During the past week I’ve crawled through the Internet trying to discover what I could about blogging. Blogs or weblogs certainly have their roots in the diary/journal genre and many still stay within those parameters of introspection and self-discovery. Others have taken blogs into the realm of politics where everyman is able to give voice on his or her own personal op-ed e-soapbox. However, with the increasing sophistication of blogging tools and software, the function of blogs and their appeal is bound to increase and expand. No longer are blogs contained within the box of diarist writings or public commentary on politics and culture.
John Patrick, former VP of Internet Technology at IBM maintains an excellent blog that reflects his current thinking on technology and other things at http://www.patrickweb.com/. His recent entries have dealt with privacy and trust issues as they apply to the Internet. Actor Wil Wheaton recently signed a three-book contract as a result of his blogging efforts at http://wilwheaton.net/. For a great integration of a website and weblog look no further than Neil Gaiman’s site and go to the journal page at http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/journal.asp. In fact many newspapers across the country now have incorporated blogs into their online editions. Steve Outing, Editor and Publishing (editorandpublishing.com) discussed ‘citizen blogs’ in his October 15, 2003 column, and I think that may be the first time the term ‘blog’ remained on my radar screen. Since then the term has cropped up here and there until I finally decided to do more research and give one a try myself. (You are now reading the evolving effort.)
If you’re looking for more information, try reading the Blog Herald (http://www.blogherald.com/), an online news journal devoted to blogs. If you want to try setting one up, check out www.Blogger.com and www.truetype.com. (Note that PC Magazine recently rated the top four or five blog providers and gave Truetype the highest ratings.) The one thing that continues to crop up when trying to define a blog, whether it is a stand-alone or integrated into a website, is that it is current and active.