I stumbled over a reply, but her eyes glazed over, like I was speaking in some weird UFO lingo. I realized I'd never seen a definition of a blog!
So, I got to work. Is it an article? A prose piece? An op ed? A commentary?
Probably, all of the above, I thought by instinct.
This group blog you are clicked on to, Crime Writers' Chronicle, centers mainly on crime-writing information, methods, opinions.
But not always. Though the cast of writers are members of crime-writing organizations, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers - to name a few - in some of the best-crafted blogs here our authors deal with art, music, travel, espionage, animals, love of a spouse, etc.
I did some digging and learned that a blog is a personal journal published on the world wide web consisting of discrete entries; the work of a single individual or a small group and often themed on a single subject. Many blogs provide commentary on a particular subject, others function as online diaries.
A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages and other media relative to the topic.
Blogging is a form of social networking - they not only produce content but also build social relations with their readers and other bloggers.
The modern blog evolved from the online diary, where people would keep a running acount of their personal lives, diarists, journalists, journalers.
Since 2004 blogs have become mainstream, as political consultants, news services, and candidates used them to express opinions on political issues.
Israel was among the first of national governments to set up an official blog; under David Sarango, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign affairs set up Israel Politik, the country's official political blog.
Blogs have become a way to reflect on life or works of art.
Some types of blogs - political, travel, gardening, house, fashion, education, niche, music, art and legal.
The collective community of all blogs is the blogosphere.
Brian Klems, Newsletter Editor of writers Digest, gives tips for writing a blog:
- Find your focus. Who are your target readers? Home in a niche strategy and be the expert on it.
- Be relatable. Be yourself. Your personality or your voice in writing will let your readers get to know you.
- Use links within your post.
- Include images. Readers need to be stimulated visually.
- Respond to blog comments. Connect directly with your readers. Even say "Thanks for reading my blog!"
- Make it easy for potential readers to find your blog.
- Give your blog the professional quality it deserves.
- Be positive, inspirational and supportive to the community you're writing for.
- Break up your blogs into shorter paragraphs, bullet points, lists.
- Don't avoid trying new things. Let your blog evolve over time, take risks, add infographs, personal stories, guest bloggers.
T. J. Straw
P.S. Please add here what YOU think a blog is!!!