Blogging is a popular form of writing on the Internet. Generally speaking, a blog has the following characteristics:
- it is a series of writings
- these writings are presented on a web page with the most recent writings prominently displayed
- attention and comments if any are strongly focussed on the more recent writings
- the page provides a "syndication feed" in the RSS and/or Atom XML formats so that others can automatically fetch the newest writings
Blogs often have shorter entries from 1 to 10 paragraphs, but writers who write longer pieces are still considered bloggers if their web page is in that form. In addition, the word 'blog' is usually reserved for non-fictional writing, with exceptions made for parodies of blog writing or fiction deliberately written in the blog style. The blogging writing style has a strong preference for some writing styles, including some informality, the strong presence of the writer (with frequent use of first person pronouns), and linking to and commentary on writings by other bloggers.
Blogging comes from two different writing traditions both focussed on recent entries: news coverage and commentary and personal diaries. The term "blog" has almost entirely replaced a somewhat older Internet term "online diaries".
Some blog writers are now regarded as quite influential commentators on current events, and others, who may have tens or hundreds of thousands of readers, as potentially successful paid writers. Many popular bloggers have received commercial book publication deals based on the popularity of their blog. Many mainstream media outlets now host blogs as part of their offerings.
The blogging community is an atypical geek community for women in the sense that women are not vastly underrepresented in it: women are either well-represented or over-represented in the blogging community depending on the figures you use. However, women's influence among blogs is low compared to their numerical representation. Women are also underrepresented in some sub-types of blogging: notably there are very few well known blogs on politics or technology written by or even contributed to by women.
See List of women bloggers for women who blog in male-dominated fields such as science, politics, and tech.
Issues facing women bloggers
- Invisibility -- women bloggers, although huge in number, make few appearances in lists of the most highly read bloggers, or in the links made by these bloggers. Some women-dominated forums such as LiveJournal are often denigrated as not 'real' blogging, and are seldom linked to from outside the site.
- Online harassment -- see Kathy Sierra incident
- Importance -- women bloggers have been observed, on the aggregate, to tend to mix topic blogging (eg political blogging) and writing about their personal life. The most widely read male bloggers are typically more focussed on a single topic. "Mommy blogging" -- writing about children and home life -- is both popular with women and widely treated with disdain by others. See Motherhood.
- List of women bloggers on male dominated topics
- List of blogs by women in technology
- | The power of female blogging (BBC)
- Geek Chic: Not Just for Guys - Sorry, Boys, This Is Our Domain article about the rise of teen girl bloggers (NYTimes)