September 23, 2008

Mainstream Media and Blogs Merging

There is a really good chance that some of the information you read online from "traditional" media sources is actually in the form of a blog. According to Technorati's Annual State of the Blogosphere 2008:

Larger blogs are taking on more characteristics of mainstream sites and mainstream sites are incorporating styles and formats from the Blogosphere. In fact, 95% of the top 100 US newspapers have reporter blogs (see The Bivings Group).

Read the full State of the Blogosphere report.
So what exactly is a blog?
To many people, a blog is a way to self-publish their life, thoughts, opinions, etc. For this reason, blogs are often looked down upon as being online diaries or one-person rants. Diaries and rants certainly still exist in the blogosphere, but blogs have become an important communication tool for traditional media, businesses, and even libraries!

Why are news organizations (and others!) providing content in the form of a blog?
In my opinion, blogs are the ultimate online publication tool because of their feature-rich and user-friendly software. Blogging software is built around a powerful database. Like content management systems, database-driven blogs provide functionality and ease of use typically unavailable in traditional HTML-based Websites.

How do you know if you are reading a blog?
Many people publish their blogs on free services like and These blogs all have the domain or in their URL.

Also, look for the following features on blogs that a traditional Websites probably will not have:
  • Full-text search
  • Tags
  • Comments
  • Site navigation by date an article was published
(Keep in mind that content management systems also use the features mentioned above, as they too are database-driven sites.)

If you'd like to learn more about starting your own blog, consider attending a workshop on Blogger or this fall!

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