What is a blog?

Hey there!

For my first blog post I’ll be looking into what is a blog and how they developed, by looking at readings: Jill Walker Rettberg’s Blogging and Adrian Miles’s “Blogs in Media Education: A Beginning.”

As mentioned by Rettberg, the term “blog” originated from the phrase web log, with log coming from traditional nautical navigation, in the way that the chronological entries were written in a logbook, similarly, a blog is generally defined as a web site that has dated entries appearing in reverse chronological order – with the most recent appearing first. It’s also important to note that blogs can be very broad in subject matter – you can find one on almost any topic you can think of. Rettberg also notes that the blog itself can be seen as a medium, containing more specific genres, such as diary style blogging or political blogs. However, it’s also clear that the specific definition of blogs, and even the idea of whether it is a medium or a genre itself, can be somewhat contentious. The term “blog” itself was first used in 1997, and initial blogs from the 90’s were quite different to those of today. Initially, they contained a lot of links in a list format, users had to manually code their blogs through HTML from scratch, before templates and blogging websites began and became popular, like blogger, for example.

From Miles’s article, he draws a similar definition regarding blogs – a web based publication consisting of entries (posts) published in reverse chronological order. Miles writes about the use of blogging in teaching and learning, emphasising the importance of teaching the use of blogs, as something to learn as a post-print medium, as a contribution to contemporary media. Strategies such as ‘seeding’; instructing tasks for students to blog about to get used to the medium, before it’s used actively and for extracurricular means and developing an online identity.

From articles/excerpts:

Rettberg, Jill Walker. Blogging. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2008. Print. (p. 4, 17-30)

Miles, Adrian. “Blogs in Media Education: A Beginning.” Screen Education 41 66–69. Print.

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