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What is a "blog"? A blog is an online journal, diary, or serial, published by a person or group of people. Many blogs are personal in nature, reflecting the opinions and interests of the owner. But, blogs are now important tools in the world of business, politics, and entertainment.
History of blogs? The term “blog” was created by Peter Merholz on his web log in 1999. As a joke he separated the word web log into the phrase “we blog”. Although most people probably haven’t heard of Peter, they certainly have heard of the word he coined. Since then, the word blog has been used to define a specific genre of writing which is personal, yet very public in nature. Good blogs tell stories; they also allow readers to exchange ideas.
The Blog Content The main thing that you will find on a blog is content. This is the reason that blogs are created, to put information into the public’s hands. This can range from retail information, to news stories, to observations and reviews on a personal blog. There is a whole range of information that can be posted on one of these blogs.
How do I set up a blog? Blogging is easy. You enter your details where it says “create account”. If you already have a Google account you can use it to log on to ‘Blogger’, as Google’s the owner. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be taken to the page where you’ll enter your data, upload your pictures and videos, whatever you want to do. You’ll get the option of allowing people to comment or not (whichever is your preference). Then, all you have to do is write your entry, hit “publish” and it’s live. It’s really as simple as that.
"Content Management System" Blogs are a form of a Content Management System (CMS) which Wikipedia calls “a system used to organize and facilitate collaborative content creation.” Both blogs and Content Management Systems can perform the role of a website ( site for short). A website can be thought of as a collection of articles and information about a specific subject, service, or product, which may not be a personal reflection of the owner. More recently, as the role of WordPress has expanded, WordPress developers have begun using the more general term site , in place of blog.
Archives A blog is also a good way to keep track of articles on a site. A lot of blogs feature an archive based on dates (like a monthly or yearly archive). The front page of a blog may feature a calendar of dates linked to daily archives. Archives can also be based on categories featuring all the articles related to a specific category.
Feeds A Feed is a function of special software that allows "Feedreaders" to access a site automatically looking for new content and then post updates about that new content to another site. This provides a way for users to keep up with the latest and hottest information posted on different blogging sites. Some Feeds include RSS (alternately defined as "Rich Site Summary" or "Really Simple Syndication"), Atom or RDF files.
Blogrolls A blogroll is a list, sometimes categorized, of links to webpages the author of a blog finds worthwhile or interesting. The links in a blogroll are usually to other blogs with similar interests. The blogroll is often in a "sidebar" on the page or featured as a dedicated separate web page. BlogRolling and blo.gs are two websites that provide some interesting functions or help related to blogrolls. These sites provide methods for users to maintain these rolls effortlessly and integrate them into weblogs .
Syndication Web syndication is a form of syndication in which website material is made available to multiple other sites. Most commonly, web syndication refers to making web feeds available from a site in order to provide other people with a summary or update of the website's recently added content (for example, the latest news or forum posts). The term can also be used to describe other kinds of licensing website content so that other websites can use it.
Managing comments Want an interactive website? Wouldn't it be nice if the readers of a website could leave comments, tips or impressions about the site or a specific article? With blogs, they can! Posting comments is one of the most exciting features of blogs.
Pretty Permalinks Permalinks are the permanent URLs to your individual weblog posts, as well as categories and other lists of weblog postings. A permalink is what another weblogger will use to refer to your article (or section), or how you might send a link to your story in an e-mail message. Because others may link to your individual postings, the URL to that article shouldn't change. Permalinks are intended to be permanent (valid for a long time).
Blog by email Some blogging tools offer the ability to email your posts directly to your blog, all without direct interaction through the blogging tool interface. WordPress offers this cool feature. Using email, you can now send in your post content to a pre-determined email address & voila! Your post is published! Post Slugs If you’re using Pretty Permalinks, the Post Slug is the title of your article post within the link. The blogging tool software may simplify or truncate your title into a more appropriate form for using as a link. A title such as “I’ll Make A Wish” might be truncated to “ill-make-a-wish”. In WordPress, you can change the Post Slug to something else, like “make-a-wish”, which sounds better than a wish made when sick.
Excerpts Excerpts are condensed summaries of your blog posts, with blogging tools being able to handle these in various ways. In WordPress, Excerpts can be specifically written to summarize the post, or generated automatically by using the first few paragraphs of a post or using the post up to a specific point, assigned by you. Plugins Plugins are cool bits of programming scripts that add additional functionality to your blog. These are often features which either enhance already available features or add them to your site.
Blog traffic Blog traffic is measured to see the popularity of blog sites and individual pages or sections within a site. Blog traffic can be analysed by viewing the traffic statistics found in the blog server log file, an automatically generated list of all the pages served. A hit is generated when any file is served. The page itself is considered a file, but images are also files, thus a page with 5 images could generate 6 hits (the 5 images and the page itself). A page view is generated when a visitor requests any page within the web site – a visitor will always generate at least one page view (the main page) but could generate many more.
Political impact The concept of blogging got popularity in 2002 and since then there have been no looking back. There has been strong social as well as political impact of blogs. With the wider reach and ever increasing popularity of blogs, they are known for playing an important role in breaking, shaping, and spinning news stories. The news blogs are quite popular these days and they have their strong presence felt. Talking about the blogs political impact, the first incidence which comes in to mind where there are signs of strong political impact of blogs are the discussions related to the financial and political goals of U.S and the Israeli relations. Another incident where there was political impact of blogs was the Iraq war. It witnessed various bloggers adopting measured and passionate points of view that go beyond the traditional approach of left-right divide of the political spectrum.
Blogs and its political risk As we know that there are so many types of risks associated with blogging, both legal as well as social. Just like employment liabilities and other social consequences of blogging, there are political risks of blogs. If you are a Blogger or post comments on blog sites, it is important that you have a good knowledge about the rules related to blogs and its political risks in your country or area to avoid any kinds of serious consequences. Writing blogs or posting comments or blogging in any form can sometimes leads to out of the blue or unanticipated results in many politically sensitive areas. The blogs and its political risks are quite tough to control as compared to the other channels of public broadcasting such as TV media or even print media. This is he reason why many totalitarian and authoritarian regimes generally try to crush blogs and punish the bloggers who are maintaining those blog sites which criticizes the autoicratic ways of the authority or the government.
Personal Safety The code of conduct which was offered to ensure personal safety for bloggers as proposed by O’Reilly and others came up with a list of seven ideas which are mentioned below. Let us take a look: • Blogger must take responsibility for his own words as well as for the comments which are posted by other people on the blog being handled by the blogger. • Bloggers must set a tolerance level for insulting comments. • Bloggers must think of deleting the anonymous comments. • Bloggers need to ignore the trolls. • Bloggers must carry on the conversation offline, and communicate directly, or find an intermediary. • If blogger find someone behaving badly, he must tell them so directly. • Bloggers must not say anything online that they wouldn't have said in person.