The blog / blɔg / or also weblog / ˈwɛb.lɔg / ( word cross from English web and log for logbook or diary ) is a diary or journal usually kept on a website and therefore usually publicly accessible , in which at least one person the blogger , also known internationally as weblogger, keeps records, records (“posts”) facts or writes down thoughts. The activity of writing on a blog is known as blogging . The German National Library describes blogs as Internet publications and has also been awarding ISSNs to weblogs since autumn 2013 .
Most of the time, a blog is a list of entries sorted chronologically downwards, which breaks at certain intervals. The blogger is the primary contributor to the content and often the posts are written from a first-person perspective . The blog is a medium for the presentation of aspects of one's own life and of opinions on specific topics, depending on professionalism up to the vicinity of an Internet newspaper with special emphasis on comments . Often it is also possible for readers to comment or discuss an article. This means that the medium can be used to store notes in a slip box , to make information , thoughts and experiences accessible , and somewhat subordinate to communication , similar to an Internet forum . In recent years, so-called “ microblogging ” platforms such as Twitter and Instagram have gained in importance at the expense of traditional web-based blogs.
The word blog is the abbreviation of weblog , a combination of the two English words web, for network , and log, for logbook or diary . The term weblog first appeared on Jorn Barger's website in 1997. The abbreviation blog for weblog dates back to 1999 and was coined by Peter Merholz, who wanted to express "we blog", English "we blog" for "web log". Quote: “For What It's Worth: I've decided to pronounce the word 'weblog' as wee'- blog. Or 'blog' for short. "
On November 13, 1990, the website of software developer Tim Berners-Lee went online, which is now considered the first blog, even if the words weblog and blog did not exist at the time. Berners-Lee used this to exchange information between scientists from the European nuclear research center near Geneva, where he was working at the time. Blogging Day has been celebrated on November 13th in honor of the first blog since 2018.
A number of other blogs followed in the mid-1990s. You were z. B. called online diaries and were websites on which Internet users periodically made entries about their lives. Early German-language weblogs were netzine.de (1st edition on January 3, 1996 on the net) by Walter Laufenberg , Robert Braun's weblog, Moving Target and the “Cyber Diary” founded by Christiane Schulzki-Haddouti , which was aimed at children and young people was later taken over by Aktion Sorgekind . About the CL network was Zagreb Diary of Dutch journalists Wam Kat common.
From 1996 services like Xanga were set up, which made it easy for internet users to set up their own weblog. In 1997 one of the first blogs that exists to this day was started called Scripting News by Dave Winer . Another early blog was Robot Wisdom by Jorn Barger, which was first referred to by the term "weblog". After a slow start, such sites grew rapidly from the late 1990s. Xanga grew from the first blog in 1998 to 21 million in 2005. For several years now, “blogging” has also been used for business purposes in so-called corporate blogs or company blogs . Many media now operate their own blogs in order to expand their readership and to get feedback from their readers. The American dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster chose the short form “blog” as the word of the year 2004. In Germany, according to the Allensbacher Computer- und Technik-Analyze, 8.4% of Internet users run their own blog. Worldwide there should be a total of around 173 million blogs (as of October 2011) and at least 200 free blog providers.
Origin of the term
The term weblog first appeared on Jorn Barger's website in 1997, and in 1999 the abbreviation “blog” was coined by web designer Peter Merholz - the year in which the rise of this type of website generally began. After 2001, the traditional mass media also became aware of the new form of presentation. The first journalistic research on the phenomenon appeared, and more and more private users began to set up their own weblog. At the same time, some blogs established themselves as respected media. In order to conceptually delimit the different characteristics of blogs, one speaks of information blogs and opinion blogs, which also differ from one another organizationally. Opinion blogs can not only be used to communicate private opinions, but can also be editorially designed information pages that are intended to help shape opinion; the definition of terms is then no longer given or the transition can be fluid. Since the distinction is not always clear, journalistic blog operators pay more attention to clearly delimiting and identifying the contents within the same blog, such as B. happened in 2015 in Spiegel Online.
