Blog

A blog (a truncation of the expression "weblog")[1] is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (posts). Posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order, so that the most recent post appears first, at the top of the web page. Until 2009, blogs were usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often covered a single subject or topic. In the 2010s, "multi-author blogs" (MABs) emerged, featuring the writing of multiple authors and sometimes professionally edited. MABs from newspapers, other media outlets, universities, think tanks, advocacy groups, and similar institutions account for an increasing quantity of blog traffic. The rise of Twitter and other "microblogging" systems helps integrate MABs and single-author blogs into the news media. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

The emergence and growth of blogs in the late 1990s coincided with the advent of web publishing tools that facilitated the posting of content by non-technical users who did not have much experience with HTML or computer programming. Previously, a knowledge of such technologies as HTML and File Transfer Protocol had been required to publish content on the Web, and early Web users therefore tended to be hackers and computer enthusiasts. In the 2010s, the majority are interactive Web 2.0 websites, allowing visitors to leave online comments, and it is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites.[2] In that sense, blogging can be seen as a form of social networking service. Indeed, bloggers do not only produce content to post on their blogs, but also often build social relations with their readers and other bloggers.[3] However, there are high-readership blogs which do not allow comments.

Many blogs provide commentary on a particular subject or topic, ranging from politics to sports. Others function as more personal online diaries, and others function more as online brand advertising of a particular individual or company. A typical blog combines text, digital images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability of readers to leave publicly viewable comments, and interact with other commenters, is an important contribution to the popularity of many blogs. However, blog owners or authors often moderate and filter online comments to remove hate speech or other offensive content. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (art blogs), photographs (photoblogs), videos (video blogs or "vlogs"), music (MP3 blogs), and audio (podcasts). In education, blogs can be used as instructional resources. These blogs are referred to as edublogs. Microblogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts.

On 16 February 2011, there were over 156 million public blogs in existence. On 20 February 2014, there were around 172 million Tumblr[4] and 75.8 million WordPress[5] blogs in existence worldwide. According to critics and other bloggers, Blogger is the most popular blogging service used today. However, Blogger does not offer public statistics.[6][7] Technorati lists 1.3 million blogs as of February 22, 2014.[8]

History

Eastcampusfire glog crop
Early example of a "diary" style blog consisting of text and images transmitted wirelessly in real time from a wearable computer with head-up display, 22 February 1995

The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger[9] on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog", was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog Peterme.com in April or May 1999.[10][11][12] Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used "blog" as both a noun and verb ("to blog", meaning "to edit one's weblog or to post to one's weblog") and devised the term "blogger" in connection with Pyra Labs' Blogger product, leading to the popularization of the terms.[13]

Origins

Before blogging became popular, digital communities took many forms including Usenet, commercial online services such as GEnie, Byte Information Exchange (BIX) and the early CompuServe, e-mail lists,[14] and Bulletin Board Systems (BBS). In the 1990s, Internet forum software created running conversations with "threads". Threads are topical connections between messages on a virtual "corkboard". From 14 June 1993, Mosaic Communications Corporation maintained their "What’s New"[15] list of new websites, updated daily and archived monthly. The page was accessible by a special "What's New" button in the Mosaic web browser.

The earliest instance of a commercial blog was on the first business to consumer Web site created in 1995 by Ty, Inc., which featured a blog in a section called "Online Diary". The entries were maintained by featured Beanie Babies that were voted for monthly by Web site visitors.[16]

The modern blog evolved from the online diary where people would keep a running account of the events in their personal lives. Most such writers called themselves diarists, journalists, or journalers. Justin Hall, who began personal blogging in 1994 while a student at Swarthmore College, is generally recognized as one of the earlier bloggers,[17] as is Jerry Pournelle.[18] Dave Winer's Scripting News is also credited with being one of the older and longer running weblogs.[19][20] The Australian Netguide magazine maintained the Daily Net News[21] on their web site from 1996. Daily Net News ran links and daily reviews of new websites, mostly in Australia.

Another early blog was Wearable Wireless Webcam, an online shared diary of a person's personal life combining text, digital video, and digital pictures transmitted live from a wearable computer and EyeTap device to a web site in 1994. This practice of semi-automated blogging with live video together with text was referred to as sousveillance, and such journals were also used as evidence in legal matters. Some early bloggers, such as The Misanthropic Bitch, who began in 1997, actually referred to their online presence as a zine, before the term blog entered common usage.

Technology

Early blogs were simply manually updated components of common Websites. In 1995, the "Online Diary" on the Ty, Inc. Web site was produced and updated manually before any blogging programs were available. Posts were made to appear in reverse chronological order by manually updating text based HTML code using FTP software in real time several times a day. To users, this offered the appearance of a live diary that contained multiple new entries per day. At the beginning of each new day, new diary entries were manually coded into a new HTML file, and the start of each month, diary entries were archived into its own folder which contained a separate HTML page for every day of the month. Then menus that contained links to the most recent diary entry were updated manually throughout the site. This text-based method of organizing thousands of files served as a springboard to define future blogging styles that were captured by blogging software developed years later.[16]

The evolution of electronic and software tools to facilitate the production and maintenance of Web articles posted in reverse chronological order made the publishing process feasible to a much larger and less technically-inclined population. Ultimately, this resulted in the distinct class of online publishing that produces blogs we recognize today. For instance, the use of some sort of browser-based software is now a typical aspect of "blogging". Blogs can be hosted by dedicated blog hosting services, on regular web hosting services, or run using blog software.

Rise in popularity

After a slow start, blogging rapidly gained in popularity. Blog usage spread during 1999 and the years following, being further popularized by the near-simultaneous arrival of the first hosted blog tools:

  • Bruce Ableson launched Open Diary in October 1998, which soon grew to thousands of online diaries. Open Diary innovated the reader comment, becoming the first blog community where readers could add comments to other writers' blog entries.
  • Brad Fitzpatrick started LiveJournal in March 1999.
  • Andrew Smales created Pitas.com in July 1999 as an easier alternative to maintaining a "news page" on a Web site, followed by DiaryLand in September 1999, focusing more on a personal diary community.[22]
  • Evan Williams and Meg Hourihan (Pyra Labs) launched Blogger.com in August 1999 (purchased by Google in February 2003)

Political impact

Talkingpointsmemo2
On 6 December 2002, Josh Marshall's talkingpointsmemo.com blog called attention to U.S. Senator Lott's comments regarding Senator Thurmond. Senator Lott was eventually to resign his Senate leadership position over the matter.

