What in the world is a BLOG?
This week I will answer a single question. A question many people are thinking but are too embarrassed to ask. The question comes from Beaverton. A land set apart from the rest of the world. It’s a land of famous shoes and computer chips. There’s no other place like it.
If you would like your technical question answered here just email firstname.lastname@example.org. Even if it doesn’t get answered in the column I will always answer by email.
Question- “What is a BLOG? Why do we have BLOGS? What do BLOGS do for me? How do I get my own BLOG?”
Jenny H. from Beaverton
Answer- A BLOG is a combination of the words “Web” and “Log”. Since Wlog and Weog were just too hard to say, some genius came up with BLOG to be both ridiculous and pronounceable.
Showmeblog.com says it was invented by Dave Winer, or Jorn Barger. Salon.com says it was Camille Paglia, but who really cares? (Except for these guys and their bragging rights.) The important thing is the BLOG itself.
Bloggers play a very important role in society. Before the internet and the venerable BLOG, news agencies could say whatever they liked and it would take days to confirm or deny their reports. By then an election could be over, or a contract could be broken. Knowing the correct information too late makes it just not relevant anymore.
So in comes the mighty BLOG! BLOGS started out as what we used to call “online diaries”. These autobiographies were used by people to give a daily account of what they were up to. Teenagers made them popular both by writing them and reading them. They were mini soap operas and readers couldn’t get enough of the juicy details of other people’s lives written and read in seemingly virtual secrecy. You could say anything in an online diary that you couldn’t tell your best friend. They were anonymous and great personal therapy.
Eventually people started to realize that giving online accounts of events didn’t have to be salacious or secret to be popular. Then the news BLOG was born. It got it’s first real leap to fame when it brought down one of the most popular news journalists of all time, Dan Rather. He reported some information about George W. Bush and his time in the National Guard that proved to be false at worst, or unproven at best, and Rather took the heat. The bloggers went nuts after finding far more information that disproved many of the things Rather and his writers were saying. It caught on like a wildfire and soon an amazing irony ensued- the news was reporting what the bloggers were saying!
Rather’s career started when he got punched in the 1968 Democratic convention and ended when he got KO’d by the 2004 BLOGGERS. Now the news pays close attention to what the BLOGGERS are saying after every news cast.
It’s also why stations like KOIN have their BLOG as well. It allows “the experts” to give their opinion but allows you, the reader, to tell us whether or not we’re on target.
So if you haven’t noticed it yet, you are reading a BLOG.
So how do you get your own BLOG? Good question indeed. If you have your very own web server you can upload a BLOG program from download.com. There are both free ones and paid programs. The ones that cost a few hundred dollars do a better job keeping the spammers away.
If you just want to make your own free BLOG using someone else’s nuts and bolts, you have lots of choices. Many of them now allow you to add more than just words. You can add pictures and videos and even music.
Social networking sites have built in BLOGS like Facebook and MySpace. The complexity of those sites turn off a lot of new bloggers. Especially if all you want to do is BLOG your family vacation for the relatives to read and see your pictures. If you type in BLOG sites in Google, you will see over 72 million options. I personally Like Xanga.com. I used it to BLOG a trip my daughter and I made from Portland to Chicago last year in a car we got her for college. It’s very linear in that you see a picture and you get a caption. Then you see another picture and a new caption. It’s great and very simple for that purpose.
If you want to be a “news” BLOGGER then join Koin’s BLOG at community.koin.com. For a national appeal you can join the BLOGGERS at CBS.com.
The important thing is that you find something you’re comfortable doing and work your way into it. There are lots of support sites to help you get started, like at blogger.com.
I can’t wait to read your BLOG about my BLOG.
For more great tips check back here each week and listen to me on the All Tech Radio show at 9:00 Sunday mornings on AM 1360 KUIK, or listen online at http://alltechradio.com.