Today as I watched Julie & Julia, for the fourth or fifth time, can’t remember which, I started thinking about blogs and where they came from. After all, the blog is a phenomenon that didn’t even exist twenty years ago. If you were a writer of any sort back then, you either had to be published somewhere, or your musings were simply diaries to entertain yourself, and maybe your closest friends or family members, and document your life after you got too old to remember it. Nowadays, thanks to the ease and accessibility of the blog, anyone can become a published writer, and sometimes a celebrity, like the considerably less perky and sweet than she was portrayed in the movie, Ms. Julie Powell. I have my own blog now, just like the rest of the free world. It will never make me a celebrity, I’m almost positive of that, but it gives me an outlet for my creative side, and as Amy Adams so charmingly put it in the movie, “I could write a blog. I have thoughts!”
I realized today that I know almost nothing about the history of blogging. It’s like one day blogging was unheard of, and the next, everybody had one and they were oozing from every corner of the World Wide Web. Some are better than others, some make it and some don’t, and some are even written by professional journalists or celebrity writers. Never one to let anything rest once my curiosity is sparked, I went looking for some answers about where blogging came from, who did it first, how it became mainstream, and how many blogs and bloggers there are out there in cyberspace.
I found out some fascinating things…for instance:
The blog was “invented”, for all intents and purposes, by this guy…
- Barger was the first to use the term “Weblog” on December 17, 1997 to refer to his links on the web, at his site, “Robot Wisdom”, which is still an active blog.
- The United States is the country with the most bloggers, roughly 29%, the majority of whom reside in California, which is home to approximately 15% of all the bloggers—anywhere.
- The ratio of male to female bloggers is just about equal—49.1% Male, to 50.9% Female. Go Mommy Bloggers!
- Bloggers are a young-ish bunch of folks, most of whom are between the ages of 21 and 35. Am I too old for this gig???
- We’re a BIG group…as of February 2011, there were over 156 Million public blogs in the world! As of March, make that plus one—yours truly.
- As of today, the most influential blog in the universe is said to be The Huffington Post, followed closely by TechCrunch, Mashable!, Engadget, and my personal favorite for my daily “OMG, I can’t believe he or she did that/said that/wore that!”, TMZ.
- And according to some guy named Andrew, a blogger, the following traits are what make a good blog post:
- Minimize your personal life—but don’t ignore it.
- People want to hear about success.
- People want to hear about what they can do to become successful.
- If you love what you’re writing about, you’ll dig deeper.
- Linking to other bloggers is a good idea.
- If everyone else has reported it, put a good spin on it, or ignore it.
- Use images.
- Back away from overused and tired out blogging trends.
- Create controversy.
- Write what you feel, when you feel it. If the information is wrong, so be it.
That’s good advice, Andrew! You have just given me permission to back away from being Glenda the Good, and not cite any of the factoids I’ve just blogged. You have no idea how hard that is for a grad student…sometimes I dream in APA format. But, it feels good to be bad…;-) How’s that for controversy? I will, however, link back to Andrew’s blog because those really are some great tips!