What is a Weblog?

First my best definition: A weblog is similar to a diary or journal that is organized, managed and made available through a web site. Using a weblog, a person can post information to a web site on a regular basis and have their posts archived, searchable and categorized for easy reference.

Second, I've created an illustration that relates the value of weblogs...

Let’s pretend for a minute. Sit back and imagine writing in a journal on a regular basis wherever you go with pen and paper. Whenever you feel like it, you write down what interests you and where you saw it. Over time, your journal becomes a representation of you, your interests and where you go to find interesting things. With every entry, it grows and becomes more valuable.

Now, think about finding a large group of people that keep journals just like you.

  • What if you could exchange journals with these folks, at any time, quickly and easily?
  • What if others could make notes in your journal and you theirs?
  • What if the journals contained references to each other that allowed you to find even more people and relevant information?
  • What if informal groups of journal keepers found each other and worked together?
  • What if there were thousands of journals of all shapes and sizes that were available for you to browse?

  • Do you think that you could learn from the other folks through their journals?
  • Do you think you could get to know them better and respect their viewpoint through their journals?
  • Do you think you could find people with whom you have many things in common?
  • Would you feel like you were a part of something interesting and perhaps powerful?

Ok, back to the real world. The example above is my way of describing the value of weblogs and being part of the weblog community.

  • Instead of keeping a journal, webloggers accumulate their posts on a web site that is searchable and categorized for easy reference. The newest post is always at the top.
  • Instead of exchanging journals, webloggers visit each other’s web sites.
  • Instead of writing notes in each other’s journals, webloggers leave “commentsâ€?? on each other’s posts.
  • Instead of journals referencing each other, weblogs contain clickable links to web sites and predominantly other weblogs.
  • Instead of being journal keepers, webloggers are part of an informal community that is growing very fast and organizing around special interests.

As you might imagine…

  • Weblogs enable people to find and learn from each other
  • Weblogs enable people to build relationships through common interests and points of view
  • Weblogs enable people to build a community of consistent readers around their weblog.
  • Weblogs provide a way for a person to easily publish their writing for everyone to see
  • Weblogs allow people to have a voice and power without an organization behind them

As an example, remember that this post is in a weblog. Consider the points above and notice the organization of the posts on this page, the comments section at the footer of each post and the overall layout of the site. You'll see that categories organize content on the right and I try to link to others as much as possible.

I’ve provided some related links below for your reference:

Other definitions:

David Winer
The Gaurdian
Powazek.com (discussion archived during 2000-2001)
Rebecca Blood: History of Weblogs essay:

Tools of the Trade:

Moveable Type
Radio Userland

Popular Weblogs:

Instapundit Political/personal
WilWheaton.net Entertainment/personal
Where is Raed? Iraqi
BoingBoing.net Group News blog
Technorati Top 100 blogs Listing of most popular

And finally, my personal weblog is here.