confuse. Can you explain to me how can I begin blogging and what is it about.

  35. hi,
    Your blog is really helpful , reassuring and informative.
    I am interested in getting a website, so that I can have my genealogy, family photos, etc. on it . I also want a blog.
    Is it possible to have those things on a blog and not bother with a website?

    thanks for your help.
    June Brasgalla

  36. Your blog is informative. For me blog is an personal diary on which you post or create article based on your needs or niche.

  37. Great information on blogs for newbies and advanced users. I learned some new stuff. Thanks for sharing Darren.

  38. i take blog as your shop. the gpood stuff u have, the more visitors you get. and then their is advertisers to get eyeballs too.

  39. Every reader, if he has a strong mind, reads himself into the book, and amalgamates (join or mix ) his thoughts with those of the author.

    According to me a blog is a web page that serves as a publicly accesible personal journey for an individual. Blog often reflects the personality of the author. Its reflection of something is believed in (or disbelieved in), not on its own direct account only , but through something else also. I don’t mind people expressing their thoughts and sharing stories in a cut paste way which is not easy too and sometime one cant express in more proper way as he/she feels. So BLOG is a REFLECTION of the authors personality.

  40. I am from Solomon Islands. I am relatively new to a lot of internet jargons such as the term blog. As a result I did a live search on the question, What is a blog? I have seen this on several websites I have visited previously. So I was keen to know what it means. From the live search I ended up in your blog. Guess what! What you have posted in this site has really answered my question. Now I am literate to a certain degree with blogs. Thank you so much for creating such a site with a lot of useful information and links about blogs. Thank you for making me one step wiser today!

  41. KatKreek says: 08/23/2008 at 10:38 am

    Thank you for the info you provided.I am completely computer dumb and i hope that with help i can get some of my idea’s and opinions out into the world.Your article has definetly pointed me in the right direction.Although i am not completely clear on what to do to start, i am motivated to research and find out .When i become a famous person I will make sure i give credit to your article for it part in my life.

  42. hey im learning how to blog for my english 103 class. The class is very internet orientated, but the professor has a “walk you through it” attitude which is more than comforting as a new freshman at BSU. This has been assigned as one of our readings, so i figured id follow all the directions!
    thanks bunches,
    Asia

  43. Hi Darren, Thanks for the million facts about blog. It is truly helpful.

    More power & God bless.

  44. i’m new to blogging and i do not know what are the tips and tricks of blogs. I am now starting to read all your blogsposts sir to find ways how you make money online. Hope you can be my mentor. You are now so rich because of blogging

  45. abdelelah says: 09/04/2008 at 6:25 am

    hi there…im thinking of making my own blog.. i know nothing about blogging or programming.. but im eager to learn.. im thinking of making somewhat a social blog.. with coming up events… tips on how to…. etc.. do you have any tips you can give?

  46. Great tips about blogging and its importance. A lot of people are discovering blogging right now and thanks to you, they will have it easier for them through the use of your given tips. God bless and continue the good work…

  47. buckminster says: 09/21/2008 at 6:59 am

    None of the prior comments mentioned that blogs have provide a publishing “gateway” to the web for people who lacked even the basic technical knowledge and sophistication that was previously required. The creation of blog technology eliminated this barrier to entry to the internet community.

    For decades having enough intelligence to be able to access the internet acted as a filter which eliminated most of the totally clueless morons and knukledraggers that are the primary beneficiaries of the introduction of blog technology.

    The internet had not seen such a huge influx of the intellectually challenged since the customers of AOL were allowed to go online unescorted.

    The “bloggers” as they are called are responsible for the “dumbed down” internet we have today. It is utterly amazing that these deluded individuals honestly believe their blog entries are relevant. This fantasy and the content free nature of their postings provide solid, empirical evidence that these “bloggers” suffer from really serious, heavy duty brain damage.

    Worse yet, professional news journalists, a heinous example of this lame new class of clueless, can now to pontificate on the web just as they had previously done using the traditional printed and electronic mass media.

    The single best (or worst) example of being “content free” is the vapid “post-modern”, “deconstructed” blogs with the gibberish generated by the subculture of English Lit majors schooled in “literary criticism”.
    No other group on the internet comes even close in their uncanny ability to peg the “bogosity meter” that is used extensively in the study of classical quantum bogodynamics.

    Unfortunately the genie has been let out of the bottle and there is no viable means to eliminate this class of internet users or the larger blogger community.

  48. Great Blog, you open my mind in a way that I will be forever thankful.

  49. Melody McCollum says: 09/26/2008 at 7:46 am

    Just read your blog it was a requirement for a class I’m taking at Drake University here in Des Moines. Getting ready to create my own blog I’ll let you know how everything goes.

  50. I wonder what class if was a requirement for?!?!

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