An early milestone in the rise in importance of blogs came in 2002, when many bloggers focused on comments by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott.[23] Senator Lott, at a party honoring U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond, praised Senator Thurmond by suggesting that the United States would have been better off had Thurmond been elected president. Lott's critics saw these comments as a tacit approval of racial segregation, a policy advocated by Thurmond's 1948 presidential campaign. This view was reinforced by documents and recorded interviews dug up by bloggers. (See Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo.) Though Lott's comments were made at a public event attended by the media, no major media organizations reported on his controversial comments until after blogs broke the story. Blogging helped to create a political crisis that forced Lott to step down as majority leader.

Similarly, blogs were among the driving forces behind the "Rathergate" scandal. To wit: (television journalist) Dan Rather presented documents (on the CBS show 60 Minutes) that conflicted with accepted accounts of President Bush's military service record. Bloggers declared the documents to be forgeries and presented evidence and arguments in support of that view. Consequently, CBS apologized for what it said were inadequate reporting techniques (see Little Green Footballs). Many bloggers view this scandal as the advent of blogs' acceptance by the mass media, both as a news source and opinion and as means of applying political pressure. The impact of these stories gave greater credibility to blogs as a medium of news dissemination. Though often seen as partisan gossips, bloggers sometimes lead the way in bringing key information to public light, with mainstream media having to follow their lead. More often, however, news blogs tend to react to material already published by the mainstream media. Meanwhile, an increasing number of experts blogged, making blogs a source of in-depth analysis.

In Russia, some political bloggers have started to challenge the dominance of official, overwhelmingly pro-government media. Bloggers such as Rustem Adagamov and Alexei Navalny have many followers and the latter's nickname for the ruling United Russia party as the "party of crooks and thieves" has been adopted by anti-regime protesters.[24] This led to the Wall Street Journal calling Navalny "the man Vladimir Putin fears most" in March 2012.[25]

Mainstream popularity

By 2004, the role of blogs became increasingly mainstream, as political consultants, news services, and candidates began using them as tools for outreach and opinion forming. Blogging was established by politicians and political candidates to express opinions on war and other issues and cemented blogs' role as a news source. (See Howard Dean and Wesley Clark.) Even politicians not actively campaigning, such as the UK's Labour Party's MP Tom Watson, began to blog to bond with constituents. In January 2005, Fortune magazine listed eight bloggers whom business people "could not ignore": Peter Rojas, Xeni Jardin, Ben Trott, Mena Trott, Jonathan Schwartz, Jason Goldman, Robert Scoble, and Jason Calacanis.[26]

Israel was among the first national governments to set up an official blog.[27] Under David Saranga, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs became active in adopting Web 2.0 initiatives, including an official video blog[27] and a political blog.[28] The Foreign Ministry also held a microblogging press conference via Twitter about its war with Hamas, with Saranga answering questions from the public in common text-messaging abbreviations during a live worldwide press conference.[29] The questions and answers were later posted on IsraelPolitik, the country's official political blog.[30]

The impact of blogging upon the mainstream media has also been acknowledged by governments. In 2009, the presence of the American journalism industry had declined to the point that several newspaper corporations were filing for bankruptcy, resulting in less direct competition between newspapers within the same circulation area. Discussion emerged as to whether the newspaper industry would benefit from a stimulus package by the federal government. U.S. President Barack Obama acknowledged the emerging influence of blogging upon society by saying "if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, then what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding”.[31] Between 2009 and 2012, an Orwell Prize for blogging was awarded.

Types

BlogActive.com Screenshot 2004
A screenshot from the BlogActive website.

There are many different types of blogs, differing not only in the type of content, but also in the way that content is delivered or written.

