What was a blog and what is it now?

Until recently a weblog or blog used to be :

– some space on the web
– which is maintained like a personal diary
– with collaboration possibilities with your readers and friends
– where content is listed in the reverse chronological order
– which is meant mainly for the regular readers, and
– the majority of the readers where direct visitors

If you study the way in which blogs have evolved (and are evolving) you will realized that a few of these definitions are already changing – mostly for good and some for not so good reasons.

What has been changing with blogs?

#1 Web space or hosted space: While professional blogs have moved on to WordPress like self hosted platforms, the majority of the blogs still remain on free blogging platforms such as blogger or typepad. The change on the free blogging space, though, is that now blogging is combined with Social Networking solutions. This include microblogs and respective platforms.

#2 Are blogs about personal thoughts?: Well, it is no more a personal diary or a space for your own ideas. Corporate blogs, multi-blogger blogs and guest blogging on your personal blog are some of the trends. Moreover, to put things totally out of context we have paid reviews or paid posts on blogs as well. Even worse, you could now host dynamically populated content (mostly advertisement posts) that you did not write at all.

#3 Collaboration: Well, this is where things are changing so fast. Now blogs are also a place where you share photos and videos, chat using chat apps and widgets, syndicate feeds from your social networking profiles etc. Even the comments are much more than comments and some innovative commenting mechanism like video commenting has also evolved. Despite all this the communication style in a blog is mostly one sided.

#4 Reverse chronological listing?: Not always. Some blogs these days do not even have timestamps on blog posts. To make things worse those featured posts, most popular post etc on top of certain magazine style blogs does not necessarily enforce the reverse chrono order. Many times, one has to check the RSS feed to see which is the latest post.

#5 Regular readership: Blogs work best with the targetted audience when there is an established patronage when it comes to readership. This way, the readers are tuned to a certain reading habit and get accustomed to your language and way of writing. At the same time, the blogger caters to the needs of the readers that he know the best.

The blogs, probably, were originally meant for direct visitors who visited their favorite blogs via typing the URL or using browser bookmarks. Now, majority of the blog visitors are search visitors or referral visitors and hence the topics that they get to read (many times) are not necessarily what they wanted to read.

To make things worse, overuse of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has often resulted in blog content that is not readily consumable. i.e. You hit a blog via search and you get to read an unrelated topic.

Over to you…

What you just read is my random thoughts about how blogging and blogs in general are changing? Do you think many of these changes are for good? Have you noticed any other major change or trend with respect to blogging or blogs?


  1. I really agree with #2. When blogs first started – I remember first being aware of them in 2000 – they were more like diarys or lists of funny links found online. Now while there are still some online journals, blogs are on every topic imaginable.

  2. Hey there my friend. Well…my blog is still the same but I have enjoyed watching others grow and change.

    I have enjoyed the capability of sharing anything and everything I choose.

    I hope life is going great.

  3. Raju :

    so damn true Ajith. When I started blogging in 2004, it was all about personal stuff (and sometimes movie reviews, poems etc). And there was true social networking like tagging few blogger friends to answer some questions etc. With so much personal info on my blog, I started panicking later on! It has changed so much over this period. I foresee a non-distinction of blogs and websites in near future.

    Raju’s last blog post… Freebies – Norton, CA Anti-virus & Panda Internet Security

  4. I agree with you Ajith, blogging has evolved a lot in these few months. Though as you mentioned what it used to be sometime back, it is actually the same for majority of users and bloggers. they only thing is they have a particular set of audience and they are happy with it. Downside is such blogs get unnoticed despite of amazing content.

    Harsh Agrawal’s last blog post… [Blogger’s Discussion] Blog Networks – Are they worth it ?

  5. moserw :

    Nothing personal in blogs anymore. The worst are the commercial blogs where content is mainly to draw traffic and make money, nothing useful is shared at all. Well it had to happen since everything is commercial these days.

    moserw’s last blog post… Noodle Soup Recipe!

  6. baba :

    moserw now a days bloging is the very attractive way for backlinking to webmasters that’s why they are becoming more commercialize.

  7. Dennis Edell :

    I definitely wouldn’t say personal blogs are dead, not by a long shot. Marketers don’t notice them because they’re not looking for them.

    Victims of our own environment is what it is. 😉

  8. Nihar :

    I agree with Ajith. Blogs are no more personal dairy or sharing personal life.

    It is now different. Most of the people now jump into blogging to make money.

