Since the inception of the World Wide Web in 1990, users have been finding different ways to keep up with and document news and opinions.
Blogs have become the simplest way for people to publish their own work. A number of different platforms offer anyone with an email account an opportunity at a free URL and an online space with barely any limita- tions. Blogs allow for interactivity that allow other users to comment on posts, and they can be used as a means of social networking. Most blogs are typically textual, but they can take on different types of media such as video blogs, known as vlogs, photography blogs and even audio blogs, most commonly known as podcasts. Microblogs, smaller than the typical blog, is something of the Twitter nature.
Many different types of people use blogs, such as politicians, celebrities and even students. There are niche blogs also that span many subjects from fashion, to cooking and entertainment.
"I decided to make a blog at the beginning of the summer," said Jessica Carr, sophomore in journalism and electronic media who writes a cooking blog.
Carr's blog covers a number of cooking creations as well as restaurant explorations in Louisiana, where she is spending the summer.
"I knew that I would have some free time from school to really work on it and devote the time I needed to make it worth reading," she said.
Blog entries can gain more attention with the help of social media, as they hold more information that a post on Facebook or Twitter could.
"I created my blog about three years ago as a way to write movie reviews," said Zach Dennis, senior in journalism and electronic media who writes the blog www.filmthoughtsbyzach.blogspot.com. "And gain a larger audience to create more interaction."
There are a number of blogging platforms to choose from each appeal- ing to what type of blog someone wants to create. For example, Tumblr is typically best for photos, gifs and videos while platforms like Blogger and Wordpress are better suited for textual post.
"I chose Blogger because it was simple to use and was also free," Dennis said.
According to critics, Blogger is the most popular blogging platform used today. "The best part of Blogger is how simple it is to use. It is pretty much just point and click and doesn't take too much knowledge of websites to use," Dennis said. "The worst part though is also that simplicity.
"While it doesn't hurt my blog, I feel like having it look more like a web- site rather than a blog would be better and Blogger lacks that."
Carr's blog is a part of the WordPress community. She said she opted for Wordpress because of good reviews.
"I heard from a lot of friends that use WordPress (say) that it's easy to use and you can get some good readership without having to pay any money," Carr said.
WordPress is also a popular platform because of its simplicity and the way it allows bloggers to be creative.
"The best is being able to create layouts that I want and creatively show- case my restaurant reviews with pictures to help my audience see what foods I've reviewed and created," Carr said.
But like most things, WordPress also has its downsides.
"The worst is trying to get the picture layouts just right," Carr added. "Sometimes it's hard to do the coding and sizing of the images I want shown on my blog."