Personal blogs
The personal blog is an ongoing online diary or commentary written by an individual, rather than a corporation or organization. While the vast majority of personal blogs attract very few readers, other than the blogger's immediate family and friends, a small number of personal blogs have become popular, to the point that they have attracted lucrative advertising sponsorship. A tiny number of personal bloggers have become famous, both in the online community and in the real world.
Collaborative blogs or group blogs
A type of weblog in which posts are written and published by more than one author. The majority of high-profile collaborative blogs are based around a single uniting theme, such as politics, technology or advocacy. In recent years, the blogosphere has seen the emergence and growing popularity of more collaborative efforts, often set up by already established bloggers wishing to pool time and resources, both to reduce the pressure of maintaining a popular website and to attract a larger readership.
Microblogging
Microblogging is the practice of posting small pieces of digital content—which could be text, pictures, links, short videos, or other media—on the Internet. Microblogging offers a portable communication mode that feels organic and spontaneous to many users. It has captured the public imagination, in part because the short posts are easy to read on the go or when waiting. Friends use it to keep in touch, business associates use it to coordinate meetings or share useful resources, and celebrities and politicians (or their publicists) microblog about concert dates, lectures, book releases, or tour schedules. A wide and growing range of add-on tools enables sophisticated updates and interaction with other applications. The resulting profusion of functionality is helping to define new possibilities for this type of communication.[32] Examples of these include Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and, by far the largest, WeiBo.
Corporate and organizational blogs
A blog can be private, as in most cases, or it can be for business or not-for-profit organization or government purposes. Blogs used internally, and only available to employees via an Intranet are called corporate blogs. Companies use internal corporate blogs enhance the communication, culture and employee engagement in a corporation. Internal corporate blogs can be used to communicate news about company policies or procedures, build employee esprit de corps and improve morale. Companies and other organizations also use external, publicly accessible blogs for marketing, branding, or public relations purposes. Some organizations have a blog authored by their executive; in practice, many of these executive blog posts are penned by a ghostwriter, who makes posts in the style of the credited author. Similar blogs for clubs and societies are called club blogs, group blogs, or by similar names; typical use is to inform members and other interested parties of club and member activities.
Aggregated blogs
Individuals or organization may aggregate selected feeds on specific topic, product or service and provide combined view for its readers. This allows readers to concentrate on reading instead of searching for quality on-topic content and managing subscriptions. Many such aggregation called planets from name of Planet (software) that perform such aggregation, hosting sites usually have planet. subdomain in domain name (like http://planet.gnome.org/).
By genre
Some blogs focus on a particular subject, such as political blogs, journalism blogs, health blogs, travel blogs (also known as travelogs), gardening blogs, house blogs, book blogs,[33][34] fashion blogs, beauty blogs, lifestyle blogs, party blogs, wedding blogs, photography blogs, project blogs, psychology blogs, sociology blogs, education blogs, niche blogs, classical music blogs, quizzing blogs, legal blogs (often referred to as a blawgs), or dreamlogs. How-to/Tutorial blogs are becoming increasing popular.[35] Two common types of genre blogs are art blogs and music blogs. A blog featuring discussions especially about home and family is not uncommonly called a mom blog and one made popular is by Erica Diamond who created Womenonthefence.com which is syndicated to over two million readers monthly.[36][37][38][39][40][41] While not a legitimate type of blog, one used for the sole purpose of spamming is known as a splog.
By media type
A blog comprising videos is called a vlog, one comprising links is called a linklog, a site containing a portfolio of sketches is called a sketchblog or one comprising photos is called a photoblog. Blogs with shorter posts and mixed media types are called tumblelogs. Blogs that are written on typewriters and then scanned are called typecast or typecast blogs. A rare type of blog hosted on the Gopher Protocol is known as a phlog.
By device
A blog can also be defined by which type of device is used to compose it. A blog written by a mobile device like a mobile phone or PDA could be called a moblog.[42] One early blog was Wearable Wireless Webcam, an online shared diary of a person's personal life combining text, video, and pictures transmitted live from a wearable computer and EyeTap device to a web site. This practice of semi-automated blogging with live video together with text was referred to as sousveillance. Such journals have been used as evidence in legal matters.
Reverse blog
A reverse blog is composed by its users rather than a single blogger. This system has the characteristics of a blog, and the writing of several authors. These can be written by several contributing authors on a topic, or opened up for anyone to write. There is typically some limit to the number of entries to keep it from operating like a web forum.

Community and cataloging

Blogosphere map
An artist's depiction of the interconnections between blogs and blog authors in the "blogosphere" in 2007.
Blogosphere
The collective community of all blogs and blog authors, particularly notable and widely read blogs, is known as the blogosphere. Since all blogs are on the internet by definition, they may be seen as interconnected and socially networked, through blogrolls, comments, linkbacks (refbacks, trackbacks or pingbacks), and backlinks. Discussions "in the blogosphere" are occasionally used by the media as a gauge of public opinion on various issues. Because new, untapped communities of bloggers and their readers can emerge in the space of a few years, Internet marketers pay close attention to "trends in the blogosphere".[43]
Blog search engines
Several blog search engines have been used to search blog contents, such as Bloglines, BlogScope, and Technorati. Technorati was one of the more popular blog search engines, but the website stopped indexing blogs and assigning authority scores in May 2014. The research community is working on going beyond simple keyword search, by inventing new ways to navigate through huge amounts of information present in the blogosphere, as demonstrated by projects like BlogScope, which was shut down in 2012.
Blogging communities and directories
Several online communities exist that connect people to blogs and bloggers to other bloggers. Some of these communities include Indiblogger, Blogadda, Blog Chatter, BlogCatalog and MyBlogLog.[44] Interest-specific blogging platforms are also available. For instance, Blogster has a sizable community of political bloggers among its members. Global Voices aggregates international bloggers, "with emphasis on voices that are not ordinarily heard in international mainstream media."[45]
Blogging and advertising
It is common for blogs to feature banner advertisements or promotional content, either to financially benefit the blogger, support website hosting costs, or to promote the blogger's favorite causes or products. The popularity of blogs has also given rise to "fake blogs" in which a company will create a fictional blog as a marketing tool to promote a product.[46]

As the popularity of blogging continues to rise, the commercialisation of blogging is rapidly increasing. Many corporations and companies collaborate with bloggers to increase advertising and engage online communities towards their products. In the book Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers, Henry Jenkins stated that "Bloggers take knowledge in their own hands, enabling successful navigation within and between these emerging knowledge cultures. One can see such behaviour as co-optation into commodity culture insofar as it sometimes collaborates with corporate interests, but one can also see it as increasing the diversity of media culture, providing opportunities for greater inclusiveness, and making more responsive to consumers."[47]

Popularity

As of 2008, blogging had become such a mania that a new blog was created every second of every minute of every hour of every day.[48] Researchers have actively analyzed the dynamics of how blogs become popular. There are essentially two measures of this: popularity through citations, as well as popularity through affiliation (i.e., blogroll). The basic conclusion from studies of the structure of blogs is that while it takes time for a blog to become popular through blogrolls, permalinks can boost popularity more quickly, and are perhaps more indicative of popularity and authority than blogrolls, since they denote that people are actually reading the blog's content and deem it valuable or noteworthy in specific cases.[49]

The blogdex project was launched by researchers in the MIT Media Lab to crawl the Web and gather data from thousands of blogs in order to investigate their social properties. Information was gathered by the tool for over four years, during which it autonomously tracked the most contagious information spreading in the blog community, ranking it by recency and popularity. It can, therefore, be considered the first instantiation of a memetracker. The project was replaced by tailrank.com which in turn has been replaced by spinn3r.com.