    Nihar’s last blog post… England vs West Indies 1st ODI Live Cricket Streaming links

  9. Atul :

    Now-a-days blogs are more for earning money and less for personal diaries

    Atul’s last blog post… Proud To Be An Indian

  10. “”Reverse chronological listing””

    It is ok even if the date is not in the url but somehow I find it really annoying when on certain site you need to be a james bond to know which date the post was published. I think a date on the post is important as it allow the reader to know if he is reading something new and updated or a post back to 2005 lol.

    Sometime even in the comments you can’t see the date.

    I will agree with Deniss also that personal blogs are not dead. There are many blogs who are really personal but they are not known because as Deniss said marketers and even the usual search audience do not look for these info. They are mostly read by friends and people we already know. Example my own girlfriend’s blog Priscus. She usually blog only for personal stuffs such as her thoughts and everyday life occurings.

    They are not really known to the mass as there are no trend topics. Now of course a rock star or movie star making a blog will be popular even if its personal lol due to his already known name.

    Kurt Avish’s last blog post… Sithanen’s Mauritius Budget 2009 In A Nutshell

  11. Harish | Blogging Kid :

    When I was first introduced to blogging, I used to search what is a blog. The first thing I see is Blogging is a personal online diary. But now it has been used in lots of ways for peoples benefits. Great post Ajith !

  12. Great post Ajith, as always…

    Way back everyone had a blog to share their thoughts.. But right now every one has a blog to make money….. Now people don’t have time to write their personal thoughts.. Even I left my personal blog where I used to write some interesting things.. Now we concentrate on writing posts which will attract more traffic.. More Traffic more money… :) [I’ll atleast take a look at my personal blog now!!]

  13. Blogging has truly evolved, but as for me, I remained to my usual blog and worked hard on it. I pretty much enjoyed blogging now, more than ever. :)

    Franck Silvestre’s last blog post… Protected: Getting Started For New Affiliates

  14. Nihar :

    something off topic, I have changed my blog theme. If you have time. do check it and let me know if you have any suggestions to give or any problems you find.


  15. @Kim, tell me about it… I had my first website (not exactly a blog) about 12 years ago on one of those free hosting profiles… I still can’t stop laughing thinking about some of the content it had 😆

    @Tammy, you are so right about the amount of sharing and the potential there in to influence people! It’s truly a great collaborative platform.

    @Raju, yep… funny things that we did initially :) By the way, techpp is still about tech + personal right?

    @Harsh, you are right… some of those great personal diaries go un-noticed. However, I still read a couple of them

    @Rajiv, you said it. ‘Commercial’ is the word that describe most blogs now…whether it is part of income generation, SEO or otherwise

    @baba, backlinking is only one aspect of it…

    @Dennis, so sad but true… Good quality personal content, unless it’s tagged with a potential niche (to market online) go unnoticed.

    @Nihar, exactly. It’s like money first and content later…these days

    @Atul, so right buddy. But within the monetization goals itself, can’t we write content that has a personal touch?

    @Kurt, haha I liked your reference to the detective work one needs to do in order to find when was a post published

    @Harish, all of us did search the dictionary and yahoo (then) to understand what a blog is, didn’t we :)

    @Samrat, welcome back to blogosphere buddy. You have underlined your motives with the right move… Congrats on the new blog!

    @Franck, you are the odd man out here :) I am glad to see somebody talking something other than money…

    @Nihar, I am on my way to change soon… it’s almost ready. I took a look at your new theme…will definitely give my feedback.

    Thanks buds for all your comments. I have been busy at work and hence not much blogging, reading and commenting of late

  16. We have come a long long way baby, Change We Need as “He” say and won.

    But it will soon replace the main stream media thats for sure.

    Make Money from Blogging India’s last blog post… Learn Internet Marketing from the Professor Shoemoney

  17. Blogs are no more Personal diary !! it has became a money making Web or Social Marketing thing !!

  18. Ajith: This is an amazing retro look at blogging in general. Harsh’s comment impressed me the most and I see you seem to acknowledge the same. I know some of my technical blogs are better than many textbooks I see, but I am sure a lot of it goes unnoticed!

    Raj Krishnaswamy´s last blog post… Thermal spray metallurgical engineering jobs

  19. Richael Neet :

    From personal diary to multi-million dollar source of income…lets see what is next in the blogging arena.

  20. @Raj, you are absolutely right – many blogs go unnoticed despite great content.

    @Richael, multi million dollar income :P, but how many are there yet?


  1. […] publishing one’s personal experiences, thoughts and theories in his/her own language and a blog by definition is an online diary. The content of a diary cannot be always timeless as it is mostly time and […]

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