"Blogging" is a Web-based form of communication that is
rapidly becoming mainstream. In this paper, we report the
results of an ethnographic study of blogging, focusing on blogs
written by individuals or small groups, with limited audiences.
We discuss motivations for blogging, the quality of social
interactivity that characterized the blogs we studied, and
relationships to the
blogger’s audience. We consider the way bloggers related to the
known audience of their personal social networks as well as the
wider “blogosphere” of unknown readers. We then make design
recommendations for blogging software based on these findings.
The application of weblogs in an education setting will, at best,
have a limited impact if due consideration of these developing
communication dynamics are ignored. This paper includes a
brief review of some of the institutional and individual blog
projects that are taking place in higher education. In doing so it
examines the different types of blog environments that are being
used in terms of their communication dynamics and subsequent
impact upon teachers, learners and pedagogy. Further, a more
detailed examination is made of the use of blogs in teaching and
learning in courses at the University of Technology Sydney
Blogs, regularly updated online journals, allow people to quickly
and easily create and share online content. Most bloggers write
about their everyday lives and generally have a small audience
of regular readers. Readers interact with bloggers by
contributing comments in response to specific blog posts.
Moreover, readers of blogs are often bloggers themselves and
acknowledge their favorite blogs by adding them to their
blogrolls or linking to them in their posts. Through a
comparative analysis of the social network structures created by
blogrolls and blog comments, we find different characteristics
for different kinds of links. Our online survey of the three
communities reveals that few of the blogging interactions reflect
close offline relationships, and moreover that many online
relationships were formed through blogging. Social network
analysis is the quantitative study of the relationships between
individuals or organizations. Social network analysts represent
relationships in graphs where individuals or organizations are
portrayed as nodes and their connections to one another as
edges. By quantifying social structures, social network analysts
can determine the most important nodes in the network. Our
study also focuses on three blog communities, each with a
central site containing a curated listing of blogs. We now use
network analysis to determine to what extent each set of blogs
actually forms a community by engaging in reciprocal, group
interaction. But first we examine the different forms of
interaction that can take place. In this paper we are also
describing the types of blogs, there uses, educational blogs,
marketing blogs etc. We are also indicating the service providers
TABLE OF CONTENTS iii
Introduction: 1 Methodology: 3 History of Blogging: 4 Types of Blogs: 6 Advantages of Blogs: 9 Disadvantages of Blogs: 10
Why Blogs are Popular 11
Why Create a Blog? 11
Use of Blogging in Education: 12
Marketing Blogs: 13
Blogs as Social Activity: 15
Blogging Services: 15
The term "blog" is actually a contraction of the term, "web log". Basically, a blog is a website with information on whatever anybody would want to write about, frequently adding new dated entries, or "logs" to the website. Blogs can contain links to other websites with similar information, and can contain forums that group logs together under categories or specific subjects.
There are many sites that host blogs such as Blogger, Blogspot, Blogosphere and Wordpress. com to name a few. These sites cost the "blogger" or a person who owns or writes a blog, absolutely no money and are easy to use even for the technologically challenged. Whereas other sites that host blogs will charge a monthly or yearly fee and can be quite costly.
It largely depends on what the blogger wants out of their blog. If someone wanted a simple, online diary-like blog then a free blog hosting site would be just right. If someone wanted to promote a business or wanted a more professional looking blog with multiple add-ons and widgets (such as a stats tool), then buying a domain would be a better option as these appear more professional and can be tailored to the person's needs or wants.
Most blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other via widgets on the blogs and it is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites.
Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive
format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (art blog), photographs (photo blog), videos (video blogging), music (MP3 blog), and audio (podcasting). Micro blogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts.
Blogging in its current form began around 1997, with Dave Winer's Scripting News, an online record of Winer’s reflections on a wide range of topics. In recent years, tools have been developed to make blogging much easier and more widely accessible—effectively (as Blogger, a weblog service provider, advertises) "pushbutton publishing for the people."
Blogs have been featured extensively in the popular media and have entered political campaigns, news organizations, businesses, and classrooms. Recent estimates place the number of sites calling themselves blogs at over 1.3 million, and growing rapidly.
