Spread of Blog

Spread of Blog

Blog, or weblog, refers to certain kind of online journal that, it is time-stamped articles posted on websites, usually in reverse chronological order. In addition, it usually enables visitors to leave comments on the same web page of article, trace related blogs between different websites, and get notification if the blog is updated. It can also refer to the action of writing blogs.

In a famous blog by R Blood, she observed that Jorn Barger named his website, which with daily articles consisted of interesting links to websites and comments of these websites; as Weblog, and it is Peter Merholz who once broke Weblog into the phrase “we blog”.( Blood, R., September 7, 2000), which was shortened to “blog” during spreading. The number of bloggers boosted after web based blog tools, such as one provided by Blogger.com since 1999, enabled writing blog or comments online, and publishing it with a few mouse clicks. But blog had not much attention at that time.

The influence of blogs was boosted by political events. After the beginning of War on Terrorism, while interactive blogs focused on the war, namely warblogs, spread and gain readership because their immediacy and interactivity, and anonymity of comments, while the reaction of mainstream media were slowed by censorship. By the spring of 2003, Forbes Magazine used "war blogger" in this larger sense when listing the "best warblogs." In the U.S. presidential election of 2004, Blogs by celebrity, such as journalists, politicians and president candidates, gained public attention. Recently, Microsoft said that the free blogging service, called MSN Spaces, had attracted 4.5 million users during its preliminary test phase, which began last December and end a few days ago. The use of the word “blog” was so common that, “blog” was included in the Oxford English Dictionary soon (Quarterly updates to OED Online, March 13, 2003).

Many mainstream medias noticed this tendency.

 

Google bought blogger.com

I started my first blog at September, 2003. I had been looking for a web application for simplify updating my personal homepage for a long time. The recent update page in my website consisted of paragraphs in reverse chronological order, with a timestamp to mark the date of update, so that the visitors will notice the new updates easily. Despite of its usability, to perform an update of my homepage, I had to find the proper insert-point in the page, add new paragraphs, and then use some FTP (file transfer protocol) software applications to upload the whole modified page to the web server. Soon I found guest books, where visitors can leave messages and internet forums, where registered users can start a discussion or join a discussion, are very useful but both of them are not eligible for a recent update part of my website because they are open for visitors,.

 

they are hard to attract a wild range of visitors. The visitors can not discuss with the author about an online article without using other applications, such as email, and this limited the influence of websites. Soon online guest books appeared, enabled visitors to post comments of all articles in a single page. Soon internet forums were designed for discussion, enabled users to post comments of an individual article and then visitors can read the article and its comments in the same page. However, unlike internet forums and online guest books, blog articles have static address for individual entries, which enables search engines to list them in search results, and the large amount of trans-website links were considered as citation by the page rank systems, which used by search engines to sort results, made them appears in the front of the search result lists, thus increased the influence of blogs. Many blog tools also automatically add TrackBacks, or links between an article and the articles its references to simplify the difficulty when the visitors tracking between related articles. These features of blogs made trans-website discussion much easier, and these conveniences speed up the spreading of blog.

In addition, several tools and services are developed for the proliferated demand and boosted new demands. Trackbacks make the related blogs linked together, and comments made it possible for authors to discuss their articles on the same page of the article. Blog hosting sites launched one another, and a lot of personal homepage providers became blog providers. News aggregators appeared to simplify posting and reading blogs. The page rank system used by search engines, promoted the most cited blogs by revealing their trackbacks International blog service providers made it possible to write blogs on localized websites. Such conveniences made blogging easier and more and more people became bloggers.

Since the number of blogger increased so fast; it has formed many communities.

 

Influence

As a result of explosion of number of bloggers, several communities were created on certain topics and direct the discussion in existing communities such as warblogs, Blawgs, tech blogs and team blogs, sometimes called blogosphere. Opinions, ideas and discussions around a particular subject or controversy can easily spread in blogospheres through trackbacks and dominate the topic of a blogosphere in a period of time. In order to keep the high discussion quality of the blogospheres, some bloggers dispatch their posts into different blogospheres. For example, I have 5 blogs, one to trace the new technologies, one to discuss common technologies, 2 for archive, and 1 for other posts.

Some blogospheres have great influence. They have quicker responses to breaking news than major media (Conference Examines Blogs’ Impact on News. Nov 14, 2004), and some news stories were knock down by bloggers (Macht J., Sept 27, 2004). They were also responsible for pushing the story of Trent Lott, then the Republican leader of the Senate into the news, after the mainstream media missed it, and caused his resign. MSDN blog, a group of blogs of Microsoft employees and product teams, became the information and feedback center of Microsoft related technologies.

Businessman will never ignore such a large group. For one, Google’s AdSense, which deliver content-relative ads to pages, became ubiquitous on blogs, and some bloggers can earn a lot of money by talking about certain products.(Gard,L. Dec 13, 2004). For another, many people tried a lot to post unwanted blog spam to promote the spammer’s website, and made major search engines changed their page ranking system.

 

Conclusion

.    Despite of some tiny problems, more and more people will start blogging, entering blogosphere, and try to promote themselves. Blog will become as popular as email, or even more. Popular.

 

Reference

Associated Press. Conference examines blogs’ impact on news.( Nov 14, 2004). eWeek.

Blood, R..(September 7, 2000) Weblogs: A history and perspective, Rebecca’s Pocket... <http://www.rebeccablood.net/essays/weblog_history.html"&gt;.(April 14, 2005)

Gard,L. (Dec 13, 2004). The business of blogging; explosive growth means web logs are suddenly in Madison Avenue’s sights. Business Week. 2004(3912) p117.

Macht J.( Sept 27, 2004). How to knock down a Story: THE BLOGGERS. Time 164(13). p30.

Quarterly updates to OED Online (March 13, 2003) Oxford English Dictionary<http://www.oed.com/help/updates/motswana-mussy.html&gt;.(April 14, 2005)

 

About Sheng Jiang 蒋晟

Microsoft MVP in Visual C , 2004- Forum moderator of the Visual C and .Net forums on CSDN Forum moderator of Chinese forums on Microsoft's MSDN forums
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