Blogs are given rankings by Alexa Internet (web hits of Alexa Toolbar users), and formerly by blog search engine Technorati based on the number of incoming links (Technorati stopped doing this in 2014). In August 2006, Technorati found that the most linked-to blog on the internet was that of Chinese actress Xu Jinglei.[50] Chinese media Xinhua reported that this blog received more than 50 million page views, claiming it to be the most popular blog in the world.[51] Technorati rated Boing Boing to be the most-read group-written blog.[50]

Blurring with the mass media

Many bloggers, particularly those engaged in participatory journalism, are amateur journalists, and thus they differentiate themselves from the professional reporters and editors who work in mainstream media organizations. Other bloggers are media professionals who are publishing online, rather than via a TV station or newspaper, either as an add-on to a traditional media presence (e.g., hosting a radio show or writing a column in a paper newspaper), or as their sole journalistic output. Some institutions and organizations see blogging as a means of "getting around the filter" of media "gatekeepers" and pushing their messages directly to the public. Many mainstream journalists, meanwhile, write their own blogs—well over 300, according to CyberJournalist.net's J-blog list. The first known use of a blog on a news site was in August 1998, when Jonathan Dube of The Charlotte Observer published one chronicling Hurricane Bonnie.[52]

Some bloggers have moved over to other media. The following bloggers (and others) have appeared on radio and television: Duncan Black (known widely by his pseudonym, Atrios), Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit), Markos Moulitsas Zúniga (Daily Kos), Alex Steffen (Worldchanging), Ana Marie Cox (Wonkette), Nate Silver (FiveThirtyEight.com), and Ezra Klein (Ezra Klein blog in The American Prospect, now in the Washington Post). In counterpoint, Hugh Hewitt exemplifies a mass media personality who has moved in the other direction, adding to his reach in "old media" by being an influential blogger. Similarly, it was Emergency Preparedness and Safety Tips On Air and Online blog articles that captured Surgeon General of the United States Richard Carmona's attention and earned his kudos for the associated broadcasts by talk show host Lisa Tolliver and Westchester Emergency Volunteer Reserves-Medical Reserve Corps Director Marianne Partridge.[53][54]

Blogs have also had an influence on minority languages, bringing together scattered speakers and learners; this is particularly so with blogs in Gaelic languages. Minority language publishing (which may lack economic feasibility) can find its audience through inexpensive blogging. There are examples of bloggers who have published books based on their blogs, e.g., Salam Pax, Ellen Simonetti, Jessica Cutler, ScrappleFace. Blog-based books have been given the name blook. A prize for the best blog-based book was initiated in 2005,[55] the Lulu Blooker Prize.[56] However, success has been elusive offline, with many of these books not selling as well as their blogs. The book based on Julie Powell's blog "The Julie/Julia Project" was made into the film Julie & Julia, apparently the first to do so.

Consumer-generated advertising

Consumer-generated advertising is a relatively new and controversial development, and it has created a new model of marketing communication from businesses to consumers. Among the various forms of advertising on blog, the most controversial are the sponsored posts.[57] These are blog entries or posts and may be in the form of feedback, reviews, opinion, videos, etc. and usually contain a link back to the desired site using a keyword or several keywords. Blogs have led to some disintermediation and a breakdown of the traditional advertising model, where companies can skip over the advertising agencies (previously the only interface with the customer) and contact the customers directly via social media websites. On the other hand, new companies specialised in blog advertising have been established, to take advantage of this new development as well. However, there are many people who look negatively on this new development. Some believe that any form of commercial activity on blogs will destroy the blogosphere’s credibility.[58]

Legal and social consequences

Blogging can result in a range of legal liabilities and other unforeseen consequences.[59]

Defamation or liability

Several cases have been brought before the national courts against bloggers concerning issues of defamation or liability. U.S. payouts related to blogging totaled $17.4 million by 2009; in some cases these have been covered by umbrella insurance.[60] The courts have returned with mixed verdicts. Internet Service Providers (ISPs), in general, are immune from liability for information that originates with third parties (U.S. Communications Decency Act and the EU Directive 2000/31/EC). In Doe v. Cahill, the Delaware Supreme Court held that stringent standards had to be met to unmask the anonymous bloggers, and also took the unusual step of dismissing the libel case itself (as unfounded under American libel law) rather than referring it back to the trial court for reconsideration.[61] In a bizarre twist, the Cahills were able to obtain the identity of John Doe, who turned out to be the person they suspected: the town's mayor, Councilman Cahill's political rival. The Cahills amended their original complaint, and the mayor settled the case rather than going to trial.

In January 2007, two prominent Malaysian political bloggers, Jeff Ooi and Ahirudin Attan, were sued by a pro-government newspaper, The New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Berhad, Kalimullah bin Masheerul Hassan, Hishamuddin bin Aun and Brenden John a/l John Pereira over an alleged defamation. The plaintiff was supported by the Malaysian government.[62] Following the suit, the Malaysian government proposed to "register" all bloggers in Malaysia in order to better control parties against their interest.[63] This is the first such legal case against bloggers in the country. In the United States, blogger Aaron Wall was sued by Traffic Power for defamation and publication of trade secrets in 2005.[64] According to Wired magazine, Traffic Power had been "banned from Google for allegedly rigging search engine results."[65] Wall and other "white hat" search engine optimization consultants had exposed Traffic Power in what they claim was an effort to protect the public. The case was dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction, and Traffic Power failed to appeal within the allowed time.[66]

In 2009, NDTV issued a legal notice to Indian blogger Kunte for a blog post criticizing their coverage of the Mumbai attacks.[67] The blogger unconditionally withdrew his post, which resulted in several Indian bloggers criticizing NDTV for trying to silence critics.[68]

Employment

Employees who blog about elements of their place of employment can begin to affect the reputation of their employer, either in a positive way, if the employee is praising the employer and its workplaces, or in a negative way, if the blogger is making negative comments about the company or its practices.

