A weblog is any Web site that gives prominence to the date an item was posted, and allows items to be browsed sequentially by date.
- 1 History and terminology
- 2 Social aspects
- 3 Creating and Publishing Weblogs
- 4 Types of Weblogs
History and terminology
The term "weblog" was invented by Jorn Barger to describe his Robot Wisdom site in December 1997. Early weblogs, like Barger's, typically featured comments by a single unpaid author on Web pages they'd recently seen -- a format that remains extremely popular, with the Web sites of traditional news organizations providing source material for punditry from many webloggers. But in recent years weblogs have diversified markedly in subject matter, style, business model, and number of contributors, and the distinction between weblogs and other kinds of Web site is gradually blurring.
Traditional print publications sometimes refer to weblogs as "Web logs". Technically literate webloggers often use the term blog, which was coined by Peter Merholz in April or May of 1999 when he rewrote "weblog" as "wee' blog" in the sidebar of his weblog, and popularized by the creation ofPyra's weblog service Blogger. But "blog" and related jargon -- such as "blogging" and "blogosphere" -- are often avoided by those pitching weblogs to the general population, such as AOL (who call them Journals) and LiveJournal.
- Webs of trust and agreement
- Gaming search engines
- Revising entries
Creating and Publishing Weblogs
Since their introduction, a number of software packages have appeared to allow people to create their own web log. Blog hosting sites and Web services to provide editing via the Web have proliferated. Common examples include pitas, blogger, and xanga.
Many more advanced bloggers prefer to generate their blogs by using software tools such as Movable Type, and then to publish their articles on their own Web site, or on a third party site. This provides some greater flexibility and power, but requires more knowledge. Additionally, it may reduce the ease of creating and editing text for travellers, some of whom like to produce their travelblogs from Internet cafes as they travel around the globe.
Many blogging tools have also been developed to improve the blogging experience, with commonly used ones providing blogrolls and feedback comment systems. Well known examples of these are blogrolling and the commenting system YACCS. Tools such as w.bloggar allow users to maintain their Web hosted blog without the need to use the (generally somewhat slower) Web based editing tools. Fundamental enhancements to weblog technology continue to be developed. The most intriguing one, generating growing interest in 2003, is Movable Type's trackback feature which enables automatic notification between websites of related content such as a post on a particular topic or which responds to a post on another weblog .
Features such as Trackback are credited with the destruction of Google's PageRank feature  and confusing (perhaps deliberately gaming) search engines that try and establish context.
Many web hosting companies also provide blog creation tools. For example, Tripod (www.tripod.com) offers this service.
Types of Weblogs
Blog usually means a personal web log, a type of online diary, or journal (LiveJournal is a good, popular example) run by special blog software. Blog sites make it possible for users without much experience to create, format, and post entries with ease. People write their day-to-day experiences, complaints, poems, prose, illicit thoughts and more, often allowing others to contribute, fulfilling to a certain extent Tim Berners-Lee's original view of the World Wide Web as a collaborative medium. In 2001, the popularity of blogs increased dramatically.
Such personal blogs are integrated into the daily lives of many teenagers and college students, with communications between friends playing out over their blogs. Even fights may be posted in the blogs, with not-so-veiled insults of each other easily readable by all their friends, enemies, and complete strangers. Personal blogs can also be a bane to job seekers, if their content is discovered by potential employers.
Another common kind of blog is a political blog. Often an individual will link to articles from news web sites and post their own comments as well. Many of these blogs comment on whatever interests the author. Some of them are more specialized. One subspecies is the watch blog, a blog which sets out to criticize what the author considers systematic errors or bias in an online newspaper or news site - or perhaps even by a more popular blogger. One of the earliest and most popular examples of this genre of blog is http://www.AndrewSullivan.com, the personal blog of Anglo-American journalist and writer Andrew Sullivan which claims (as of late 2002, early 2003) over 250,000 unique visitors per month.
Weblogs are useful for web-surfers because they often collect numerous web sites with interesting content in an easy to use and constantly updated format. News-related weblogs (such as Slashdot) can fall into this category or the previous one (political blogs).
Some web logs specialise in particular forms of presentation, such as images (see webcomics), or videos, or on a particular theme, and acronyms have been developed for some of these, such as moblogs (for "mobile" blog).
- (see also Friends of Wikipedia/Personal weblogs)
- http://www.instapundit.com/ -- considered the "blogfather" among the "blog" community, at its peak it had 1.6 million in its audience
- Salam Pax's site Where is Raed?
- CityCynic.com: The life of a New Yorker who doesn't know when to quit.
- Independent Media Center
- Samizdata.net - a critically rational libertarian perspective
Websites that analyze weblogs
- Weblogs.com - a list of weblogs updated in the last three hours
- Blogdex - tracks links from blogs, part of the MIT Media Lab
- Popdex - similar to Blogdex
- Blogosphere Ecosystem
- Daypop - weblog search engine, also tracks links from blogs
- blogosphere.us - similar to blogdex and popdex, but provides graphs and commentary as well
- Eatonweb Portal
- Add Your Blog
- Linked - Weblog and Journal Database
- blo.gs - also includes a list of recently updated weblogs
- Invisiblog.com - provides a system for publishing weblogs anonymously using GPG and Mixmaster.
- Regional or Language-specific
Blog editing publishing tools
- Writing and Publishing tools
- Other tools
- http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl?WebLog on MeatballWiki
- Learn about weblogs on Know-how Wiki
- Guardian: weblog guide
- Guardian: world weblogs - list from above site
- CyborgLogs (cyborglogs, or "glogs")
- weblogs: a history and perspective by Rebecca Blood.
- dave2002 - a weblog themed around weblogs and wikis
- Compendium of terms