Friday, November 5, 2010

#9) Blogs explained, or “What the heck is a Blog?

Wikipedia's definition of a blog states, "A blog (a contraction of the term "weblog") is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order."  A blog can be published about virtually any topic, and shaped into whatever the author wants it to be.

Today, there are millions of blogs on the Internet, many of which are tracked and classified by a web-site called Technorati. To learn much more about the “Blogosphere”, Technorati has published a very interesting article titled: State-of-the-Blogosphere-2010-Introduction.

Commercially available blog software programs (e.g., Blogger) usually offer a variety of optional design features to choose from, including "widgets". Widgets are individual special purpose programs that the blog designer (e.g., me) can select and add to enhance the usefulness of their blog. For example, this Librascope Memories - News Blog includes widgets for taking custom (anonymous) surveys, provisions for searching a Blog,  a widget for subscribing to a Blog via an RSS feed reader (e.g., Google Reader), a Blog “Page View” counter, “Labels” for cataloging each post, provisions for archiving posts from previous months, and others. Note, the Librascope Memories web-site also has a Blog page, but the only "widgets" it has are provisions for viewer's comments and an RSS reader.

Viewer participation is very important for a successful blog. This can be in the form of posting comments about the blog’s posts, grading the blog posts (“like”/”dislike”), frequently returning to read the new posts, and participating in anonymous surveys posted on the blog.

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