In general, attempts by employee bloggers to protect themselves by maintaining anonymity have proved ineffective.[69] In 2009, a controversial and landmark decision by The Hon. Mr Justice Eady refused to grant an order to protect the anonymity of Richard Horton. Horton was a police officer in the United Kingdom who blogged about his job under the name "NightJack".[70]

Delta Air Lines fired flight attendant Ellen Simonetti because she posted photographs of herself in uniform on an airplane and because of comments posted on her blog "Queen of Sky: Diary of a Flight Attendant" which the employer deemed inappropriate.[71][72] This case highlighted the issue of personal blogging and freedom of expression versus employer rights and responsibilities, and so it received wide media attention. Simonetti took legal action against the airline for "wrongful termination, defamation of character and lost future wages".[73] The suit was postponed while Delta was in bankruptcy proceedings.[74]

In early 2006, Erik Ringmar, a senior lecturer at the London School of Economics, was ordered by the convenor of his department to "take down and destroy" his blog in which he discussed the quality of education at the school.[75]

Mark Jen was terminated in 2005 after 10 days of employment as an assistant product manager at Google for discussing corporate secrets on his personal blog, then called 99zeros and hosted on the Google-owned Blogger service.[76] He blogged about unreleased products and company finances a week before the company's earnings announcement. He was fired two days after he complied with his employer's request to remove the sensitive material from his blog.[77]

In India, blogger Gaurav Sabnis resigned from IBM after his posts questioned the claims made by a management school.[78] Jessica Cutler, aka "The Washingtonienne", blogged about her sex life while employed as a congressional assistant. After the blog was discovered and she was fired,[79] she wrote a novel based on her experiences and blog: The Washingtonienne: A Novel. As of 2006, Cutler is being sued by one of her former lovers in a case that could establish the extent to which bloggers are obligated to protect the privacy of their real life associates.[80]

Catherine Sanderson, a.k.a. Petite Anglaise, lost her job in Paris at a British accountancy firm because of blogging.[81] Although given in the blog in a fairly anonymous manner, some of the descriptions of the firm and some of its people were less than flattering. Sanderson later won a compensation claim case against the British firm, however.[82]

On the other hand, Penelope Trunk wrote an upbeat article in the Boston Globe in 2006, entitled "Blogs 'essential' to a good career".[83] She was one of the first journalists to point out that a large portion of bloggers are professionals and that a well-written blog can help attract employers.

Business owners

Business owners who blog about their business can also run into legal consequences. Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, was fined during the 2006 NBA playoffs for criticizing NBA officials on the court and in his blog.[84]

Political dangers

Blogging can sometimes have unforeseen consequences in politically sensitive areas. In some countries, Internet police or secret police may monitor blogs and arrest blog authors of commentators. Blogs can be much harder to control than broadcast or print media, because a person can create a blog whose authorship is hard to trace, by using anonymity technology such as Tor. As a result, totalitarian and authoritarian regimes often seek to suppress blogs and/or to punish those who maintain them.

In Singapore, two ethnic Chinese individuals were imprisoned under the country’s anti-sedition law for posting anti-Muslim remarks in their blogs.[85] Egyptian blogger Kareem Amer was charged with insulting the Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and an Islamic institution through his blog. It is the first time in the history of Egypt that a blogger was prosecuted. After a brief trial session that took place in Alexandria, the blogger was found guilty and sentenced to prison terms of three years for insulting Islam and inciting sedition, and one year for insulting Mubarak.[86] Egyptian blogger Abdel Monem Mahmoud was arrested in April 2007 for anti-government writings in his blog. Monem is a member of the then banned Muslim Brotherhood. After the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad was charged with insulting the military for an article he wrote on his personal blog and sentenced to 3 years.[87]

After expressing opinions in his personal blog about the state of the Sudanese armed forces, Jan Pronk, United Nations Special Representative for the Sudan, was given three days notice to leave Sudan. The Sudanese army had demanded his deportation.[88][89] In Myanmar, Nay Phone Latt, a blogger, was sentenced to 20 years in jail for posting a cartoon critical of head of state Than Shwe.[90]

Personal safety

One consequence of blogging is the possibility of online or in-person attacks or threats against the blogger, sometimes without apparent reason. In some cases, bloggers have faced cyberbullying. Kathy Sierra, author of the blog "Creating Passionate Users",[91] was the target of threats and misogynistic insults to the point that she canceled her keynote speech at a technology conference in San Diego, fearing for her safety.[92] While a blogger's anonymity is often tenuous, Internet trolls who would attack a blogger with threats or insults can be emboldened by the anonymity of the online environment, where some users are known only by a pseudonymous "username" (e.g., "Hacker1984"). Sierra and supporters initiated an online discussion aimed at countering abusive online behavior[93] and developed a Blogger's Code of Conduct, which set out a rules for behaviour in the online space.

Behavior

The Blogger's Code of Conduct is a proposal by Tim O'Reilly for bloggers to enforce civility on their blogs by being civil themselves and moderating comments on their blog. The code was proposed in 2007 due to threats made to blogger Kathy Sierra.[94] The idea of the code was first reported by BBC News, who quoted O'Reilly saying, "I do think we need some code of conduct around what is acceptable behaviour, I would hope that it doesn't come through any kind of regulation it would come through self-regulation."[95]

O'Reilly and others came up with a list of seven proposed ideas:[96][97][98]

  1. Take responsibility not just for your own words, but for the comments you allow on your blog.
  2. Label your tolerance level for abusive comments.
  3. Consider eliminating anonymous comments.
  4. Ignore the trolls.
  5. Take the conversation offline, and talk directly, or find an intermediary who can do so.
  6. If you know someone who is behaving badly, tell them so.
  7. Don't say anything online that you wouldn't say in person.

These ideas were predictably intensely discussed on the Web and in the media. While the internet has continued to grow, with online activity and discourse only picking up both in positive and negative ways in terms of blog interaction, the proposed Code has drawn more widespread attention to the necessity of monitoring blogging activity and social norms being as important online as offline.

See also

References

  1. ^ Blood, Rebecca (September 7, 2000). "Weblogs: A History And Perspective".
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Further reading

External links

Astroturfing

Astroturfing is the practice of masking the sponsors of a message or organization (e.g., political, advertising, religious or public relations) to make it appear as though it originates from and is supported by grassroots participants. It is a practice intended to give the statements or organizations credibility by withholding information about the source's financial connection. The term astroturfing is derived from AstroTurf, a brand of synthetic carpeting designed to resemble natural grass, as a play on the word "grassroots". The implication behind the use of the term is that instead of a "true" or "natural" grassroots effort behind the activity in question, there is a "fake" or "artificial" appearance of support.

