IN THIS CHAPTER
The world of blogging
Alternative blogging tools
A blog (short for Web log) is an online diary. From a high-level point of view, a blog is simply a Web page that is updated every day or so with new thoughts, comments, and links to interesting Web content. But blogs have taken on a life of their own and can be seen as an art form, a creative outlet, and a whole new way of looking at the Web — or even at the world.
Blogging solves the biggest problem people have after they get their initial Web site up, that is, wondering what do I do now? A regular Web site can seem rather complete and finished and leave you (and the user) wondering where new, fresh content goes. With a blog, new, fresh content is the whole reason for the site — and all you have to do to keep the site alive is update it regularly.
Blogs came to many people's attention through politics. The abortive presidential campaign of Howard Dean, Democratic candidate for president of the United States, reached a peak of popularity and hype in late 2003 and early 2004. At the center of the campaign's success in attracting money and volunteers was the Internet — and at the center of the campaign's Internet strategy was the candidate's blog. The 2004 Dean campaign itself became its own Internet "bubble." Many of Howard Dean's advisers went from eyeing office space in the West Wing to looking for another campaign to join in a few short weeks ...