Blogs are an online tool that allows its users to express their thoughts in the form of free writing under a structured format (i.e. chronological date/time order). Users are also able to share pictures and upload videos on blog posts.
Definition and History Edit
As mentioned in Rebecca Wilson Lundin’s “Teaching with Wikis”, there has been an increasing number of rhetoric and composition teachers using blogs and web sites as part of their teaching curriculum. Blogs offers a different approach to traditional methods of writing (i.e. class papers) by utilizing its “online spaces [and] allow[ing] users to easily post images and video” (pg.436). However, Lundin argues that the structure of that “posting is generally quite limited to pre-existing frameworks… [as] that format may not allow users to radically change the design of a post or to include a variety of new media elements” (pg. 437).
The history of blogging is new to the last three decades. The first blog page is attributed to Justin Hall's personal homepage on Links.net when he was a student at Swarthmore College in 1994. Three years later, John Barger created the term "weblog" to "reflect the process of 'logging the web' as he browsed" (Chapman). In 1998, The Charlotte Observer published Jonathan Dube's "Hurricane Bonnie;" this is the first time a traditional news site posted a blog. The term “blog” was coined by Peter Merholz, a programmer, who “jokingly broke the word weblog” in April or May of 1999. Since then, the term “blog” was used as both a noun and a verb. In 2004, Merriam-Webster declared the term as word of the year.
Blogs have quickly developed and become more accessible over the years. In the beginning of its popularity, users had to update their blog manually by linking pages or using archives, unless they were a programmer who knew how to create a blogging platform. Within a couple years, different template platforms began popping up, such as LiveJournal, which allowed blogging to become easier. LiveJournal gave non-programmers the efficiency that a programmer had when creating a blog. In 1999, the same time "weblog" was shortened, Evan Williams and Meg Hourihan helped to mainstream blogging by creating their platform Blogger in Pyra Labs (Chapman).
Blogging experience a rapid growth in the 2000s, especially in their popularity and variation. Jesse James Garrett created a list in 1999 that stated that there were 23 active blogs on the internet. Throughout the next 5 years the earlier blogs were politically oriented. For example, Howard Dean and Wesley Clark, political canidatess, created blogs for their campaigns. Blogging especailly became popular in 2002 when U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott made a controversial remark regarding US. Senator Storm Thurmond; he stated Thurmond should have been President in 1948 even though he favored racial segregation. The mainstreaming of this information is credited to bloggers due to posts and comments. It was at this time also that blogging became more than an online diary, people began blogging posting in depth on popular and relative topics, such as those discussed during newscasts. In a way, people felt encouraged to voice their opinion towards these topics due to their blogging access. Popular blog pages included Boing Boing, Gizmodo, and Huffington Post (Chapman).
Popular blog pages became so viral that they created careers. Bloggers such as Darren Rowse and John Chow started writing blogs on how to make blogging a career. The debate on the privacy of blogging was debated in 2002 when Heather Armstrong was fired for controversial remarks she made towards her employer were discovered. Her blog Dooce has become a sort of slang, "Dooced," to describe someone who is fired for writing something about one's job on their blog. This event, in short, showed the weight of blogging. Another cement block for blogging was in 2003 when AOL purchased Jason Calacanis' Weblogs, Inc. for $25 million. This million dollar sale showed true popularity of blogging. By 2005, 32 million Americans were recorded as reading blogs, and, by 2006, Technorati's State of the Blogosphere reported that there were 50 million blogs present on the internet. Blogging proved that it was not just a fad. In 2010, there were more than 152 million blogs, and even more to this day (Chapman).
WordPress is one of many examples of how blogs are used and incorporated into a regular class curriculum. In creating a blog post, one needs to include a title of the post and put some sort of content in the textbox, which may include text, pictures, and/or videos.
While WordPress mostly incorporates free writing, other blogs are also are created to catered the posting of pictures or videos. Pinterest is a popular example of a blog which focuses on posting images.
Tumblr is another blogging website that tends to make sharing digital media much easier through ways like reblogging, likes, and hashtags. Considering this aspect, many artists showcase their work on here but still it has found its way to the classroom. In classrooms it can be used to share different resources for homework assignments and allow students to create digital media to be posted on their Tumblr.
Weebly is a web-hosting service that allows people to create their own website for free. The creator can choose from a variety of platforms including a blog platform. The site has tons of blog templates to choose from and provides tons of media options to incorporate into your blog. The site is a direct competitor with websites like WordPress, among others.
LinkedIn, the business networking website, also offers people the ability to create their own blog posts. This website is tailored toward business blogging and reaching those in the business network. Using the blogging available on LinkedIn can be easy for users who already have an account for networking purposes. This allows a blogger to reach an already interested audience quite easily.
Other examples of popular blogs include Huffington Post, TMZ and Blogilates.
Resources and Further Readings Edit
1. http://www.therichest.com/rich-list/world/worlds-10-top-earning-bloggers/ - This article states the top 10 earning bloggers in the world.
2. http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/blogs - The article states the top 15 most popular blogs.
3.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog- This wikipedia article discusses the history, types, popularity and legal and social consequences of blogs.
4. http://ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet20/williams.html- This scholarly article discusses how blogs can be useful learning spaces in the higher education sector.
5. http://184.108.40.206:8080/dspace/handle/123456789/979- This scholarly article discusses the power and impact of blogging.
Key Words Edit
1. Lundin, Rebecca Wilson. "Teaching with wikis: Toward a networked pedagogy." Computers and Composition 25.4 (2008): 432-448.
2. "Blog." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 29 Oct. 2014. Web. 19 Nov. 2014
3. "Oxygen." Theme Showcase. WordPress, n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2014. <http://theme.wordpress.com/themes/oxygen/>.
4. Chapman, Cameron. "A Brief History of Blogging." Webdesigner Depot RSS. N.p., 14 Mar. 2011. Web. 12 Dec. 2014. <http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2011/03/a-brief-history-of-blogging/>
5. Cruz, Ryan. "How to Start A Blog With WordPress." Business 2 Community. N.p., 15 May 2013. Web. 20 Nov. 2014. <http://www.business2community.com/blogging/how-to-start-a-blog-with-wordpress-2-0464371>.
6.Hoffmann, Melissa. "Pinterest Readies for Its Big Ad Business Rollout." AdWeek. N.p., 24 Mar. 2014. Web. 20 Nov. 2014. <http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/pinterest-readies-its-big-ad-business-roll-out-156485>.
7. "Why Teachers Should Try Out Tumblr." Why Teachers Should Try Out Tumblr. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2014.