Blogger (service)

Blogger is a blog-publishing service that allows multi-user blogs with time-stamped entries. It was developed by Pyra Labs, which was bought by Google in 2003. The blogs are hosted by Google and generally accessed from a subdomain of blogspot.com. Blogs can also be served from a custom domain owned by the user (like www.example.com) by using DNS facilities to direct a domain to Google's servers. A user can have up to 100 blogs per account.Up until May 1, 2010, Blogger also allowed users to publish blogs to their own web hosting server, via FTP. All such blogs had to be changed to either use a blogspot.com subdomain, or point their own domain to Google's servers through DNS.

George R. R. Martin

George Raymond Richard Martin (born George Raymond Martin, September 20, 1948), also known as GRRM, is an American novelist and short story writer in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres, screenwriter, and television producer. He is best known for his series of epic fantasy novels, A Song of Ice and Fire, which was adapted into the HBO series Game of Thrones (2011–present).

In 2005, Lev Grossman of Time called Martin "the American Tolkien", and in 2011, he was included on the annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.

Gmail

Gmail is a free email service developed by Google. Users can access Gmail on the web and using third-party programs that synchronize email content through POP or IMAP protocols. Gmail started as a limited beta release on April 1, 2004 and ended its testing phase on July 7, 2009.

At launch, Gmail had an initial storage capacity offer of one gigabyte per user, a significantly higher amount than competitors offered at the time. Today, the service comes with 15 gigabytes of storage. Users can receive emails up to 50 megabytes in size, including attachments, while they can send emails up to 25 megabytes. In order to send larger files, users can insert files from Google Drive into the message. Gmail has a search-oriented interface and a "conversation view" similar to an Internet forum. The service is notable among website developers for its early adoption of Ajax.

Google's mail servers automatically scan emails for multiple purposes, including to filter spam and malware, and to add context-sensitive advertisements next to emails. This advertising practice has been significantly criticized by privacy advocates due to concerns over unlimited data retention, ease of monitoring by third parties, users of other email providers not having agreed to the policy upon sending emails to Gmail addresses, and the potential for Google to change its policies to further decrease privacy by combining information with other Google data usage. The company has been the subject of lawsuits concerning the issues. Google has stated that email users must "necessarily expect" their emails to be subject to automated processing and claims that the service refrains from displaying ads next to potentially sensitive messages, such as those mentioning race, religion, sexual orientation, health, or financial statements. In June 2017, Google announced the upcoming end to the use of contextual Gmail content for advertising purposes, relying instead on data gathered from the use of its other services.By February 2016, Gmail had one billion active users worldwide.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome (commonly known simply as Chrome) is a cross-platform web browser developed by Google. It was first released in 2008 for Microsoft Windows, and was later ported to Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android. The browser is also the main component of Chrome OS, where it serves as the platform for web apps.

Most of Chrome's source code comes from Google's open-source Chromium project, but Chrome is licensed as proprietary freeware. WebKit was the original rendering engine, but Google eventually forked it to create the Blink engine; all Chrome variants except iOS now use Blink.As of February 2019, StatCounter estimates that Chrome has a 62% worldwide browser market share across all platforms. Because of this success, Google has expanded the "Chrome" brand name to other products: Chrome OS, Chromecast, Chromebook, Chromebit, Chromebox, and Chromebase.

HuffPost

HuffPost (formerly The Huffington Post and sometimes abbreviated HuffPo) is an American news and opinion website and blog, with localized and international editions. The magazine is edited from a liberal political perspective. It was founded in 2005 by Andrew Breitbart, Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer and Jonah Peretti. The site offers news, satire, blogs, and original content and covers politics, business, entertainment, environment, technology, popular media, lifestyle, culture, comedy, healthy living, women's interests, and local news.

The Huffington Post was launched on May 9, 2005, as a commentary outlet, blog, and an alternative to news aggregators such as the Drudge Report. On February 7, 2011, AOL acquired The Huffington Post for US$315 million, making Arianna Huffington editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group. The site later became part of Verizon Communications, which purchased AOL on May 12, 2015 for US$4.4 billion.In July 2012, The Huffington Post was ranked No. 1 on the 15 Most Popular Political Sites list by eBizMBA Rank, which bases its list on each site's Alexa Global Traffic Rank and U.S. Traffic Rank from both Compete and Quantcast. In 2012, The Huffington Post became the first commercially run United States digital media enterprise to win a Pulitzer Prize.

Naver

Naver (Hangul: 네이버)is a South Korean online platform operated by Naver Corporation. It debuted in 1999 as the first web portal in Korea to develop and use its own search engine. It was also the world's first operator to introduce the comprehensive search feature, which compiles search results from various categories and presents them in a single page. Naver has since added a multitude of new services ranging from basic features such as e-mail and news to the world's first online Q&A platform Knowledge iN.

As of September 2017, the search engine handled 74.7% of all web searches in South Korea and had 42 million enrolled users. More than 25 million Koreans have Naver as the start page on their default browser and the mobile application has 28 million daily visitors. Naver is also constantly referred to as 'the Google of South Korea'.

New York (magazine)

New York is an American biweekly magazine concerned with life, culture, politics, and style generally, and with a particular emphasis on New York City. Founded by Milton Glaser and Clay Felker in 1968 as a competitor to The New Yorker, it was brasher and less polite, and established itself as a cradle of New Journalism. Over time, it became more national in scope, publishing many noteworthy articles on American culture by writers such as Tom Wolfe, Jimmy Breslin, Nora Ephron, John Heilemann, Frank Rich, and Rebecca Traister.

