A Blog is Another Way to Express Our Selves When Writing on the Internet

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What distinguishes a collection of posts from a traditional home page or Web page?

  • Primarily it’s the reverse-chronological order in which posts appear.
  • When a reader visits a weblog, she/he is always confronted with the newest information at the top of the page.
  • Having the freshest information at the top of the page does a few things: as readers, it gives a sense of immediacy with no effort on our part.
  • We don’t have to scan the page, looking for what’s new or what’s been changed.
  • If content has been added since our last visit, it’s easy to see as soon as the page loads.
  • Weblogs demonstrate that time is important by the very nature in which they present their information.
  • As weblog readers, we respond with frequent visits, and we are rewarded with fresh content.

    The Anatomy of a Post

  • A weblog post can be identified by the following distinguishing characteristics: a date header, a time stamp, and a permalink.
  • Oftentimes the author's name appears beneath each post as well, especially if multiple authors are contributing to one blog.
  • If commenting is enabled (giving the reader a form to respond to a specific post) a link to comment will also appear.
  • Links, and the accompanying commentary, have often been hailed as the distinguishing characteristic of a weblog.
  • The linking that happens through blogging creates the connections that bind us.
  • Commentary alone is the province of journals, diaries, and editorial pieces.

    A Communication Evolution

  • When we talk about weblogs, we’re talking about a way of organizing information, independent of its topic.
  • What we write about does not define us as bloggers; it’s how we write about it (frequently, continuously, peppered with links).
  • As bloggers, we’re in the middle of, and enjoying, an evolution of communication.
  • The traits of weblogs mentioned above will likely change and advance as our tools improve and our technology matures.

    Meg Hourihan is an independent Web consultant and freelance writer. She is a co-author of the book, We Blog: Publishing Online with Weblogs.

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