Blogs are a powerful and inexpensive way for SSC to communicate with its customers regularly in an online format. Basically, a blog is a regularly-updated journal that is published online. Blogs can provide regular updates about the company, helpful articles and other posts that would be meaningful to SSC’s current and potential customers. Since the material can be delivered over the web, blogs are flexible enough to include content such as text, graphics, video and animation. Blogs can also be delivered using the Really Simple Syndication (RSS) format, which allows users to read blog posts similar to how they would read e-mail (Cromity, 2008). The combination of web-based and RSS delivery for blogs makes them highly accessible, because any device with a web browser or an RSS-enabled reader can view the content. Aside from accessibility, blogs are also simple to install and maintain.
The findings presented below are taken from a survey conducted between 01-March-2011 to 01-aprail-2011, which was focused on uses of blogging in modern communication. Firstly we examined the website which provides blogs and we research how people communicate with them. Secondly we taken help from online and offline references.
The overall study was focused on following key areas:
1. About blogs: what is blog, how we create it
2. Reasons: why the blogs are used and why not
3. Advantages and Disadvantages: what are the advantages and
disadvantages of it
4. Uses in Communication: how people communicate by blogs
History of Blogging:
The history of blogging started approximately 17 years ago, when the first personal online journals were created. What were the stages of blog development? When did blogs become available for mass usage and how have they shaped the online landscape today?
According to 2010 statistics, the number of active blogs has reached 126 million. This figure has certainly increased since the time the calculation was made. Blogging is one of the most popular online activities today. How did it all start? What is the history of blogging and how has the publication of an online journal become so influential in 17 years?
The Contribution of Justin Hall
The year was 1994. A student called Justin Hall began writing an online journal. Today, Hall is a freelance reporter and his diary – Justin’s Links from the Underground is probably among the earliest blog forms.
New York Times magazine calls Hall “the founding father of personal blogging.”
Some researchers claim that famous programming expert Dave Winer is the author of the first blog – Scripting News. Most, however, have reached an agreement, saying that Hall is the author of the first blog while Winer is the first blogger to gain wide popularity and recognition for his online journal.
The Term “Blog” Gets Born
Until December 17 1997, the writing of an online journal lacked a specific web niche of its own. It was just a form of sharing personal information. Nobody believed that this revelation of thoughts and ideas online could actually develop in a separate discipline.
John Barger is the person who coined the term “weblog,” which was later changed to blog for short.
Barger is creator of Robot Wisdom – an online journal that was initially published in February 1995. In his weblog, Barger wrote about artificial intelligence, internet developments and technological trends.
The term weblog is a contraction from “logging the web.” The verb was turned into a noun and was later on shortened to define blogging, an entirely new and unprecedented niche in the online realm.
The person responsible for shortening the term weblog is Peter Merholz, author of Peterme journal. Merholz turned the word weblog into the combination of words “we blog.” The word blog was then turned into the verb “to blog” – meaning to write an online journal and to share information with the web community.
Blogging Goes International
The term blogging was born. Still, this activity was just getting started, being available to a small group of people able to create their personal journals. The next important step in the history of blogging was just around the corner.
The situation started changing in August 1999, when a company named Pyra Labs revolutionized blogging and took away its exclusivity. The company based in San Francisco created a portal named Blogger.
Blogger was the first free of charge service that facilitated the creation and maintenance of a personal journal. The creation of Blogger is seen as the first step towards the appearance of the blogosphere.
Blogosphere is a general term, bringing together all blogs. The appearance of a blogosphere gave birth to a new community, the group of people writing online and interacting with each other.
Types of Blogs:
There are many different types of blogs, differing not only in the type of content, but also in the way that content is delivered or written.
The personal blog, an ongoing diary or commentary by an individual, is the traditional, most common blog. Personal bloggers usually take pride in their blog posts, even if their blog is never read. Blogs often become more than a way to just communicate; they become a way to reflect on life, or works of art. Blogging can have a sentimental quality. Few personal blogs rise to fame and the mainstream, but some personal blogs quickly garner an extensive following. One type of personal blog, referred to as a microblog, is extremely detailed and seeks to capture a moment in time. Some sites, such as Twitter, allow bloggers to share thoughts and feelings instantaneously with friends and family, and are much faster than emailing or writing.
Corporate and organizational blogs
A blog can be private, as in most cases, or it can be for business purposes. Blogs used internally to enhance the communication and culture in a corporation or externally for marketing, branding or public relations purposes are called corporate blogs. Similar blogs for clubs and societies are called club blogs, group blogs, or by similar names; typical use is to inform members and other interested parties of club and member activities.
