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Blogging Exploration Running Header: BLOGGING EXPLORATION

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A Brief Exploration of Blogging Maura Walsh Emporia State University

Blogging Exploration Abstract Blogs became a household word a few years ago, and like many such terms it became part of our active lives even before it was totally assimilated as part of our active vocabulary. This is an exploration of some of the components of blogs. A concise history of blogs, a brief examination of the diverse aspects that comprise different blogs and some limited ideas about what makes a successful blog are also included.

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Blog is an idiom that has slowly seeped into public consciousness. No one could be

Blogging Exploration blamed for first mistaking the term “blog” with something onomatopoeic or some sort of acronym. However, it is actually an abbreviation for weblog. The first blogs started in the late

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1990s as a way for people to publish and gather information. Many people first became aware of them in relation to Howard Dean’s presidential campaign in 2000. Like other, better-known types of logs, they are a running history or diary that is updated on a regular basis and posted on the web for all who want to read them. The entries are usually in reverse chronological order so that the most recent appears first. A certain amount of blogrolling, done to research the present document, shows a plentitude of styles and subjects. Some blogs are quite simple while others resemble authentic newspapers. Many have hypertext links scattered throughout the postings that connect to the original source that is being commented on. Often they feature colorful graphics and designs that arrest the eye or even overpower the visitor. Several also have long lists of other blogs on a sidebar menu. Blogs have become very popular for a variety of reasons. First, they permit anyone who wishes a pulpit from which to expound his views. It is a way of marketing or promoting oneself or one views. Likewise, it is a treat for the ego because the blog is solely the concern of the writer who does not have to have editorial approval or wait for a publisher. At the stroke of the mouse button one obtains instant gratification. Another consideration is that it is easy enough for almost anyone to do. At a site called Bloggers.com a user can set up a blog in a matter of minutes. Since this basic service is also offered free of charge, it is easier still: all it costs is the time it takes to set up and then write the postings. Finally, it is an effective way of connecting with others. People have a need to express themselves and blogging has proved to be a very expedient way to do so. At Blogcatalog.com it

Blogging Exploration

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is possible to register a blog as well as find one on a myriad of topics. On the opening page there is a choice of about fifty major categories. Next, within each category there are sub categories that lead to thousands of others. (For example there are 30 blogs about knitting) There are also special featured blogs and a discussion board so bloggers can debate the merits of their pastime. Many mainstream media outlets are now incorporating their own blogs in their websites as are corporations and even local groups such as libraries. The Guardian, The New York Times, and other major newspapers feature various blogs on their own sites. In Washington State the teen summer reading program has a pilot blog program. The statistics about the actual number of blogs in existence is overwhelming and vary considerably, but Simon Garfield offered the interesting information that about 90% of US blogs are started by someone under 30 and last less than thirty days. The antithesis of this would be a site like Instapundit.com that is viewed by more than 1000,000 people a day (Garfield, 2004, para 20). Blogs can offer all sorts of bells and whistles like archives to view past postings, subscriptions so that new postings are sent by email to a recipient, and a plethora of links to an array of things including commercial products and other services and blogs. Perhaps what a blog should offer in order to be successful is clever, succinct writing. Now that blogs have become so commonplace and there are so many to choose from, it shall be interesting to watch how they wield power in everyday events like politics, social trends and education.

References Garfield, Simon. (April 4, 2004) New kids on the blog. In The Observer. Retrieved July 10th,

Blogging Exploration 2007 via Google: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,6903,1185061,00.html Jensen, Mallory. (Sept-Oct 2003)A brief history of weblogs.(Emerging Alternatives). In Columbia Journalism Review, 42, p22(1). Retrieved July 12, 2007, from AcademicOneFile via ThomsonGale: http://0find.galegroup.com.www. whitelib.emporia.edu:80/itx/infomark.do?&contentSet=IAC-Documents&type= retrieve&tabID=T002&prodId=AONE&docId=A109264376&source=gale& userGroupName=empsu_web&version=1.0 Moeller, Paul, & Rupp, Nathan. (Jan 2005)TalkLeft, Boing Boing, and Scrappleface: the phenomenon of weblogs and their impact on library technical services. In Library Resources & Technical Services, 49, p7(7). Retrieved July 12, 2007, from Academic

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OneFile via ThomsonGale: http://0find.galegroup.com.www.whitelib.emporia.edu:80/itx/ infomark.do?&contentSet=IACDocuments&type=retrieve&tabID=T002&prodId=AONE &docId=A128063135&source=gale&userGroupName=empsu_web&version=1.0 Sauers, Michael P. (2006). Blogging and RSS : A librarian's guide. Medford, N.J : Information Today, Inc.