By Mercy King’ori
(This post forms part one of a new series on blogging and considerations that entrant bloggers face.)
Blogs have been recognised as one of the most prominent web 2.0 technologies that allow creation of user generated content. Web 2.0 also known as “social computing” has been defined as “internet tools that foster collaboration and interaction”. It is the web version that allows people to create their content and allow them to interact with content from others. One of the most powerful features of web 2.0 is that it “empowers and generates communities with similar interests”. Web 2.0 was a transition from the web that only programmers could contribute, to a web that allows anyone to participate online by publishing and sharing content. A shift from “uni-directional mass media to participatory media where viewers and readers of media become the creators of the media”.
The history of blogging can be traced back to the advent of the web. The web was invented and implemented in 1990. By this time, the internet was already operational and was mainly used by scientists, programmers and people interested in new forms of communication. In 1993, the web was opened to the general public with Mosaic, the web browser that popularised the world wide web. As a result of its simplicity and reliability, it facilitated a rise in personal home pages where people posted about their personal matters akin to some modern blogs. However, these personal websites were not always referred to as “blogs”. Some were referred to as online personal diaries. The word “blog” came from the word “weblog” which referred to a “log of visitors that a person who administers a web server can see”. However, John Barger, creator of the site “Robot Wisdom” suggested an alternative purpose of the word. This alternative purpose was reflected in the title of his site “Robot Wisdom: A Weblog by John Barger”. His site consisted of a list of links to other sites with no commentary. As others created sites with some commentary, the term “weblogs” applied to such posts. It was Peter Merholz that shortened the term “weblog” to “blog” in 1999.Continue reading