In its 21st-century incarnation under editor-in-chief Adam Moss, "The nation's best and most-imitated city magazine is often not about the city—at least not in the overcrowded, traffic-clogged, five-boroughs sense", wrote then Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz, as the magazine has increasingly published political and cultural stories of national significance.Since its redesign and relaunch in 2004, the magazine has won more National Magazine Awards than any other publication, including the 2013 award for Magazine of the Year. It was one of the first dual-audience "lifestyle magazines", and its format and style have been emulated by some other American regional city publications.

In 2009, its paid and verified circulation was 408,622, with 95.8% of that coming from subscriptions. Its websites—NYmag.com, Vulture.com, the Cut, and Grub Street—receive visits from more than 14 million users per month.In 2018, New York Media, the parent company of New York magazine, instituted a paywall for all its online sites, followed by layoffs in early 2019.

PlayStation

PlayStation (Japanese: プレイステーション, Hepburn: Pureisutēshon, abbreviated as PS) is a gaming brand that consists of four home video game consoles, as well as a media center, an online service, a line of controllers, two handhelds and a phone, as well as multiple magazines. It is created and owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment since December 3, 1994, with the launch of the original PlayStation in Japan.The original console in the series was the first video game console to ship 100 million units, 9 years and 6 months after its initial launch. Its successor, the PlayStation 2, was released in 2000. The PlayStation 2 is the best-selling home console to date, having reached over 155 million units sold as of December 28, 2012. Sony's next console, the PlayStation 3, was released in 2006 and has sold over 80 million consoles worldwide as of November 2013. Sony's latest console, the PlayStation 4, was released in 2013, selling 1 million consoles in its first 24 hours on sale, becoming the fastest selling console in history.The first handheld game console in the PlayStation series, the PlayStation Portable or PSP, sold a total of 80 million units worldwide by November 2013. Its successor, the PlayStation Vita, which launched in Japan on December 17, 2011 and in most other major territories in February 2012, had sold over 4 million units by January 2013. PlayStation TV is a microconsole and a non-portable variant of the PlayStation Vita handheld game console. Other hardware released as part of the PlayStation series includes the PSX, a digital video recorder which was integrated with the PlayStation and PlayStation 2, though it was short lived due to its high price and was never released outside Japan, as well as a Sony Bravia television set which has an integrated PlayStation 2. The main series of controllers utilized by the PlayStation series is the DualShock, which is a line of vibration-feedback gamepad having sold 28 million controllers as of June 28, 2008.The PlayStation Network is an online service with over 110 million users worldwide (as of July 2013). It comprises an online virtual market, the PlayStation Store, which allows the purchase and download of games and various forms of multimedia, a subscription-based online service known as PlayStation Plus and a social gaming networking service called PlayStation Home, which had over 41 million users worldwide at the time of its closure in March 2015. PlayStation Mobile (formerly PlayStation Suite) is a software framework that provides PlayStation content on mobile devices. Version 1.xx supports both PlayStation Vita, PlayStation TV and certain devices that run the Android operating system, whereas version 2.00 released in 2014 would only target PlayStation Vita and (optionally) PlayStation TV. Content set to be released under the framework consist of only original PlayStation games currently.7th generation PlayStation products also use the XrossMediaBar, which is an award-winning graphical user interface. A touch screen-based user interface called LiveArea was launched for the PlayStation Vita, which integrates social networking elements into the interface. Additionally, the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 consoles also featured support for Linux-based operating systems; Linux for PlayStation 2 and OtherOS respectively, though this has since been discontinued. The series has also been known for its numerous marketing campaigns, the latest of which being the "Greatness Awaits" commercials in the United States.

The series also has a strong line-up of first-party titles due to Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios, a group of fifteen first-party developers owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment which are dedicated to developing first-party games for the series. In addition, the series features various budget re-releases of titles by Sony with different names for each region; these include the Greatest Hits, Platinum, Essentials, Favorites and The Best ranges of titles.

In October 2018, Sony President Kenichiro Yoshida stated the necessity of the new PlayStation console. Yoshida said, it has become "necessary to have a next-generation hardware" to replace the PlayStation 4, which is now 5 years old.

PlayStation 3

The PlayStation 3 (PS3) is a home video game console developed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is the successor to PlayStation 2, and is part of the PlayStation brand of consoles. It was first released on November 11, 2006, in Japan, November 17, 2006, in North America, and March 23, 2007, in Europe and Australia. The PlayStation 3 competed mainly against consoles such as Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles.

The console was first officially announced at E3 2005, and was released at the end of 2006. It was the first console to use Blu-ray Disc as its primary storage medium. The console was the first PlayStation to integrate social gaming services, including the PlayStation Network, as well as the first to be controllable from a handheld console, through its remote connectivity with PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita. In September 2009, the Slim model of the PlayStation 3 was released. It no longer provided the hardware ability to run PS2 games. It was lighter and thinner than the original version, and featured a redesigned logo and marketing design, as well as a minor start-up change in software. A Super Slim variation was then released in late 2012, further refining and redesigning the console.

During its early years, the system had a critically negative reception, due to its high price ($599 for a 60 gigabyte model, and $499 for a 20 GB model), a complex processor architecture and a lack of quality games, but was praised for its Blu-ray capabilities and "untapped potential". The reception would get more positive over time. The system had a slow start in the market but managed to recover, particularly after the introduction of the Slim model. Its successor, the PlayStation 4, was released later in November 2013. On September 29, 2015, Sony confirmed that sales of the PlayStation 3 were to be discontinued in New Zealand, but the system remained in production in other markets. Shipments of new units to Europe and Australia ended in March 2016, followed by North America which ended in October 2016. Heading into 2017, Japan was the last territory where new units were still being produced until May 29, 2017, when Sony confirmed the PlayStation 3 was discontinued in Japan.

Tumblr

Tumblr (stylized as tumblr and pronounced "tumbler") is a microblogging and social networking website founded by David Karp in 2007 and owned by Verizon Media. The service allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog. Users can follow other users' blogs. Bloggers can also make their blogs private. For bloggers many of the website's features are accessed from a "dashboard" interface.

As of March 1, 2019, Tumblr hosts over 459 million blogs. As of January 2016, the website had 555 million monthly visitors.

