A blog is a type of website or part of a website. It gets its name from the term “web log” which originally referred to an online log of partner websites, personal updates and newsworthy items. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
Most blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other via widgets on the blogs and it is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites.
Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual; some focus on art, photographs, videos, music, and audio (podcasting). Micro-blogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts.
Before blogging became popular, digital communities took many forms, including Usenet, commercial online services such as GEnie, BiX and the early CompuServe, e-mail lists and Bulletin Board Systems (BBS). In the 1990s, Internet forum software created running conversations with “threads.” Threads are topical connections between messages on a bulletin board websites. They are so named because they have an initial topic and then a string of follow-up comments in some type of chronological order. A forum could have many sub-forums with many topics and many strings of conversations and replies.