What is a blog?

“…a blog is a conversation…”

A blog (short for “weblog”) can be many things: an online diary, a site for news or entertainment, an innovative way to gain feedback from potential consumers or clients; in short, it can be anything the individual blogger wishes to communicate to a larger audience. But, what makes a blog different from a traditional website? While a traditional website seeks to provide the reader with information, a blog is essentially an online conversation about that information. In the age of texts, tweets and Facebook, people don’t want to simply consume information they wants to talk about it.

In purely technical terms, a blog is composed of a list of “posts,” typically organized in reverse-chronological order (the newest post being at the top of the page) allowing readers to provide feedback by contributing “comments” to the post. Other readers might provide feedback to the original post or to comments made by other readers – this is the conversation that makes a blog what it is.

It’s little wonder that blogs have become a popular teaching tool at universities where intellectual exchanges inside the classroom can now continue into the digital realm. Blogs, however, aren’t just a tool for the classroom. Admissions departments across many universities use blogs to engage incoming students, allowing them to form virtual communities before they step foot on campus. Student organizations can reach existing and potential members quickly with postings of upcoming events and meetings. Journals and other publications can take advantage of easy-to-use blogging software to quickly get their print material online.

Speaking of blogging software, while there are many great options for blogging platforms on the internet, Blogs@CLS is run on the very popular WordPress platform. With just your CLS login and password, your department, organization or class (if you’re a professor) can use custom designed themes and a growing list of plugins to begin engaging your audience. The WordPress platform is one of the easiest to use – no coding or technical expertise required. If you can send e-mail and write a Word document, you’re well on your way to blogging. Need extra help? Shoot us an e-mail, read the documentation on our site or explore all the resources offered on the WordPress site.

So come on … start a conversation today! Click the “Request A Blog” link at the top of the page to get started.

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