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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

'What is a Blog?' by Yuko

Since its first appearance in 1995, blogs or blogging as a form of activity, becomes a very popular and alternative way to communicate and express ourselves. The word ‘blog’ derived from the words web log, which was found by Jorn Barger on December 1997, which then called blog by Peter Merholz two years later.

Basically, a blog is a website in which items are posted on a regular basis and displayed in reverse chronological order. A blog contains of texts, hyperlinks, pictures, sometimes videos and other media related to certain topics. Same as other media, topics on blogs could focus on politics, food or local news. One factor that differs blogs from forums is, in forums we can only talk about one topic set up by the author or authoring group; whilst in blog, you can set your own topic and your own discussion. It is not difficult to create your own blogs, because normally website for blogs uses dedicated server-based system which allow users to access from anywhere on the Internet, and enable them to create blogs without having to maintain their own server. There are blogs used as online diaries, where people put their opinions, their daily activities and experiences, their thoughts, poems or their traveling journal into online blog, and open the chance for people to read and give comments on them. The main user for this type of blog is college students and teenagers in general. They use blogs to keep up-to-date information, also to communicate with each others.

One example of a website which dedicated its content for blogging is www.opendiary.com. This website was introduced in October 19, 1998, created by Bruce Ableson, the first blog that innovates allowance for other readers to give comments to others’ blogs. Seven years after the opening, online diaries recorded in www.opendiary.com reached 400,000 items. The success leaded the website to be featured in Net Success Interview, as well as the creator’s interview in "40 successful CEOs/founders of revolutionary internet companies." In this website, it is offered two types of services if you want to join the community, one is a free open diaries where you only need to complete the free join form. You will need to give your user name which rule is not to give your real name or anything that describes your identity, a password then some general questions such as gender, location and a valid email address then you can start writing your blogs. The other service, introduced in 2001, is a paid join diary, called “Open Diary Plus”, which gives users extra functions e.g. you can block other users from reading your diary, diary chapters and the ability to view other diarists’ notes.

On September 11, 2004, the online diary was attacked by hacker, losing its entire diary content started from July 2004 to the time of the attack. This tragedy leaded to the introduction of a new join facility in February 2006. It is called “Lifetime Membership”, which costs USD$100. The money will be used to support the website due to decreasing rates after the 2004 attack and put Open Diary into debt. The life of opendiary.com is still uncertain, as Bruce Ableson, a.k.a the DiaryMaster (his username) commented that "We are all working hard to pay off this debt, but what may happen is still up in the air."

In a nut shell, blog is another medium to express and cater the needs of human as social beings. Along with the growth of technology and digital media in the world, this community can indulge the practicality and efficiency of communicating.

• “A Maze that Leads to Healing”, MazeWalker, Lets Take A Left Here. Available at: http://www.opendiary.com/entryview.asp?authorcode=D636850&entry=10007 [18 March 2006] Access : 21 March 2006.
• “Blog” Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog [20 March 2006]
• “Open Diary” Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Diary [20 March 2006]


  • Good look at the development of blogging -- however I feel that you could have delved a bit more into HOW this is a new medium for communication -- what is the difference between eg blogs and forums? (I know you have mentioned users being able to suggest discussion topics and start new discussion threads but this, incidently , is actually easier to do on most forum software than in blogs where typically users can only comment on posts uploaded by the blog-owner/s).

    Also you could have looked a bit more at different kinds of blogs -- including different technologies such as vblogs, audioblogs, and different purposes -- blogs are about significantly more than teenagers sharing the details of their day-to-day lives.

    Other things to think about. What are the main issues that confront bloggers? Do bloggers write differently than in other contexts? What kind of writing 'works' on blogs? Does blogging change the nature of the information available to the general public -- e.g blogs from iraq by residents and soldiers give a very different picture of the situation than the 6 oclock news does, or a blog by a cancer sufferer can have a very different effect than a doco about cancer.

    By Blogger Administration, at 5:24 pm  

  • Blogs are a fantastic way to store people's thoughts and views. It's just a very annoying fact when you have hackers coming in and destroying it all. Luckily it was only a couple of months worth of blogs which were erased on the open diary website.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 10:58 pm  

  • I'm learning so much about this other blogging world that I'd never really understood before. I wonder if it is because people are becoming so much more anti-social (ie, computers, TV, video games etc) that things like 'blog' are becoming so popular - people wanting to reach out to other people, to talk about their days, their opinions, ideas etc. It is like we used to do this with our friends and family, and now maybe the blog is a replacement for direct contact, and in other cases, maybe it's a fantastic extension of all that as well - connecting with people that are well and truly outside your immediate ring of friends. I was really interested by what you wrote, Yuko. -Suzi

    By Blogger suzi taylor, at 12:04 pm  

  • I really never knew what a blog was all about. Maybe i didnt keep up with the modern times, nice to know now. Unfortunatly theres always the risk of being hacked. Still is a very good way of letting people know about what you think in whatever topic. In these days, probably the media factor is the most powerful tool.

    By Blogger Pablo Rojas C., at 7:42 pm  

  • 'Blogging' has increased rapidly and has become an accepted form of writing in many areas. In today's 'The Age' James Mc Conville has an article entitled, 'Blog or you won't be read' that advises academics to blog regularly. The Blog topics are expanding from online diaries into numerous other areas and the forms are as well with the introduction of video into blogging. It's hardly surprising that hackers are at work. I wish a Hacker would start their own blog and let the rest of the Net world know how and why they do it!

    By Blogger semiluddite, at 12:19 pm  

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