Not Everyone Knows What Blogs Are … Or Where the Term Came From, Including Me

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blog image dialogue bubblesAs a blogger (for fun and for money), I tend to assume everyone knows what I do. Everyone. Because of exposure and it being 2015. Even those who don’t deal with the Internet in the slightest. It’s likely the same way others feel about their obscure jobs, except that mine is more relevant and better known than theirs. (You know, because of technology.) But as intern Danny once said, I pulled the wool over my own eyes. No, not everyone knows what blogs are, what blogging is, and what would be the point to such a practice. Even the young ones.

And I need to get over it. So some people in the South don’t know what blogging is – it’s not the end of the world. They’re just too focused on sweet tea to keep up on technologies. And who cares if some parents or grandparents have to ask – again – exactly what it is I do. Or more importantly, why someone would pay me to do it. (Because when you don’t understand something, it’s far less rude to ask about money. Vs. walking into a dentist’s office and asking, “And you expect me to pay for that?”)

Really, things could be worse. Like having a job where everyone knows what it is.

The History of “Blog”

In my latest “this is a blog” conversation, I was hit with a real stumper. One of those questions I should have definitely known the answer to, but actually had no idea what to say. I was asked what “blog” meant. Where the term came from; was it an acronym? Who coined it, and essential, what in the hell it meant.

A few Google searches later, we’ve got a solid answer.

It’s a nickname for weblog, as in web-log, a log of events that is kept online. Only that must’ve seemed to wordy and instead, it got the nickname of blog. And it stuck.

As for the inventor of the word, it’s credited with Jorn Barger, an early bloomer in the word of tech (he was using a computer in the mid-60s – or what existed of them – and also worked as a software programmer). He’s said to have first used “weblog” in 1997, after posting his thoughts and ideas online for two years. Then, with the help of new software, he started the Robot Wisdom Weblog, coining the term.

“Blog” was then used two years later, as a joke. Peter Merholz shortened the word when writing “we blog” in spring of 1999. It was also listed by Evan Williams, former CEO of Twitter, in both blog and noun forms, as well as calling those who practice “bloggers.” We’ve used it ever since.

So there it is. The history of “blog” and for the living-under-a-rock crew, a (somewhat) explanation of what a blog is. Let’s keep the questions coming; you never know what type of content they’ll turn into.

Bethaney Wallace

Bethaney Wallace

Bethaney Wallace is a tea drinking, Amazon loving writer and editor. When she's not working on TSR or her personal blog, she loves reading and looking for new DIY projects.

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