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The word, blog is the short form of weblog. What then is weblog? To enable us understand the meaning of this concept properly, we shall break up the word into two syllables, namely €web' and €log'. As you well know, the word web is associated with the term, World Wide Web, from where derives the prefix of the internet website address, www. The term, which is obviously borrowed from the spider web, is used to describe the interconnectivity and sharing of information amongst several personal computers across the world, otherwise known as the internet. A log, on the other hand, is an entry or record of events, particularly during a journey on a ship or an aircraft by the captain or the pilot as the case may be. To keep a log means to put information on a file or log book. A log is a journal or personal diary of events.
When put together, therefore, the term weblog connotes a personal online journal or diary. It is an entry of happenings or events chronicled in the web or internet. As one writer aptly puts it, €a blog is an abbreviated word for web-log, a web-based journal in which people can publish heir thoughts and opinions on the internet€.
Blog, which started in the middle part of the 1990s as an online diary in which people wrote about their personal lives, has today gained more prominence as it has developed into a platform where large numbers of authors get involved. Besides being a platform for personal and small groups to express themselves, blog has become an online publishing medium for both personal and corporate users. Thus, both professional and non-professional persons and groups blog on such subject areas as education, religion, health, politics, economy, social issues, business, technology and others. The list is endless and there is practically nothing under the sun you cannot blog about.
The word blog can be used both as a noun and a verb. As a noun, blog is a form of website. The difference between a blog and a website is that while a website is static, that is to say, it continues to have the same content it had when it was set up, except where the webmaster decides to make some changes in the content. In the case of a blog, however, it is dynamic. The contents, which are usually in form of articles and other write-ups, are updated regularly. Fresh articles with latest information on the subject category of the blog site are posted to take the positions of the earlier posts and the previous posts pushed down the page in reverse chronological order.
The frequent updating of blogs with fresh and informative posts on regular basis makes a blog attractive and capable of retaining a team of dedicated readers who will always come visiting their favourite blogs for possible new and exciting posts. Some bloggers update their sites with fresh articles daily. Others do so every other day, twice a week, weekly or bi-weekly, as the case may be.
When used as a verb, blog may mean to set up a blog site; to write articles or other contents and posts in a blog or to populate a blog with images, videos and links to other sites and indeed, the whole gamut of activities in blogging.
A blog is usually interactive. There is a provision where site visitors can leave their comments to express their opinions on the subject under discussion. In the same vein, the blogger (that is the owner and author of the blog posts) can moderate visitors' comments by responding to their questions, either for more clarifications on issues raised or to complement the comments or contributions. Such interaction is what makes a blog very dynamic and lively. You cannot find this in a static website.
With the increasing popularity of blogs from year 2000, many people have come to embrace it as a means of propagating their ideals. Individuals, corporate organizations including governments, use blogs to promote their own interests. Companies use blogs to advertise their products, politicians use blogs to launder their images, sway public opinions and foster their political interests. It is not uncommon to see dignitaries, celebrities and public functionaries use their personal blogs as medium for issuing statements and news releases on what they want the public to hear. In carrying such reports, news media usually quote the characters' personal blogs as sources of their news. Such is the influence of blogs in modern day information age that anybody who must be abreast with latest trends in information technology cannot ignore its immense impact but rather get involved.