What Is A Blog?
We're all familiar with the term "blog" but do we know what a blog actually is? Let's find out!
The term "blog" is a well used term. Everyone seems to know what a blog is. But do they really?
Although most people do seem to know what a blog is, I sometimes hear the term used in the wrong context. For example, I often hear the term "blog" used when the term "forum" would be a better fit. I've also noticed the comments section of a website being referred to as a "blog" sometimes.
Although the term "blog" can be used quite loosely, it can help to understand where the term originally came from.
Here I aim to define "blog". I'll provide a definition for "blog" and explain some of the features that define a blog from a typical website.
The term "blog" was originally derived from the term Web Log (sometimes written as "weblog"). Back in the late 1990s, people would often post a running commentary of their day to day life. This consisted of a series of posts, displayed in reverse chronological order (Reverse chronological order means the latest posts at the top). This became known as a web log, as it was a log of events that was posted on the web.
Therefore, here is my definition of a blog:
A Blog is a type of website that consists of a series of entries arranged in reverse chronological order.
However this is a very simplistic definition. These days, many blogs use blogging software, but they don't always choose to display entries in reverse chronological order. This kind of blurs the distinction between blogs and websites.
Having said that, blogs typically have one or more features that provide that familiar blog feel and functionality. These are included below.
Today's blogs have many features. Some of these are designed to help the reader find information, other features assist the publisher in providing content.
The homepage of most blogs provide a list of the latest entries (or "posts") listed in reverse chronological order. There are typically around ten posts followed by a link to older entries.
Some bloggers post hundreds (or even thousands) of posts each year. With such a high volume of posts being published, an archive feature provides an easy way for visitors to view older posts.
Archives are usually accessed via a link in the blog's navigation. The links are usually date-based (eg, March 2017, April 2017, May 2017,...).
Categories allow visitors to browse the blog based on... categories! Each blog post is usually assigned one or more categories at the time it is published. This allows the visitor to view all posts on a particular category.
As with archives, categories are usually accessed via a link in the blog's navigation. The links are usually the name of the category.
Some blogs contain a tag cloud. This is a list of tags — or keywords — that the blogger has applied to each post. A tag cloud is simply another navigation mechanism to help visitors in finding posts they're interested in.
Most blogs include a comments section. These are usually located at the bottom of each post and allow visitors to post their own thoughts on the post (or their thoughts on someone else's comment!).
Comments may not appear immediately after you submit it. Oftentimes, the author will want to approve (or reject) comments before they're displayed to the world.
Blog navigation sometimes includes links to the five or so most recent posts.
Blog navigation sometimes includes links to the five or so most recent comments.
Similar to traditional websites, most blogs have a search box that allows the visitor to search through all posts.
A blogroll is a list of links to other blogs that the blogger likes. Usually they will be related to the current blog but not always.
Some articles aren't included in the list of day to day posts. An example is an "About this blog" page. Pages like these are usually accessed differently to the posts (eg, as a link from the navigation).
Most blogs allow visitors to subscribe to its RSS feed. An RSS feed allows the visitor to keep track of every update to the blog. The visitor uses a feedreader to keep track of all RSS feeds he/she subscribes to.
Create Your Own Blog
If you're thinking about starting up your own blog, check out this article on creating a blog.
Alternatively, you could go straight to ZappyHost's WordPress hosting and have your blog up and running within minutes.