What is a Blog?
A blog a portmanteau of web log can be described as a Web site where entries are written in chronological order and commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs.
Blogs can be provided in a number of ways. Blog software can be installed locally open source or licensed, or blogs can be deployed using an externally hosted service (Blogger.com and WordPress.com are popular). In an organisation or educational institution you may find tools provided by existing systems (e.g. a VLE, a CMS, etc.) which have blog functionality provided. Alternatively, many social networking services (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, etc.) provide blogging or similar functionality.
A key strength of blogs is that they can be accessed and read in a number of ways. Blog readers can take the conventional approach and visit the blog Web site using the web address. New posts on a blog can be read using an RSS reader. These readers can be Web-based (e.g. Bloglines, Google Reader, etc.) or a desktop RSS reader (e.g. Blogbridge). If you read a number of blogs, you may wish to use a blog aggregator, which allows you to view posts from lots of blogs in one place or have subscribe to have blog posts delivered to your email. Blogs can be accessed by using a mobile device such as a PDA or mobile phone.