The Blog: From Internet diary to informal communication platform
The first blog appeared in the nineties and was often of a private nature in the beginning. That’s why blogs are still succinctly referred to as Internet diaries today. But that only applies to some of the platforms. Many blogs deal with a wide variety of topics on a professional level, such as law, business, finance, travel, sports or politics. So there are almost no limits to the topics. Meanwhile, many media outlets also operate their own blog. Even retailers are using blogs to try to increase their reach and eventually their sales.
Blogs as a counter-public
Blogging is a comparatively young, but long established form of Internet communication. In some cases, they are regarded as a form of counter-public sphere. Blogs are characterized above all by topicality and subjectivity, and their entries are closely linked to the author through their personalized form.
Blog authors refer to themselves as bloggers
Blogs can be run by individuals or by multiple users. Blog authors refer to themselves as bloggers. In Germany, some blogs are now so renowned that their creators are considered experts on certain topics and make their living from blogging as well as from authoring and speaking engagements.
Bloggers often refer to each other
Formally, the blog corresponds to a journal in which the most recent entries are displayed first. Readers can comment on and link to the individual entries. Bloggers often take up similar topics and refer to each other. The various possibilities for linking between the individual blogs have given rise to a whole new communication network, which is sometimes referred to as the blogosphere.
Special software for blogs
In principle, the blog is endless. With special software, a weblog can be set up quite easily. Free softwares such as WordPress, Serendipity, Textpattern or Movable Type, which are often based on the PHP programming language can help. These programs can be divided into frontend and backend. The frontend is visible for the readers of the blog, here the entries of the blogger are displayed. The backend is a kind of administrator area and is not accessible to the reader. Menus, the individual entries and various users are managed there. Only in the backend the layout of the blog can be changed.
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