Twitter

Twitter () is an American online news and social networking service on which users post and interact with messages known as "tweets". Tweets were originally restricted to 140 characters, but on November 7, 2017, this limit was doubled for all languages except Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Registered users can post, like, and retweet tweets, but unregistered users can only read them. Users access Twitter through its website interface, through Short Message Service (SMS) or its mobile-device application software ("app"). Twitter, Inc. is based in San Francisco, California, and has more than 25 offices around the world.Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams and launched in July of that year. The service rapidly gained worldwide popularity. In 2012, more than 100 million users posted 340 million tweets a day, and the service handled an average of 1.6 billion search queries per day. In 2013, it was one of the ten most-visited websites and has been described as "the SMS of the Internet". As of 2018, Twitter had more than 321 million monthly active users. Since 2015 Twitter has been a hotbed of debates and news covering politics of the United States. During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Twitter was the largest source of breaking news on the day, with 40 million election-related tweets sent by 10:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) that day. It was also a source of information on Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination and the 2018 United States midterm elections.

Vlog

A video blog or video log, usually shortened to vlog , is a form of blog for which the medium is video, and is a form of web television. Vlog entries often combine embedded video (or a video link) with supporting text, images, and other metadata. Entries can be recorded in one take or cut into multiple parts. Vlog category is popular on the video-sharing platform YouTube.

Video logs (vlogs) also often take advantage of web syndication to allow for the distribution of video over the Internet using either the RSS or Atom syndication formats, for automatic aggregation and playback on mobile devices and personal computers (see video podcast).

Web feed

On the World Wide Web, a web feed (or news feed) is a data format used for providing users with frequently updated content. Content distributors syndicate a web feed, thereby allowing users to subscribe a channel to it. Making a collection of web feeds accessible in one spot is known as aggregation, which is performed by a news aggregator. A web feed is also sometimes referred to as a syndicated feed.

A typical scenario of web-feed use might involve the following: a content provider publishes a feed link on its site which end users can register with an aggregator program (also called a feed reader or a news reader) running on their own machines; doing this is usually as simple as dragging the link from the web browser to the aggregator. When instructed, the aggregator asks all the servers in its feed list if they have new content; if so, the aggregator either makes a note of the new content or downloads it. One can schedule aggregators to check for new content periodically.

Web feeds exemplify pull technology, although they may appear to push content to the user.

The kinds of content delivered by a web feed are typically HTML (webpage content) or links to webpages and other kinds of digital media. Often when websites provide web feeds to notify users of content updates, they only include summaries in the web feed rather than the full content itself.

Many news websites, weblogs, schools, and podcasters operate web feeds.

Work

Web feeds have some advantages compared to receiving frequently published content via an email:

Users do not disclose their email address when subscribing to a feed and so are not increasing their exposure to threats associated with email: spam, viruses, phishing, and identity theft.

Users do not have to send an unsubscribe request to stop receiving news. They simply remove the feed from their aggregator.

The feed items are automatically sorted in that each feed URL has its own sets of entries (unlike an email box where messages must be sorted by user-defined rules and pattern matching).In its explanation "What is a web feed?", the publishing group of Nature describes two benefits of web feeds:

It makes it easier for users to keep track of our content...This is a very convenient way of staying up to date with the content of a large number of sites.

It makes it easier for other websites to link to our content. Because RSS feeds can easily be read by computers, it's also easy for webmasters to configure their sites so that the latest headlines from another site's RSS feed are embedded into their own pages, and updated automatically.

Webcomic

Webcomics (also known as online comics or Internet comics) are comics published on a website or mobile app. While many are published exclusively on the web, others are also published in magazines, newspapers or in comic books.

Webcomics can be compared to self-published print comics in that anyone with an Internet connection can publish their own webcomic. Readership levels vary widely; many are read only by the creator's immediate friends and family, while some of the largest claim audiences well over one million readers. Webcomics range from traditional comic strips and graphic novels to avant garde comics, and cover many genres, styles and subjects. They sometimes take on the role of a comic blog. The term web cartoonist is sometimes used to refer to someone who creates webcomics.

Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (WMF, or simply Wikimedia) is an American non-profit and charitable organization headquartered in San Francisco, California. It is mostly known for participating in the Wikimedia movement. It owns the internet domain names of most movement projects and hosts sites like Wikipedia. The foundation was founded in 2003 by Jimmy Wales as a way to fund Wikipedia and its sibling projects through non-profit means.As of 2017, the foundation employs over 300 people, with annual revenues in excess of US$109.9 million. María Sefidari is chair of the board. Katherine Maher has been the executive director since March 2016.

Windows 10 version history

Windows 10 is an operating system developed by Microsoft. Microsoft described Windows 10 as an "operating system as a service" that would receive ongoing updates to its features and functionality, augmented with the ability for enterprise environments to receive non-critical updates at a slower pace, or use long-term support milestones that will only receive critical updates, such as security patches, over their five-year lifespan of mainstream support. Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft's Windows and Devices Group, said that the goal of this model was to reduce fragmentation across the Windows platform.

WordPress

WordPress (WordPress.org) is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP & MySQL. Features include a plugin architecture and a template system. It is most associated with blogging but supports other types of web content including more traditional mailing lists and forums, media galleries, and online stores. Used by more than 60 million websites, including 33.6% of the top 10 million websites as of April 2019, WordPress is the most popular website management system in use. WordPress has also been used for other application domains such as pervasive display systems (PDS).WordPress was released on May 27, 2003, by its founders, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, as a fork of b2/cafelog. The software is released under the GPLv2 (or later) license.To function, WordPress has to be installed on a web server, either part of an Internet hosting service like WordPress.com or a computer running the software package WordPress.org in order to serve as a network host in its own right. A local computer may be used for single-user testing and learning purposes.

ZDNet

ZDNet is a business technology news website published by CBS Interactive, along with TechRepublic. The brand was founded on April 1, 1991, as a general interest technology portal from Ziff Davis and evolved into an enterprise IT-focused online publication owned by CNET Networks.

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