Technical characteristics of weblogs
Basically, the number of weblogs can be divided into two categories, namely into
- those that are operated by a mostly commercial provider, similar to the software-as-a-service principle, and made available to any user after simple registration, and
- those that are operated by the respective owners on their individual server or web space mostly under their own domain .
To run an individual weblog on your own web space, you need appropriate weblog software and at least rudimentary knowledge of HTML and the server technology used . Since individual weblogs can be adapted very flexibly to one's own needs, they are often also used as pure content management systems , which they are from a purely technical point of view. Under certain circumstances, such a configuration can lead to the corresponding website not being perceived as a blog at all.
While many blogs in the blog communities naturally aim very strongly at the social and communicative aspect, the individually hosted blogs also include many that can be assigned to the journalistic expression of opinion or the area of customer communication and accordingly under the regulations of the Telemedia Act (including the imprint obligation ).
Communication science features of weblogs
Characteristic features of this form of communication are the individualization of communication, the reflexivity with regard to media communication, the linking and networking of web communication up to the blogosphere, the filtering and selection of media communication by the blogger as a kind of new gatekeeper , the interactivity of all participants, the lifting of the The boundary between recipient and producer and thus also between professionals and laypeople (which does not, however, exclude blogging by “communication professionals” such as journalists).
It is characteristic of weblog publishing systems that it is very easy to publish web pages with them. They are content management systems that allow the creation of new content as well as the modification and commenting even for inexperienced users, but allow little variation in web design . The design is usually adapted once during installation by selecting one of several available design templates ( templates ). With many blog systems (for example WordPress ), the appearance can be changed later by changing the templates (or even importing your own).
Weblog software can be installed on your own web space or used as an ASP service from free or paid providers. The best known blog software systems include Serendipity , WordPress , Movable Type and Textpattern , which are mostly based on PHP . Rental offers ( application service providers ) in German-speaking countries are, for example, LiveJournal , Twoday.net , Blog.de or Blogger.com .
The published articles and comments can usually also be read via web feed . For this purpose, an icon appears in modern browsers (usually in the address bar), or a hyperlink is provided that is connected to the data stream to be subscribed to.
Entries or posts
The entries, also called postings , blog posts or posts, are the articles that represent the main components of a weblog. They are usually listed in reverse chronological order, so the latest posts can be found at the top of the weblog. Older posts are sometimes shown on other pages or listed in archives.
A thread is the entirety of the successive posts on a specific topic within a blog.
Every entry, and every comment in some weblog systems, has a unique and unchanging, permanent web address ( URL ). In this way, other users or other blogs can directly link and refer to individual texts instead of the entire weblog. These permanent links ("Permalinks") are z. It is used, for example, when calling up a single article from a web feed .
With many weblogs it is possible to publish your own opinion on an entry. Such a comment is then displayed on the same page as the entry itself or as a popup. With many weblogs, however, you can specify whether the comment is displayed immediately or moderated, i.e. checked by the owner and then activated. This is often used to prevent vandalism and spam on the blogs.
Trackback and pingback
If blogger A links to a post by blogger B, this is automatically displayed on the linked page via the trackback function, similar to a comment. So the linked blogger B or one of his readers knows that another blogger referred to this post. Not every weblog software supports this function.
A web feed contains the content of a weblog in a standardized form. A feed can using feed readers are subscribed to by an interested reader. With the feed reader, the reader can see several blogs at a glance and see in which subscribed blog there are new posts. These contributions can also be read in the feed reader. There are several technical formats for feeds, the most common being RSS and Atom .
A blogroll (also called “blogroll” in German) is a public collection of links to other weblogs, which is usually clearly visible on the home page and all subpages. Blog authors have different criteria for including someone else's blog in their blogroll. These range from similar interests to the frequency of new articles or comments and geographic criteria to link exchange. Some blogrolls simply consist of a list of blogs that the author reads himself. Bloggers who create blogrolls often expect backlinks from the linked blogs.
Asides (also known as clippings or snippets ) are smaller entries that often only consist of a few words or lines and are used to provide a brief explanation of interesting topics on other pages or weblogs.
