Also called web log or weblog, a blog, in simple terms, is typically a routinely updated online personal diary or journal. It’s a dynamic personal website that’s used to share ideas, thoughts, expertise, or anything else. “Blog” is short for “weblog”. Jorn Barger (American blogger) coined “weblog” and Peter Merholz (technology expert) coined “blog”.

A blog typically has a single author – popular blogs may have multiple bloggers. Writing for a blog is called blogging or to blog; the writer is called a blogger. Publishing platforms, such as WordPress, are used to create blogs. A blogging platform offers the interface and tools needed to compose and design both the blog and its posts.

Modern blogs could either be an account of the blogger’s personal life, or a reflection of the blogger’s passion, skills, knowledge or interests. Most blogs focus on a niche. For instance, a software engineer may set up a blog to only talk about web design and development. A homemaker may use her blog to share cooking and/or beauty tips.        

The Web 1.0 era was a period when the Internet or specifically the web was used to only dispense information. There were almost zero two-way conversations online. With time, or perhaps the gradual roll-out of Web 2.0, the Internet became more interactive and social. Simply put, Web 2.0 gave birth to user-generated content – in the form of videos, product reviews, blog posts, etc. 

The Beginning Stages

The emergence of blogging platforms made blogging a reality for non-technical people. Prior to that, FTP and HTML knowledge was essential to upload content online. 

Earlier, blogging was viewed as a hobby, merely revolving around random thoughts or routine activity details. With time, once bloggers developed a following and realized blogging’s true potential, they delved away from personal stuff and started writing about more interesting topics. Gradually, for many people, blogging transformed from a hobby to a lucrative career choice.

Blog Layout and Features

The home page of a blog typically comprises blog entries or posts, with the most recent post showing up first. This layout is usually standard, but other blogs may sport a more dynamic appearance and structure.  

Blogs encourage user-visitor interaction and therefore include attributes such as visitor comments, links to other posts or websites, etc. A primary menu categorizing blog posts, older article archives, feeds, and an internal search engine are other blog elements.     

Present and Future

Today, blogs exist in the millions. And several hundred fresh blogs crop up almost every day. Most current blogs don’t look like personal journals; they appear more like full-fledged websites. Some bloggers also publish blog-based books, called blooks.

Important and credible voices are taking up blogging, and the popularity of social media and microblogging sites like Facebook and Twitter is an indication. Besides individuals, newspapers, universities, research centers, political groups and e-commerce firms have also taken up blogging to impart information and also increase their product or brand visibility.