Welcome to the new instalment of NetMechanic’s look at the world of Social Media terms.

This week we will cover the letter B, and the term will be exploring is the humble Blog, which you are reading right now.

The word blog is a combination of the words web and log. But that alone doesn’t really define blog at all. Simply put, a blog is a website with content that is written frequently and added in a chronological order. Many people compare it with a journal, except it is written online and for everyone to see. Some of the other terms for blog are online journal, web diary, and web log, but the most common term is indeed blog. The term blog can also be used as a verb to describe the action of updating a blog.

The blog definition continues with what is contained within a blog. It may just be a discussion on a topic the writer of the blog or blogger finds interesting, or a link to an article that is related to the particular focus of the blog. There are other types of blogs out there though, which use media other than text as content. These other types of blogs include:

Artlog – A blog just for different mediums of art, allowing others to comment on the art. (http://papelustro.blogspot.com/, http://photographyartblog.blogspot.com/, http://alastoria.wordpress.com/)

Photoblog – A type of blog meant to display pictures, and discuss them. (http://www.hjaltisigfusson.com/plog/, http://www.patrick-martinez.fr/, http://www.luketscharke.com/)

Sketchblog – Sketchblogs are chronicles of sketches of an artist that can be talked about. (http://blog.jilliantamaki.com/, http://andreajoseph24.blogspot.com/, http://anthonyzierhut.com/main/?page_id=12)

Podcasting – Podcasting blogs are videos that can be downloaded to MP3 players. (http://www.adamcarolla.com/, http://sixgun.org/linuxoutlaws/, http://mg.co.za/multimedia/podcast)

But to define blog and not talk about its potential to help a business grow is a mistake. Blogs rank well in search engines because they can concentrate on optimised keywords that tie into a home website for a company. They also rank well because blogs are updated frequently, and that is just adding new pages to the website, all of which register with search engines.

This can improve your visibility to customers, and connect with them on a more personal level, as blogging is a very free-form style of writing.