By now, we suspect that pretty much everybody on the internet knows what a blog is. If you don’t have one yourself, the chances are that you’re at least reading somebody else’s. They’ve become one of the most popular ways for people to express themselves online, and have proven effective platforms for certain types of businesses to communicate with their clients and / or users.
One of the best examples of this is probably the official Google blog which we’ve certainly linked to many times. Google uses it to communicate important information to its users, and keep them up to date with new releases, changes, and things like that.
A Brief History
The term blog came from a contraction of the term “web log” that was used to refer to a type of online, electronic diary or journal, that people used to write in, often only for themselves, but sometimes also as a means of letting friends know what they were doing and thinking about.
As far as we can tell, the term “weblog” was first used way back in 1997, and it was broken down into “blog” two years later, in 1999, when a noted blogger made a comment about how weblog could be split into “we blog.”
The term proved popular, and before long, had been used as both a noun and a verb, and eventually became the accepted term for the type of online activity that we today recognise as blogging.
South African Blogs
Despite a slow start, in comparison to the global trend, blogging has nonetheless become a popular online pastime in South Africa. It’s become so popular in fact, that an annual sponsored awards program exists for highlighting the best blogs in South Africa.
The SA Blog Awards is a showcase of the best South African blogs, with awards in different categories being awarded annually. Blogs are nominated by readers, and a panel of judges selects the best blogs in a variety of categories, as well as determining the best blog overall in South Africa for that year.
This year, the winner of the best blog in South Africa award was Wat Kyk Jy, an Afrikaans humour and satire blog, that’s well worth the read.
Other notable blogs included Cherryflava, which won the Media and Marketing category, the 2 Oceans Vibe which won the Most Controversial Blog category, and She’s The Geek, winner of the Best Science & Technology Blog category.
There are a total of 25 blog categories awarded, in addition to the overall best, and there’s a great selection of some fine South African blogging to be found.
Although there’s no category for blogging service providers yet, we’ve noticed another up and coming blog service that has the potential to become quite useful, and that’s the new SA Business Blogs, that provides a free blog to local South African businesses. So if you’d like to set up a free blog for your business, go ahead and check them out.
The Future of Blogging
Despite the continuing rise of social media services like Twitter and Facebook, I think that there will always be a market, and an audience, for blogs. A blog provides a lot more freedom, over how you’d like your content to look, over the type of content, and the type of interactions that they make possible.
Whether you’d like a blog to serve as an electronic diary, a running commentary, or simply a repository of random or daily thoughts, blogs provide the flexibility that you need to express yourself however you like.