Blogs pioneered the way for widespread, far-reaching social media in the 1990s. Justin Hall, a Swarthmore student, developed the first blog site known as Links.com in 1994. A couple years later as blogs continued to grow, Jorn Barger coined the word “Weblog” that replaced the phrase “logging the Web”. Eventually, Weblogs began to be known as blogs, and became available for free to users who desired to develop their own content.
In the early 2000s, the site “Gizmodo”, a blog empire, was launched by Nick Denton. The following year, in 2003, Google builds upon their blogging capabilities with AdSense that helped match blogs to specific content. For example, a women’s clothing blog would consist of ads about department stores or accessories. This helps companies market to target audiences through the use of interests generated by the types of blogs they are visiting.
(On http://www.mile-posts.com/ you can see the use of Ads for Fitness magazines and marathons because the blog is about running, fitness, and healthy living. This is an example of target marketing through blog content and ads.)
Throughout the history of blogs from creation to current, we can see the constant growth in ownership of domains and readership of the content. In 2005, a study was conducted to discover that over 32 million Americans read blogs. With new sites such as Blogspot, WordPress, and more, the knack for blogging continues to expand nationally and globally!
Blogs are a way of expressing personal ideas without necessarily owning an entire website. Blogs allow users to attain a domain name (simple versions are free, but can be charged for specific additions), and these now “bloggers” are free to publish anything they desire. The cool thing about blogs is that it expands social media into social networking. Anyone can become a self-producer of content and an internet personality without going through anyone of the big name media outlets like the New York Times – a blog only has to contain information important enough for regular people to read and share. Unlike media producers who have a certain audience, blogs are not contained by geography or money.
Many times people do not consider blogs a form of social media. However, it very much is a very important social media we cannot ignore. Opposed to the shallow chit-chat centered media we are accustomed to, blogs are focused on the content. This is an crucial thing to remember as the content is deepened by comments and interlinked conversation. As a social media, blogs also offer a substitute, auxiliary approach to traditional media.
What do you think?
- Do you have your own blog?
- If so, what do you mainly blog about?
- What types of blog posts do you read/follow?
- Do you think blogs are a social media or not? Why or why not?
- Do you think blog content should supplement traditional media?