Blogs are online journals or noticeboards where individuals or organisations can provide commentary and critique on news, or specific subjects such as politics, food and local events. Some blogs function like personal online diaries.
Blogs provide a quick and informal way to share information publicly or with specific groups. Most blogs allow readers to comment on the content so the blog can become the focus for a continued discussion amongst site visitors. Blogs can play an important role in public engagment alongside more involving processes.
With the professionalisation of the blog, there are now blogs with readership figures that can rival that of news organisations. This means that less well known news stories can often ‘leak’ from the blogsphere into the mainstream media by going viral through other online mediums such as Facebook and Twitter.
- Blogs can be targeted at any groups, though this is dependent upon the audience’s ability to access the internet.
- Readership can vary depending on the type of a blog. This can be categorised in terms of genre, personal or corporate, and the media type e.g. vlog (Video Blog).
- Blogs don’t have to be monologues. Multi-author blogging sites allow readers to contribute full length posts, not just comments.
- Blogs run by individuals can be completely free as there are a number of sites that provide free hosting, such as Wordpress.
- Within an organization someone has to update them. This can impair a minimal yet manageable cost in terms of staff allocation and should not stop anyone from setting up a blog.
- There might also be design and branding costs associated with organisational blogs that seek to appear more professional.
- On the other hand, blogs have the potential to save money by reducing the need for other forms of communication.
Approximate time expense
A blog represents an ongoing commitment. Without regular updates the blog is unlikely to gain a wide readership. Updating the blog can be surprisingly time consuming, especially if the posts need to conform to organisational communications policies.
- Open and transparent, although often anonymous.
- Allows anyone to contribute and in their own time.
- Allows different views to be aired and discussed.
- Some bloggers have become famous in their own right.
- Engages people that may not normally be involved in face-to-face consultations.
- Provides comment and critique on news, places, people and objects.
- There is something for everyone in the blogosphere.
- There can be offensive, personal, pointless and inappropriate comments written in response to blogs.
- Content may need to be moderated.
- People may need to be encouraged to contribute to the website and post their comments.
- Blogs rarely allow people to participate actively beyond responding to existing posts.
The word 'blog' is derived from the term 'web log'. Blogs developed as a way of creating more interactive and relevant websites in the 1990s.
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