Thursday, June 19, 2008

What is a Blog?

I recently attended a workshop on Blogging for Business given by Mhairi Petrovic on June 17th.

One of the attendees piped up: What does a blog look like? I imagine little comment balloons popping up when someone makes a comment on a blog.

(By the way, that's a great visual idea - having comments pop up in balloons when commenting on blogs.)

That is a very good question. What does a blog look like?

Most definitions say a blog is an online diary or journal. Sort of but not quite. Does anyone want the whole world to read what's in your private diary? I think not. They forget to add a very important qualifier to their definition of blog. It's a very public online journal. More like a column in a newspaper. I like this definition found on

A blog is a website. (It looks like a webpage.)
It's a website where you write stuff on an ongoing basis.
New stuff shows up on top so your visitors can read what's new right away.

And blogs are more interactive than the normal website. Visitors can comment on each blog entry and add their opinion or facts thereby creating a discussion rather than just a static webpage. And the blog poster can respond to the comments and the visitor can respond again. So then we have a conversation. This builds community.

If you're new to blogging, a good place to start is at This blog is built on It's free to sign up and start a blog. They have a tour explaining the features of the blog. And you can restrict you views your blog. If you're a bit shy at first, you can show your blog only to your friends and family. And then later on you can show it to the world.

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