Thing 1 – Blogs

About Blogs & Blogging

A blog is a frequently updated Web page that contains links to resources, personal commentaries, and opinions. In the mid-1990s, when blogs first made their appearance on the Web, there were maybe a few dozen in existence. According to Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008, there are over 133 million blogs. In 2004, the number was around 4.3 million.


Take a look at  “WHO: Bloggers, Brands and Consumers – Day 1 SOTB 2010,” to read some descriptive statistics about who is blogging. If you have your own blog, then where do you fit in to those statistics?

According to Wired Magazine, Jorn Berger coined the phrase “weblog” in 1997. The Economist wrote in 2006 that “in 1999, another user, Peter Merholz, playfully broke the word into ‘we blog’, and somehow the new term—blog—stuck as both a verb and a noun.” Justin Hall is referred to as the “the founding father of personal blogging.” (

One of the reasons why blogs have become so popular is the simplicity of publishing them. There is no need for the author to know HTML, and there are free blog automated publishing tools, such as Blogger,, that make it easy for anyone to create a blog. Blogs are often defined as personal online journals, operated by individuals who compile lists of links and comment on these links to provide information that interests them, with new links on the top of the page, and older ones at the bottom. Recently, however, blogging culture has grown to include political campaigns, institutions such as libraries and museums, and virtually any entity that wants to create a community of interest around particular topics.

Blogs are also a good way to uncover news that the regular media cannot or will not cover. It is important to keep in mind that because virtually anyone can publish a blog, you must evaluate the information the blogger has provided. Make sure you can verify the author’s credentials before relying on the information that he or she has published.

How does blogging work?

There are many free, highly customizable platforms, including the most popular:

To compare blogging platforms by criteria including hosting features or system requirements, use

To search blog contents, use a blog search engine:

Much of the value of a blog is in the interaction between the author and the readers and among the readers. This takes place in the comments section of any blog post.


Videos & Articles about blogs and blogging



For You to Do:

  • Read the Wikipedia entry on the topic “blog.” Make a list of at least three things that you learned about blogs from reading the entry.
  • Post those three things as a blog entry to your blog.
  • Post your blogging experiences as a comment to this blog post.

Ask me a question.
Links for images:

If we have time. – Nicholas Carr: The Shallows on the Colbert Report, June 30 2010.  (about 5 minutes)

13 Responses to “Thing 1 – Blogs”

  1. I guess you could say I’ve never really “blogged” but there was a time when I had a live journal, if anyone remembers those. The only blog I ever really kept was on my myspace, and I updated it so randomly, and mainly to vent about women that it couldn;t be really considered a blog in how we think of it today.

  2. Stephanie Boudreau says:

    I read the Wikipedia entry about blogging and found some very interesting fun facts.
    first off it would have never crossed my mind that there would be “types” of blogging but then again that makes complete sense. Just like different book genres why would there not be different types of blogs. Another thing that stood out to me was that i would have never imagined that the U.S. payouts related to blogging totaled 17.4 million dollars. But, what stood out the most I would have to say was when I read that Mark Cuban owner of the Dallas Mavericks was fined during the playoffs for criticizing NBA officials on his blog. So much for using blogging as another means of expression, I do agree that what he say may not have been appropriate; but still.

  3. smarteymartey says:

    I have been blogging since I was in high school — it started during my earlier years of high school. At that time I had finished a book that I was drafting and way before that time I was maintaining handwritten diaries and of course in time I would want to explore blogging.

    It actually was not until recently that I started on but I am very picky about lay out — I am part of an online forum for about 5 years now where I blogged on my personal page there and LOVE the lay out!

    Yet, I have fallen off from blogging…. I have always preferred to write my thoughts and opinions by hand and so I have slacked as far as and just continue to write in my diary entries by hand. Diary writing is personal and so is blogging since it is your own thoughts — so why taint it through the use of technology?

    I usually just apply that mindset to myself rather than other people. Though, it WOULD be cool if I were able to read a handwritten blog by people — I’d be more interested in that than I would be reading typed words.

  4. Chris Nagy says:

    Blogging for me has been a fairly bland experience. I like writing, and the idea behind having a blog, but I never really could get into it. For previous classes, I had my blog and assignments for it, but each one I always thought about what would be entertaining to read, and could never come up with a great idea to write about.

    I think having a blog about something you personally enjoy would be a lot more fun to keep track of, because the topics of the blog posts would be enjoyable to write. Hopefully I’ll be able to get more into this blog than the previous ones I have had!

  5. John Jolissaint says:

    Blogging isn’t hard for me anymore. However, last year was another story. Jim Groom whipped me into shape and I got a lot of experience with keeping a blog. Also, I was very involved in the content of the blog because it was personal to my life. Setting up a blog for this class wasn’t hard (the hardest part was making sure the email with my URL actually got to you). I may have a few questions about using WordPress because it’s been awhile since I’ve played with things like themes and widgets. Otherwise everything is going smoothly. See you in class tomorrow!

  6. […] The Internet: Information, Technology, Issues CPSC 104 UMW Skip to content HomeAboutResearch TopicsSyllabus & Reading List CPSC 104 Summer Session 2012 ← Thing 1 – Blogs […]

  7. Felicia Holzgrefe says:

    I studied abroad last semester and kept a blog while I was there – boy, was that hard! Not only finding time to blog, but when I did manage to type out what I had done on my travels, laying out pictures in the blog took me FOREVER. I then received critiques from my friend back home about my “messy” blog, though she just studied abroad and posted a total of EIGHT posts, none of which included pictures…it’s harder than it looks.

  8. effiejones says:

    My experiance bogging… I set up a umw blog a few moths ago for the class digital storytelling! I had such a hard time getting the blog up and going ! It was very hard to figure out how to embed things and such. But I got much better so hopefully that will help! I think the blogs are cool and a good way to be interactive in a class!

  9. jander23 says:

    Figuring out all the technical aspects, there weren’t really any, of setting up, managing and posting in the blog was easy. For me, it was the writing. I have never been the creative type and I did better at tests than papers so the only difficult part is the coming up with something to blog about.

  10. Sam Carolus-Hager says:

    I’ve used umwblogs before for class, and messed around a little bit with WordPress, but that’s about the extent of my blogging . I’ve never actually made and maintained my own blog, so this will be an interesting experience.