An ever-increasing number of corporate websites have embodied the use of blogs to create a more transparent interface between their products and their customers. Blogs are being used by these corporate websites as a customer feedback tool, amongst the many other applications that they serve. Nevertheless, it is important to evaluate whether these blogs are beneficial to the image of the corporate website, or a hindrance in projecting the brand that the company is trying to build for its product. In this paper I will be looking at this idea, with specific examples of two websites that have based their branding strategy using blogs as a means of marketing.
A problem that we see a lot of companies are facing, especially with the pace that information spreads on the web, is that they can't seem to keep track of how they are being viewed outside of their company. When communication breaks down between companies and their customers, business suffers. It is also common knowledge amongst rational consumers that the face of the company lies in the way it speaks to its customers. Thus, with the use of corporate web logs, it becomes easier for the company to track its image online. Even then, corporate blogs don’t come without their drawbacks. The question that arises now is: is it worth it for the company to host a blog on its corporate website despite the blog holding the intrinsic value of connecting the company with the opinions that its customers hold of it?
Jalopnik.com is a website serving as a blog space for the automotive industry. Audi AG, a manufacturer of exquisite cars, and a big spender on its research and development department sponsors the website. It brings the latest news in the automobile industry through bloggers, who may be either insiders of the industry, specialists in the domain of reviewing recent models of cars, or just anyone who wishes to post their experiences with a particular brand of car. Audi indulged itself into this venture when it found out that consumers were going to blogs and researching
from user opinions of products before purchasing their own products. So it got hold of all the blog spots which were dedicated towards the auto industry and combined them to make one website which now acts as an inroad to the industry. Not only is Jalopnik.com a method for Audi to be seen on the net, it is also a good way for their branding executives to find out how they should plan the advertisement campaign for their next model by looking at the response the blogging on their website generates. Basically what Audi has tried to do through the creation of this venture is to give industry information to its customers. Jalopnik.com holds news of all of Audi’s competitors, and its sister companies. Some blogs contain positive reports on Audi, and some are negative. Giving readers this kind of information creates an impression of trust and transparency; it doesn't matter that the information is ultimately being presented for the sake of marketing; it makes readers feel as if the company is sharing something with them, and it helps to build a community.
Some blogs focus on a particular subject, such as political blogs, travel blogs (also known as travelogs), house blogs, fashion blogs, project blogs, education blogs, niche blogs, classical music blogs, quizzing blogs and legal blogs (often referred to as a blawgs) or dreamlogs. Two common types of genre blogs are art blogs and music blogs. A blog featuring discussions especially about home and family is not uncommonly called a mom blog. While not a legitimate type of blog, one used for the sole purpose of spamming is known as a Splog.
By media type
A blog comprising videos is called a vlog, one comprising links is called a linklog, a site containing a portfolio of sketches is called a sketchblog or one comprising photos is called a photoblog. Blogs
with shorter posts and mixed media types are called tumblelogs. Blogs that are written on typewriters and then scanned are called typecast or typecast blogs; see typecasting (blogging).
A rare type of blog hosted on the Gopher Protocol is known as a Phlog.
Blogs can also be defined by which type of device is used to compose it. A blog written by a mobile device like a mobile phone or PDA could be called a moblog. One early blog was Wearable Wireless Webcam, an online shared diary of a person's personal life combining text, video, and pictures transmitted live from a wearable computer and EyeTap device to a web site. This practice of semi-automated blogging with live video together with text was referred to as sousveillance. Such journals have been used as evidence in legal matters.
Advantages of Blogs:
The advantages of blogs from an organizational perspective include the following:
1. The consumer and citizen are potentially better informed and this
can only be good for the long-term health of our societies and economies.
2. Blogs have potential to help the organization develop stronger
relationships and brand loyalty with its customers, as they interact with the ‘human face’ of the organization through blogs.
3. Blogs, in an intranet environment, can be an excellent way of
4. Blogs can be a positive way of getting feedback, and keeping our finger on the pulse, as readers react to certain pieces, suggest story ideas, etc.
5. Blogs can build the profile of the writer, showcasing the
organization as having talent and expertise.
