The first use of the term weblog in relation to the delivery of content on a website comes from the delivery of a paper titled “Exploiting the World-Wide Web for Electronic Meeting Document Analysis and Management” by G. Raikundalia & M. Rees, two lecturers from Bond University on the Gold Coast, Australia made to a conference on August 14, 1995.

“A Web browser access to various meeting document information, such as minutes, tabled documents, reports and document indexes. Applications are being developed to take standard electronic meeting log files, postprocess them in a variety of ways, and generate a series of indexes and summary files. These files are formatted in HTML and exploit hyperlinks to the full in order to relate the different types of information.” Interestingly the term “Weblog” is not featured on the remaining record of the paper, which is now hosted at the Charles Sturt University website, but is featured in its correct context in a Usenet post promoting the papers delivery at Bond posted on August 6, 1995.

The Different Kinds of Blogs

When discussing about blogs, most people are not aware that there is great variety of genres, and that homogeneity is unheard of in the blogosphere.  Just because the interface looks somewhat similar does not mean that the content is as well.  In fact, as the blogging phenomenon exploded, its uses and styles have followed suit every inch of the way.  Hence, this section samples just a small flavour of what is out there in the blogosphere.

Political Blogs

When discussed in the news, the term blog is often understood to refer to a “political blog.” Political blogs may take a number of forms. Often an individual will link to articles from news web sites and post their own comments as well. Others focus on long essays about current political topics. Most news, activism, and issue-based blogs follow the same format. In fact, a recent trend in politics is that candidates are incorporating blogging into their own campaigns, tying blogs into the world of politics.  In fact, in the current 2005 Chilean presidential election, the four candidates are currently using their own blogs as part of their campaign mechanisms (Blog Herald, 2005).

Personal Blogs

The term personal blogs is often used to describe an online diary or journal, such as Xanga. The weblog format of an online diary makes it possible for users without much experience to create, format, and post entries with ease. People often write their day-to-day experiences, complaints, poems, prose, illicit thoughts and more,  allowing others to contribute.

Health Blogs

Blogs written as personal accounts of living with a specific health issue, sharing information about the experience with others who have an interest in that health issue and providing mutual support. A major category of health blogs are medical blogs, which themselves generally fall into two categories. One type is a blog written by a health care professional about his or her work experiences, medical news or other personal thoughts. A more recent trend is a blog that deals with actual patient cases. This latter blog allows other physicians to submit cases to the web site. Physicians can then offer comments or help with the case.

Literary Blogs

A “litblog” as it is sometimes called, is a blog that focuses primarily on the topic of literature. There is a community of litblogs in the blogosphere whose authors cover a variety of subtopics within the realm of literary matters. Litbloggers write about the publishing industry, writing, current fiction, poetry, literary journals, reader’s diaries, criticism and genres of literature, including science fiction and mystery, just to name a few.

Travel Blogs

Famous explorers wrote their journeys down on paper.  Blogging has opened the forum for everyone, thus allowing modern-day travelers with blogs as a way to share their stories and photos, even while they are traveling around the world.

Research Blogs

An increasing number of scholars and students blog their research notes, combining the traditional scholar’s private notebook with public discussion. A related genre is the anonymous professor’s blog, where the various issues related to academia are freely discussed.

Educational Blogs

Students often use blogs as records of their learning while teachers use them as records of what they taught.  For example, a teacher can blog a course, recording day-by-day what was taught, including links to internet resources, and specifying what homework students are required to carry out. This application has many advantages: (1) a student can quickly catch-up if they miss a class; (2) the teacher can use the blog as a course plan; and (3) the blog serves as an accurate summary of the course that prospective students or new teachers can refer to.