What is This?A weblog (or "blog") is a web site offering running commentary periodic entries ranging from (personal) diary entries to political or technical observations, essays, poetry, links, news coverage, software project updates, and more... The type of content covers a wide range. There are as many types of weblog as there are people writing them.
In short, technical terms, a weblog is
a moderated list, in reverse-chronological order, of timely items, with links to further discussion on-site, or to further information off-site.
O'Reilly, publishers of several weblogs and books on weblogs
The "Blogosphere" is the collective term encompassing all weblogs or blogs as a community or social network.
The notion of a blogosphere is an important concept for understanding blogs. Blogs themselves are just instances of a particular formatting choice, whereas the blogosphere is a social phenomenon. What differentiates blogs from webpages or forums is that blogs can be part of a shifting Internet-wide social network formed by two-way links between different blogs. You link to my articles and I'll link to your articles, and we will both seem to be more interesting.
Most weblogs have several things in common.
specialized weblogging software that allows authors to post material easily. The software handles issues such as entry posting, archiving, page templates, and privileges of authors.
a unified "look" - unlike a typical website, a weblog tends to have a single "look" for its pages, more like a newspaper or magazine.
One author or many? - Some blogs have a single author, others are a group effort. In either case, the authors usually have an "account" and password and their entries are attributed with their name and date.
Comments? - Many blogs allow "guests" to comment on some or all of the entries
Archives - most blogging software archives older entries, allowing readers to scan backwards in time
The one thing most blogs do not have in common is type of content!. The content may be technical, funny, satirical, personal, political, lyrical, mundane, interesting, boring, or downright rude. As with any web site, your mileage may vary. Anything goes.
In 1998 there were just a handful of sites of the type that are now identified as weblogs...Jesse [James Garrett]'s ' page of only weblogs' lists the 23 known to be in existence at the beginning of 1999.
Suddenly a community sprang up. ... This rapid growth continued steadily until July 1999 when Pitas, the first free build-your-own-weblog tool launched, and suddenly there were hundreds. ...
The above text is excerpted from Rebecca Blood's article,
Weblogs: A History and Perspective.
I hope you will find the
complete article to be as
interesting as I did! Rebecca's historical perspective continues
Hammer, Nail: How Blogging Software Reshaped the
After your What's and Why's have been answered, the next question is How? Start by reading. Read some of the articles and/or books in our Resources list. Then point your browser at some of the sample blogs, home pages of blogging software, and various blog resources. Use those pages as gateways to find more blogs; blog writers link to other blogs. Find things you like and read them. Comment on entries.
When you feel you're ready, start writing. Even then, keep reading, keep commenting, keep linking.