What is Blogging?

Blogging is defined by Dictionary.com as a “website containing a writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites”.  Blogging is used as an interactive platform of communication with viewers or followers, to bring up ideas, believes, information and knowledge.  Within a blog people can read about ideas, look at photos, look at personal opinions of the writer and contribute to the discussion through a comment.  Blogs are very similar to websites but they are updated regularly, sometimes even daily, with new topics to discuss.

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The first blog, Links.net, was created in 1994 by Justin Hall but at the time the term “blog” didn’t exist.  The terms that were used instead were “weblog” or “personal web page” and that is due to people using blogs as personal diaries.  In 1999 the term “weblog” was shortened to blog by John Barger and “blogging” became a very popular term (Zantal-Wiener, 2016).

Original blogs or diaries was a one-way communication from the individual writer to the readers, but as soon as the comment option was introduced,  with the option for feedback and discussion, blogs became more interactive.

A common layout of a blog can be seen in the image below.  From a page heading to an organised menu and blog categories, it’s built specifically for easy reader navigation.  A common blog also have sharing buttons to Facebook, Google, Twitter or even Pinterest so that the readers can share the blog that is of interest to them.  The most important part of a blog is the blogs/posts and comments, for reader-writer interaction and positive or negative feedback.  The number of blog comments can also show the writer if the readers are interested in the postings or not .

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Rowling Template

Blogging in social media

Blogging is seen as the earliest form of social media and its main role is to provide a way of educating, discussing ideas, opinions, believes on a website-like platform through interaction with the writer and other readers.  It also provides people with the opportunity to comment and discuss ideas further.

Types of blogs that can be seen all over social media include travel blogs, health and fitness blogs, food blogs, fashion, education, business blogs and many others.  All of these blogs provide information to readers.

How is blogging used in business?

Blogs are not only popular for individual or community use, it is popular with businesses as well.   Large and small businesses use blogs to promote and market their products and services and to connect to potential customers.  Blogs are also used by businesses to get a message out to the world.  Feedback and reviews are also very common on business blogs which can be positive or even negative for the image of the business.

A very good example of a blog made by a very popular large organisation is Unbottled by Coca-Cola.  As seen in the picture below, Coca-Cola uses their blog to promote their products, talk about issues and innovation, organisational history and sustainability. Coca-Cola wants to promote their image as socially responsible and environmentally friendly and therefore blog posts such as “Saving Our Oceans”, “Well Do Better” and “Coca-Cola in Vietnam” are focussed on.

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Another example of a very popular large business that use blogging is Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart Today focusses on community support, innovation and global responsibility and also Sustainability.

The negative side of blogging in business

Because blogging is so popular and people are so freely able to voice their opinions everywhere online, blogs can sometimes be a disadvantage for businesses as well.  A customer who had a bad experience with a service or buying a product, can decide to comment on the business’s blog about their bad experience.  This can harm the business’s image if the problem is not resolved.

Customers can also start their own blogs about for example, why people should not buy products from a certain business.  An example of a blog made to negatively discuss organisations is Public Shaming.  Within this blog the writer negatively criticises Coca-Cola for a commercial about a song “Beautiful America” that was sung in different languages.  The writer says that the song should’ve been sung in English as America is an “English Country”.  Readers contributed to the blog by also giving opinions on the commercial,  some readers even mentioned that they will never drink Coke again.

In my opinion blogging can be very advantageous for businesses, for growth and business transparency, but also disadvantageous if blog comments are not filtered and customer reviews and complains are not dealt with.

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