Tuesday, January 8, 2008

What is a Blog?

What is a Blog?

Blogger.com, the host of this site, defines a blog as:
"A blog is a personal diary. A daily pulpit. A collaborative space.
A political soapbox. A breaking-news outlet. A collection of links.
Your own private thoughts. Memos to the world.
Your blog is whatever you want it to be. There are millions of them, in all shapes and sizes, and there are no real rules.In simple terms, a blog is a web site, where you write stuff on an ongoing basis. New stuff shows up at the top, so your visitors can read what's new. Then they comment on it or link to it or email you. Or not." source

Wiktionary defines the word blog as:
"A personal or corporate website in the form of an online journal, with new entries appearing in sequence as they are written, especially as dealing with reflections or opinion, and typically incorporating links to other articles."

Wikipedia defines a blog in a similar way, and includes useful information regarding the history and evolution of blogging.

Here is another comprehensive definition of a Blog from an avid blogger:
"Most blogs are primarily text based. However, increasingly popular are video blogs (vlogs), and photoblogs, which offer potentially more interactive ways to share content than via mere text alone."

As this blog tries to demonstrate, all of the different media elements can easily coexist in a single blog. Posts can be categorized, and are automatically archived by the blogging program. Thus they are easily referred to in the future, and accessible via labels.

Posts can be e-mailed to a dedicated e-mail address which automatically publishes the e-mail's content on the blog. Individuals interested in the specific content of the blog also have the option to subscribe to the blog and receive updates whenever new posts are published.

What are blogs typically used for?

Blogs are commonly used by individuals as a type of on-line journal in which ideas, social commentary, or anything else are shared. These can either be focused on a specific theme, or dedicated to whatever random string of topics the blogger wishes to share. A typical theme for blogs is politics / political commentary. Increasingly, blogs are finding a function in the realms of education and organizational communication as well.


Alison said...

The library has recently been discussing embedding a blog into our homepage as an easy and dynamic way to display news, tips and highlights. We wanted a space that would be easy to update, be editable by various people and be flexible enough to show different information (eg book front covers, written information etc etc) The comment section is an added bonus for our purpose (book reviews etc) but I'm also all in favour of opening up corporations to conversations. Read The Cluetrain Manifesto http://www.cluetrain.com/ for an excellent discussion of this.

Karen said...

As an advocate for democracy in ALL dimensions of our lives (government, work, family, etc), I find many, many attractive features of blogs:
- Blogs enable conversations that our daily lives would not normally allow. They facilitate a space for reflection and free speech, despite distances, hierarchies, fears or intimidations, schedules and other impediments to exchange of ideas.
- Blogs truly increase equality ---anyone with access to the Internet and access to the blog can hear what others have to say and can express his/her own ideas, as well.
- Blogs allow for choice – you choose to intervene (or not); you choose to “listen” (or not), etc
- They seem to provide an opportunity to give deeper meaning to the idea that an organization is a reflection of the persons that comprise it.
So, I ask myself, could blogs be an effective tool to exchange ideas and to promote knowledge exchange in the Bank?
One immediate thought comes to mind: Could “blogging” be accepted as a part of a productive work day at the Bank?
When we recently spoke with part of the Knowledge Management team at the State Department, they told us that when they began to use blogs, they did not use the “b” word (associated with social conversations or political dialogues..)
The manifest that Alison suggest s (www.cluetrain.com) is very compelling …. When you apply its theses to the Bank, imagining productive conversations via the Intranet opens wide possibilities. Just as an example Thesis #46: A healthy intranet organizes workers in many meanings of the word. Its effect is more radical than the agenda of any union.

Any thoughts?