Blogging is self-expression. No journalism degree required, just a computer and ambition. Blogs are an easy way for people write about a subject they are interested in, while simultaneously attracting a massive online following. But how have they evolved? This artilce will discuss how blogging has transformed into vlogging and podcasts, which are like radio shows that are posted on line for people to listen to.
A blog is a site where a journalist or diarist publishes journal posts or articles online for the whole web to view. Blogs came into play during the 1990s along with the arrival of the modern day Internet. There are two main types of blogs: diaries and subject blogs.
A diary style blog is where the writer publishes his daily activities, recent life events, or personal thoughts on a day-to-day basis. In order to gain popularity through a diary blog, one must be a talented writer to keep the readers interested in your daily activities, or they must be a popular celebrity that will automatically have interested followers.
A subject blog is the more popular type of blog. The writer simply writes articles and posts about a general subject, like sports or animals, for example. Subject blogs are much easier for the writer to gain followers because of its more universal appeal. Writers can write about a specific niche in order to gain a specific type of following, but it is recommended to be more general in your blog subject. Having a specific niche limits the possible followers you can acquire.
The debate essentially boils down to a larger question of identity for bloggers. Is a blogger a journalist? Is there a sharp distinction between the two disciplines, or has time blurred that line to an extent?
A vlog, or video blog, is a blog where the medium of entertainment is video instead of written word. Think Youtube. Video blogs came into popularity in the early 2000s, where a blogger posted a video alongside his article, leading to the longest running video blog.
Yahoo created a video blogging group in 2005, and its membership increased signficantly during that year. Today, Youtube is the most popular form of video blogging, attracting millions of views on its vlog videos. Youtube became the fifth most popular website in 2006, showing the popularity of videos in social media.
With the increase in technology and smartphones, taking videos and posting them online has become easier than ever, this means vlogging is largely more accessible than blogging. It’s simply easier and more convenient.
Podcasts are in the middle between blogs and vlogs. Podcasts are sound clips of a journalist reading his or her article to the public. These are easily comparable to radio shows, which are simply radio hosts talking to their audience. Podcasts nowadays have not changed much since their origins in radio. The core remains the same, a persons opinions about current events or a popular subject, and listeners tune in to listen, and turn to on a regular basis.
But Is This Journalism?
Washington Post winning writter D.S. Broder argues, “You can’t just sit on your computer all day. You need to get off your butt, go out there and interview sources, investigate the issue yourself and then write what you’ve learned.” However the numbers beg to differ. Did you know more Americans under the age of 24 turn to the internet, mainly blogs for their information over traditional news media. Call it what you will, blogging and its new offshoots are taking over mainstream media. The power is in our hands! Use it usely.