6. Blogging is also used for educational purpose. We can study online
7. I would be lying if I do not mention the money aspect at this point
in the priority list. In fact, for many bloggers who make a living out of blogging, this may be the top priority as well.
8. Blogging is not only about the engagement between blogger and
the blog reader anymore but provides great opportunities to interact with a wider set of people via social networking, offline gatherings, blogger meets on a certain topic and other related events. Whether it is a low profile bloggers’ get-together or a mega event in Playboy mansion or a cruise vessel – they all serve the same purpose of networking.
Disadvantages of Blogs:
The disadvantages of blogs are:
1. Most people don’t have very much to say that’s interesting, and/or
are unable to write down their ideas in a compelling and clear manner.
2. I have often found that the people who have most time to write
have least to say, and the people who have most to say don’t have enough time to write it. Thus, the real expertise within the organization lays hidden, as you get drowned in trivia.
3. Like practically everything else on the Web, blogs are easy to start
and hard to maintain. Writing coherently is one of the most difficult and time-consuming tasks for a human being to undertake. So, far from blogs being a cheap strategy, they are a very expensive one, in that they eat up time. As a result, many blogs are
not updated, thus damaging rather than enhancing the reputation of the organization.
4. Organizations are not democracies. The Web makes many
organizations look like disorganizations, with multiple tones and opinions. Contrary to what some might think, the average customer prefers it if the organization they are about to purchase from is at least somewhat coherent.
Why Blogs are Popular
Blogs have gained popularity within the last few years due to a few reasons. One is that a blog can promote an online business while showing a more personal side as mentioned above. A blog in connection with a business lets a visitor know a little more about the business or the web master creating a closer connection with the visitor than a business without a blog.
Another reason blogs have exploded in the last few years is that most people like to have their say in something whether it be personal or business related. A blog is exciting because it is public and anyone can read it. Visitors can also comment on a post or reply to others' comments allowing the blogger to get feedback on postings while visitors gain more information or get a different point of view on the topic at hand.
Why Create a Blog?
So why create a blog? In addition to the reason for making a little additional income blogging, blogging is a great way to:
• express yourself
• promote a business
• write as a way of relieving stress
• do something just for fun
Whatever the reason may be for creating a blog, it is a fun and easy way to keep in touch or share news with family and friends as well as a possible source of extra income.
Use of Blogging in Education:
Blogs are widely popular in education, as evidenced by the 400 thousand educational blogs hosted by edublogs. Teachers have been using them to support teaching and learning since 2005. Through years of practice, a common understanding has formed around the benefits of the use of blogs in education.
Because blogs are connected, they can foster the development of a learning community. Authors can share opinions with each other and support each other with commentary and answers to questions. For example, the University of Calgary uses blogs to create learning communities.
Additionally, blogs give students ownership over their own learning and an authentic voice, allowing them to articulate their needs and inform their own learning. Blogs have been shown to contribute to identity-formation in students. (Bortree, D.S., 2005).
Further, blogging gives students a genuine and potentially worldwide audience for their work. Having such an audience can result in feedback and and greatly increase student motivation to do their best work. Students also have each other as their potential audience, enabling each of them to take on a leadership role at different times through the course
of their learning.
Moreover, blogging helps students see their work in different subjects as interconnected and helps them organize their own learning. Working
with the teacher and informed by blogs authored by experts in the field, students can conduct a collective enquiry into a particular topic or subject matter creating their own interpretation of the material.
Blogs teach a variety of skills in addition to the particular subject under discussion. Regular blogging fosters the development of writing and research skills. Blogging also supports digital literacy as the student learns to critically assess and evaluate various online resources.
There are three types of marketing blogs:
Faux blogs are not encouraged as it only seems to bring about obfuscation, where unpleasant facts are hidden, thus showing a lack of transparency. It is undeniable the company will be placed in a negative limelight, should they be exposed. Companies should therefore, not engaged in faux blogs though ‘framing’ (placing their company in a positive light through strategic communication).
