This is a guest post courtesy of Anny over at ThemeFuse. A little blogging edumucation for your reading pleasure.
Blogging has come a long way since the term was first coined way back in 1997.
A blog, a portmanteau of the words “web log” is an informal site on the Internet, where people – referred to as “bloggers” – can keep a diary of their lives or report on current events as they see them, as well as a myriad of other purposes these days.
Blogs can range in style from the academic and serious tone of professional writers and institutions, to the more lighthearted fare of movie reviews, homespun comedy, and a host of other types and styles.
With the number of computer users steadily rising since the 1990s, the number of blogs also multiplied, going from a small niche on the Internet to a large, multi-million dollar per year industry.
Sites for blogging sprang up overnight for nearly any style or writing, ranging from personal diaries and places for families to share stories and photographs, to company blogs where business owners discuss their products and companies, and interact with their customer base on a more personal level than is generally possible in a normal business relationship.
Just as the world is constantly advancing and changing, blogging too is evolving.
For example, with the advent of sites like Twitter, we now have micro blogging, where the largest post allowed is the size of an average sentence.
Types of Blogs
There are many different styles of blogs to consider. Perhaps the most prolific is the personal blog, used by millions of people around the world as an online diary.
People use them to publish the thoughts and musings that, years ago, would be written in a small book and hidden away.
These days, there are no secrets, and people publish their inner-most thoughts and opinions for the world to see.
Others may use their blogs as a platform for self-promotion, although it isn’t always as effective as they’d probably hoped.
Amateur poets and writers, artists of all types, photographers, all use blogs to advertise themselves and their unique talents to the world.
Some post video logs (vlogs), much like a regular blog but filmed with a camera instead of written. Companies are now using them for advertising and branding purposes.
Many musical acts have blogs for this reason as well. They can publish information fans may find interesting, such as upcoming album releases and tour dates, and even their music and videos, or clips of behind the scenes footage of shows.
Podcasts are audio only blogs, mainly for people on the go who can’t otherwise stop and read or watch a video.
Many of these podcasts end up resembling talk radio in nature, ranging from political commentary to comedy, and everything in between.
The first step in blogging successfully is to create an original, unique, and professional looking blog. You can do this very inexpensively by installing one of many great WordPress themes.
By doing so, you get the advantages of the easy to use WordPress dashboard, but your website design stands out from the crowd and gives you an aesthetic edge over competing blogs.
The Effects of Blogging
These days, the effects of blogging on society cannot be overlooked.
Bloggers have been influential during elections, and have often broken important news stories long before many of the major news outlets.
Some have been influential in bringing scandals and other events to light that would have fallen by the way side, by publishing first-hand accounts of flubs and missteps taken by prominent civic leaders.
They have also taken some statements and remarks that would have been quickly dismissed and forgotten and pretty much immortalized them for all to see.
With the number of people connecting today via blogging, the amount of influence on both the political world and the mainstream media has become hard to ignore.
In some areas of the world, blogging helps the world see the true situations of the people living under the thumbs of oppressive regimes and in economically depressed countries.
They also help throw a spotlight on other human rights conditions around the globe, which were unknown by many people just a few short years ago.
A Rising Star
With the popularity of blogging rising on a worldwide scale, the format can no longer be ignored. Governments now have blogs, as do military forces, prominent politicians, and members of the media.
Some blogs, like those of “official” government sources like to downplay their indiscretions and promote themselves to the world on their sites.
Media members like reporters discuss and sometimes even get ideas for new stories while blogging, and conspiracy theorists use them for expressing their disdain for both.
Even the major magazines have begun taking notice, and have cited bloggers that could no longer be ignored.
These bloggers have had some of the greatest impact, getting insightful and timely stories to the public at large, and often getting deeper to the heart of stories than traditional methods may allow for these days.
The impact blogs and bloggers have had on the way information is handled and shared has affected many aspects of modern life.
From disaster reporting and first-hand accounts of other breaking news, to the personal updates of celebrities and politicians blogging has changed how people stay informed.
As newspapers fall out of fashion, and the younger generation looks to find faster and faster ways of obtaining information, blogging’s popularity shows no signs of waning.
Over to You
Are you a blogger? Or a fan/reader of a particular blog? Do you think blogging has changed the way information is shared and distributed throughout the world? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.