Various actions are carried out on blogs, which among other things serve the exchange of information. The level of awareness of a blog also depends on such actions. Well-known blog campaigns are coordinated, such as blog tours and blog parades .
During a blog tour , a blogger "tours" through various blogs, for example in the form of guest posts or an interview with the blog operator. For example, a blog tour is used by authors to present their book.
In a blog parade, a website operator calls for posts on a given topic and - usually in the form of a comment on their starting post - to be submitted in their own blog. The aim is to network bloggers and collect different thoughts and approaches to a specific topic. In addition to the topic, the organizer can also specify various rules and, for example, ask specific questions.
Many human rights activists , especially in countries like Iran or China, use blogs to publish reports on human rights violations, censorship and the current political and social situation etc. without any censorship measures by the governments . Many journalists blogged their reports for foreign media during the violent protests over the presidential elections in Iran in 2009. These blogs have been an important source of news for Western media.
Some well-read bloggers have cult status in their home countries and, because of these celebrities, can allow themselves to express opinions that would bring unknown bloggers to jail. Also known in the West is z. B. the Chinese blogger Han Han . In 2009, 150 million Chinese were blogging.
Many politicians nowadays use blogs and similar formats as PR tools during campaign trips or events. Wahl.de was one of the first portals in the world to offer politicians only the creation of a blog in August 2005 and to bundle the results on the portal. Other, similar formats include, for example, Twitter . Some cases have become known in which members of the German Bundestag “tweeted” preliminary results to the public during secret votes.
Development tendencies and dangers
Some see the emergence of weblogs and their widespread use, especially in the USA, as a new form of grass-roots journalism that in Europe can easily be placed in the tradition of creating a counter-public . This special counter-public can have a direct influence on political and legal issues because of its internet distribution, especially in connection with social media . This is particularly clear in the case of the blogger portal Netzpolitik.org , which at the beginning of August 2015 indirectly caused serious conflicts between the Federal Minister of Justice , the Federal Intelligence Service and the Attorney General (see, for example, blogger affair with Harald Range ).
The blook is considered a literary advancement of the blog.
The increasing spread of weblogs has significant consequences, among other things for
- Citability: Individual blog statements can possibly be given the status of a citable source.
- Die Presse: The established press has nonetheless been listing blogs in its online editions for a long time as content that is edited or managed, takes on topics raised in blogs and partially recognizes them as opinion makers. Examples include the companies Jamba in Germany ! and Yasni or the campaign You are Germany , which were exposed to heavy criticism on blogs.
- Independence: Companies try to exploit the popularity of blogs, which are regarded as independent, by encouraging bloggers to make positive comments about products. Bribery is one of the worst accusations of all among bloggers. That is why innovative companies and organizations rely on the so-called social media newsroom , in which bloggers can obtain media-appropriate information on their own initiative.
- Self-data protection: Due to the nature and application of weblogs, conclusions can be drawn about the blogger's personality. Bloggers should be aware of the fact that blog entries are widespread and archived for a long time; you should therefore think carefully about what and how to formulate it, and carefully observe self- data protection.
- Legal and political conflicts: Of course, the personal rights and copyrights of others must also be carefully considered. Overall, bloggers should be aware of the particular danger that their comments can easily lead to legal and / or political conflicts.
- Blogspam: Like e-mail users, weblogs have to deal with a special spam problem, the so-called blogspam, the deliberate falsification of blog entries with fake addresses.
German Telemedia Act
In Germany blogs are regulated by the Telemedia Act (in force since March 2007). Since weblogs are also to be regarded as telemedia according to the text of the law, certain labeling obligations are imposed on weblog operators. This includes, among other things, the need for an imprint if it is a business weblog.
Critics criticize the vagueness of the legal text, which does not explicitly state the criteria from when exactly a weblog is considered business-like.
In addition to special tools for searching and analyzing blogs, there are also so-called blog aggregators . Similar to the news aggregators , these serve either to create a general discussion summary of the blogosphere or to generate a user-specific summary and collection of selected blog posts.
An example of a blog aggregator is Rivva .
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