Blogging about blogs
By Jess Crutchley
So here I am writing a blog about writing blogs – “That’s so meta,” my colleague Kristin would say. After the Klein Wolf Peters team spent some time discussing blogs at our recent company workshop in Dienten, my linguistic curiosity got the better of me and I started to wonder about the origins of the word “blog”.
Fifteen or so years ago, “blog” was still one of those strange, newfangled words you’d hear bandied around among young people and start-ups. But with the unrelenting growth of the online universe, the blog became a must-have for every website and anyone wanting their internet presence to attract an audience.
Intuition told me that the term must somehow be derived from “log” – in the sense of a record or journal – but it I didn’t know where it acquired its “b” from. After poking around the internet for a while, I was fascinated to discover that the word blog is, in fact, a shortened version of “weblog”, a portmanteau of the words “web” and “log”. The Cambridge Dictionary provides the following definitions:
weblog. noun. /ˈwebˌlɔɡ/ a website on which one person or group puts new information regularly, often every day.
blog. noun. /blɒɡ/ a regular record of your thoughts, opinions, or experiences that you put on the internet for other people to read.
“Weblog” or another alternative like “website-log” or “internet diary” presumably weren’t catchy enough to really take off. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “blog” was coined in 1999, attributing the shortening to Peter Merholz, who wrote in the For What It’s Worth section of his own website: “I’ve decided to pronounce the word ‘weblog’ as ‘wee’- blog. Or ‘blog’ for short.”
As blogs began to influence mainstream media, “blog” became Merriam Webster’s Word of the Year in 2004: the most looked-up word in the online dictionary.
Writing blogs isn’t as easy as it sounds. To really make an impact, and indeed not a negative one, your writing skills really do have to be on point. Before you start typing, it’s also important to identify your target audience, come up with compelling content, think about SEO and the images you want to use to consolidate your message.
Here at Klein Wolf Peters, we’re busy focusing on our customers so we don’t publish daily blogs, but we do like to use this channel of communication to present ourselves to the world, showcase our writing skills, and echo the voice and ethos of the company. We blog about everything and anything: about language and the communication industry, about our latest company news and about anything else we think might make an interesting read. Some argue that the blogosphere is overcrowded. We disagree. Although the topics we blog about might change in line with current developments and trends, our blog itself doesn’t go out of fashion.
What we do know is that people these days live such busy lives that they prefer to consume information in smaller, more digestible chunks – so I’ll keep this one short and sweet. We blog because we love to write and entice our readers to keep coming back for more. We’re wordsmiths, so our writing speaks for itself: we don’t blag it – we blog it.