Weblogs or blogs are dated web publications written by Internet users. Though there are very many different kinds of blogs, they share some features. These features include:
- Personal matters: A blog is typically a communication channel for the writer’s personal thoughts, though group blogs are also popular. Blogs are often written like diaries, discussing the writer’s own life, but you can write a blog about any topic.
- Interaction: With most blogs, readers can add their own comments to the blog. Blogs can also converse with each other by linking to each other. Links between blogs is a significant part of the interaction between blogs.
- Publication systems: Blogs can usually be updated with simple publication systems, making it very easy to keep a blog. Writing a new blog entry is similar to writing an e-mail message.
Typical blog structures
Though blogs differ in layout, contents and topics, there are some structural features shared by most blogs. A blog usually has a front page with the latest blog entries and an archive with older entries.
All blog entries usually contain similarly presented parts, such as:
- the title of the entry
- the contents of the entry
- the address of the entry (the so-called permalink)
- the date of publication
How to find blogs on different topics
There are several web services for searching for different blogs. One of the best known services for searching blogs is Technorati. This service also keeps a blog over the most popular blogs in the world. To search for Finnish blogs, go to Blogilista.fi.
Starting a blog
At UH, you can start a blog at e.g. the blogs.helsinki.fi service. Of course, you can also start a blog at any external blog service: some free blog services that are unconnected with UH are WordPress.com and Blogger.
If you want to follow several blogs, you can utilise a newsfeed program. Many blog services offer this easy way to keep up with blog updates.
The idea with newsfeed programs (read more about them in the next chapter) is that you are informed when web pages, blogs and other systems are updated, so that you do not have to ‘bounce’ around the Internet to check who has updated their pages and who has not.