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Basic guidelines | Blogs vs. Home pages | Purpose of blogs

"A weblog is a coffeehouse conversation in text, with references as required." Rebecca Blood 2

Basic guidelines

A blog, otherwise known as a weblog, is a Web site that conforms to a few basic guidelines.

Bloggers conform to a few guidelines.  Image via Free-Photographs.Net.

Technically speaking, blogs

  • have dated entries, that are always in reverse chronological order,
  • update frequently,
  • archive each post
  • and link to other Web sites.

However, those guidelines are loose. For example, active blogs are updated on average every 14 days. 10

Blogs typically focus on one main topic, such as politics, entertainment, sports or media commentary. Posts are usually short, from a few sentences to about 350 words. Some blogs have comment services, where the reader can comment on each blog post. 2

Blogs vs Home pages

A useful comparison is between a Home page and a blog: While personal Home pages can be interpreted as a "place," blogs can be interpreted as a "person." 4

That is, personal Home pages often provide a glimpse into someone's life with pictures and stories. On the other hand, blogs are the venue for personal opinions and ideas, which can include photographs and audio.

Purpose of blogs

Although there are many reasons why a person gets hooked on blogging, most reasons empower the blogger to either: 2

The Rhetorica logo.  Rhetorica shares information and provides commentary.  Image via Rhetorica.net.

  • share and filter information,
  • build a reputation,
  • express oneself
  • or keep in touch with family and friends.

Every blog fits into one of those categories, and often more than one.

For example, Rhetorica is a blog that focuses on rhetoric and spin in journalism and politics. It not only shares information, but also comments on the information. 3

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