If your website is like a well edited book with content that is often quite static, then a blog is like a magazine or newspaper.
A blog is a regularly updated website (or section of a website) with one or more people providing commentary on an issue, or as more of a personal online diary.
The newest content is shown at the top of the page, because the blog is meant to be visited by the same readers regularly – often daily. Each of these items is called a blog ‘post’.
The posts are organised by ‘tags’, which are just a bunch of words used to organise content. It means you can classify your posts organically, without needing to plan the categories in advance. When a reader clicks on a tag like ‘politics’ they can see everything else you’ve ever tagged with politics.
Blogs encourage interaction and have commenting features so readers can interact with the writers. They often encourage the sharing of their content through social media tools, such as ‘liking’ a blog post on Facebook, or retweeting it to share with their friends on Twitter.
There’s around 175 million public blogs, although most of these are unused or have negligible numbers of readers. Popular examples of blogs include sites like culture blogBoing Boing, society blog Good Magazine, news blog Huffington Post, food blog Serious Eats and ambulance driver’s blog Random Acts of Reality.
People who write blogs refer to themselves as ‘bloggers’. There’s a strong sense of camaraderie within the blogging community – otherwise known as the blog-o-sphere – with blogs helping promote the stories on each others sites.
Blogs often feature the views of individuals or their experiences so they tend to be written in an informal, first person style.
Many websites have news or article sections which could be considered ‘blogs’, despite not being labeled explicitly in that way. In fact, one of the most successful blogs in the UK is the Daily Mail newspaper’s website which meets all the criteria of a blog above.