Business blogs are highly encouraged as it presents a two-way symmetric communication framework, as a means to reach out to both internal and external relations of the business. It can also build, inform and pull customers. Customers are able to feedback/comment on the company’s product by leaving a comment in the blogs, and the respective personnel would be able to get back to the customers promptly, leaving customers satisfied at high level of customer service provided [building relationship]. In addition, companies would be able to make announcements in
their blogs, to inform their respective readers/customers of any changes, be it a new packaging of a product, or a change in nutritional value of their consumables [Informing customers]. CEOs should also contribute by posting, thereby showing customers that despite their busy schedules, the end consumers are not neglected of. The CEOs personal updates could intrigue the readers’ interest and thirst for these corporate giants’ updates of their latest musings. In addition, blogs can be used as an internal communication within the company itself, through updates on the company itself or its industry updates, such as a breaking industry gossip, news or internal affairs. Business blogs can also be of interesting and multimedia-filled. It can cover some expertise knowledge in their domain, so as to promote customers’ trust that the company has the required expertise (knowing what they are doing), and gain some knowledge from the blogs.
Blogvertorials are also useful, and can be a complement to business blogs as they provides word-of-mouth recommendations through online reviews, and are generally considered to be more reliable and trustable than commercial advertisements.
In conclusion, blogs are a useful tool for a company to market its position in the industry. Not only is it convenient, especially through the use of moblogging, it is also convenient for the employees and customers to keep-in-touch and feedback on the company’s products. Application
Blogs as Social Activity:
Blogs are not only used for business and educational purpose. Now a day’s blogs are also used for social networking. Some people like blogging and they use blogging as a social activity. There are many websites are available which provides us social blogging. We learned that blogs create the audience, but the audience also creates the blog. This linkage happened in a number of ways: friends urging friends to blog, readers letting bloggers know they were waiting for posts, bloggers crafting posts with their audience in mind, and bloggers continuing discussions with readers in other media outside the blog. In this section, we establish blogs as social activity, a form of social communication in which blogger and audience are intimately related through the writing and reading of blogs.
Before blogging services were freely available, bloggers needed at least some knowledge of HTML and have a place to host their Weblog. In the late 1990s blogging became very popular, and as a result multiple free blogging software and services have become available. Free services offer bloggers an easy to use browser interface to maintain and edit blogs. Users can freely join the following hosted blog services.
• AOL Hometown / AOL Journals (America Online, Inc.)
Blog.com (Blog.com Inc.) http://www.blog.com/
• Blogger (Google) http://www.blogger.com/
• Live Journal (Six Apart) http://www.livejournal.com/
• MySpace (News Corporation) http://www.myspace.com/
• Open Diary (The Open Diary) http://www.opendiary.com/
• Windows Live Spaces / MSN Spaces (Microsoft)
• WordPress (Automatic, Inc.) http://www.wordpress.com/
• Xanga (Xanga.com, Inc) http://www.xanga.com/
• Yahoo 360 Beta (Yahoo! Inc.) http://360.yahoo.com/
At a glance, results from the analysis provide some interesting ideas about blogging and bloggers. In these days 70% of internet users are creating and reading blogs and 80-90% users are only reading blogs. They are blogging about business, education, politics, technical, non-technical and many more things. People also use blogging for social networking. The numbers of bloggers and blog service providers are increasing every day.
Blogging is a most common and easiest way of communication. People must have create and read blogs. It improves our skills and also our knowledge. Student, business men, scientist, doctor, politicians and any other people can take help from blogging. We can also be interconnected with our friends and relatives using blogs. Blogs are a simple way to express oneself or to promote a business, and is even an easy way to make money. Almost anyone can create a blog with a free blog hosting site. In addition to the reason for making a little additional income blogging, blogging is a great way to: express yourself, promote a business, share a skill or special knowledge with the public, write as a way of relieving stress, do something just for fun. Whatever the reason may be for creating a blog, it is a fun and easy way to keep in touch or share news with family and friends as well as a possible source of extra
Blogging is one of the best ways of communication. Using blogs people can communicate with each other and also make so much benefit like they improve their skills, improve knowledge’s, make money etc. Blogging is also of many types. It is very easy to create and manage. People can also use blogs for business purpose. There were a lots of blog service providers are available. They all are trying to make blogging easy, user-friendly and attractive. there is strong evidence that blogs do enable relationship formation, with some of those new relationships later extending to other communication media and offline meetings. On the other hand, blogs do not play a large role in helping bloggers sustain their real life relationships; nonetheless, this finding may be due to blogging’ srelatively young age. Number of service providers and their facilities are also increasing day to day. People are also using blogs in social networking. It is also a way of entertainment. It has also some disadvantages like it requires a good knowledge of HTML, it kill our time etc.