The Web Log or "Blog"
Some of our assignments will call for a web log, for which the "in" term is "blog."

What is this thing called a blog, some of you will ask, and how does it differ from a discussion board post that you all are probably familiar with?

In point of fact, we will probably use the terms "post" and "blog" almost synonymously, and both will be done on the discussion board.

Here are two definitions/descriptions of a blog from blog sites on the web:
  • Blog . . . an online journal of personal thoughts and web links, usually published frequently and presented in chronological order and often allowing others to attach their own thoughts and opinions for further discussion.  Blogs are usually a mix of what is happening in a person's life and on the web, although they come in all flavors just like the people who create them.
  • Blog . . .a short form of weblog, is a personal journal that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption.  Blogs generally represent the personality of the author.   Topics include brief philosophical musings, commentary on the Internet and other social issues, and links to other sites the author favors.  The essential characteristics of the blog are its journal form, typically a new entry each day, and its informal, spontaneous style.
For our purposes, the distinguishing characteristics of a blog might be thought of in these ways:
  • it functions as a record (a "log") of web sites visited
  • it contains links to other web sites (a blog virtually always will have these, whereas a discussion board post need not necessarily have these and perhaps virtually never has these)
  • it thrives on a mix of autobiography and "business": what might seem personal digressions in normal academic assignments on a discussion board are given a longer leash
  • it may often be longer than the normal discussion board post
In other respects, blog and post are similar, at least in the way the discussion board is described in the "Discussion Board Guidelines" document.

"Post" is the more general term, "blog" the more specific.

A blog is always a post, but not every post is a blog.

So, you might find us using the words "blog" and "post" interchangeably.  But when we say "blog," we are probably looking for:
  • responses to web pages you visited
  • with a distinctly personal favor
  • at a length only limited by the flow of your ideas
  • in a spontaneous style