So What is a ‘Blog’ Anyway?

When someone found out that I was a blogger, I was asked this question: ‘what is a blog?‘. It seems like a simple question, but when I answered the friend then followed up: ‘no, no, what’s the difference between a blog and a website?’.

Now that got me thinking. People have been using the term “blog” and “website” interchangeably for the past few years. The distinction itself is small, but important. After answering this question to my friend, I ended up realizing that I need a different direction for this website. More on that later…

The Origins of the term “Blog”:

The word “Blog” is short for “web log”. First let’s take a look at where the word ‘log’ came from:

Fun fact: the word “Log” came from the “Log Book” ships used to record their speed and progress. The reason that these records were called “logs” is because a wooden float was put on the end of a line of rope to measure a ship’s speed. (source: Online Etymology Dictionary)

From that point on, the word Log came to mean an ongoing record of something. People use it interchaneably with ‘journal’ or ‘chronicle’, although ‘log’ still has a formal military connotation to it. Star Trek is famous for its “Captain’s Log”, where the Captain of the ship chronicles their adventures on an ongoing basis.

Back to Web Logs, or Blogs.

Around 2005 the term started coming into common use. It was one of the most searched-for terms on Google for that year (peaking in 2007), mainly because no body knew exactly what it meant.

Which brings us to today’s definition. Although there is no concrete, accepted definition, here is my best ‘working definition’ of a blog:

“A Blog is an ongoing Log of observations that is published on the web and meant for everyone to see.”

What I cut out of this definition:

I thought of writing that a blog “is centered on one theme or topic”, but many blogs don’t hold to that. Some blogs will vary widely from subject to subject. It’s whatever interests them.

I also cut out “updated frequently”. Some blogs aren’t updated frequently, or were only updated frequenly during an event. Say, a traveller blogs about his joureys across the world, and then ends the blog when he returns home.

Final Thoughts:

Blogs Represent a New Kind of Writing:

An observation I recently had about blogs is that they represent this hybrid between professional writing (where you prepare and polish before unveiling to the public) and personal journalling, where people express their raw thoughts in a safe place.

A New Direction for This Website:

Since this website started, I have focused mainly on updating the promo codes on this website, and not much else. But I think that this website can be a much more useful resource for people if I share my own experiences in the blogging world. I have had lots of ‘learning experiences‘ where I have learned what not-to-do, and shortcuts to help save time. So from now on there will be a ‘Blog’ section added to the front page where I will add lots of tips, tutorials, and guides to help fellow bloggers out.

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