What the heck is a 'blog?'

Question: Ken, help me out. I visited your Web site. Enjoyed all that I read and appreciated diverse views and your honest and helpful replies. But tell me, what is the meaning of "blog?"
--Niki Anderson, Spokane

Answer: Blog is short for Weblog. A Weblog is an online journal. Most online journals consist of short, frequently posted items that link to other locations on the Web. And the format is reverse chronological order, meaning that the newest posts are at the top.

I, personally, think the name "blog" is stupid. Even worse, the name carries a lot of negative baggage in the journalism world. Because the blog format originally was used mostly for diary-like journals and very slanted political commentary, editors typically dismiss all blogs as pointless and unreliable. What they donít realize is the potential for using the blog format in a journalistic way, as a better method of story-telling on the Web.

The Spokesman-Review is leading the newspaper industry with its use of this online story-telling device. Itís my goal to improve story-telling on the Web. And if I can't change the name of an online column to something other than blog, I need to work on changing the perceptions, as well. Sorry for the longwinded answer. -- Ken Sands, managing editor of online and new media

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