Every person in this world uses different platform or tools to communicate, each single day. Whether it is verbal or non-verbal communication, the society who lives under one similar community are able to exchange information and as well as ideas with each other. Back then before the society was introduced to modern technologies, all these benefits were very difficult achieved. For instance, the mail service. In the olden days, people from two different places communicate through mail. They have to wait for quite a long time to receive the letter back and it was very time-consuming. After the Internet was introduced to the public, e-mail came in and it helped a lot of people in various industries, including business industry or for private use. Now, people are able to compose or check their e-mail messages simply through their smart phone. While the technology changes rapidly, the phenomena called media convergence emerge. Media convergence brings together the three C’s, which are, computing, communication, and content altogether to perform in one single platform (Media Convergence and the Transformed Media Environment, 2011). For example, a smart phone allows people to call, send a text message, plays music, take photos and browse Internet. They can actually perform these actions simultaneously by using a smart phone, which is the platform. The similar thing occurs in Web 2.0 where the web is the platform. Since the emergence of Web 2.0, there are a lot of changes in terms of communication styles, format of sending files or even sharing information.
Blogs are one of the tools in Web 2.0, which has been widely used by the society recently. Before blogs were introduced and before Web 2.0 emerged, there were plenty of ways for them to share information or ideas either with the public or for private use, and one of the ways was through creating their own website (O’Reilly, 2005). On the other hand, there were some people who kept a diary book to write about everything they want without being judged by the public. All these methods were used before blog were first introduced on the web. According to Chapman (2011), LiveJournal was the most popular site for blogging in the early days, before Evan Williams and Meg Hourihan at Pyra Labs introduced Blogger in 1999. Since then, Blogger has become mainstream and it is a new platform for the society to post and publish something, thus, it replaced a written diary book, as mentioned earlier. In the early 2000s, it stated that there were only 23 blogs on the Internet. However, in 2006, there were 50 millions blogs all over the Internet and as the year increases, the number of blogs on the Internet increase as well. In 2009, Tumblr alone was hosting 11 million blogs, which is quite huge as it increases within just four years (Johnson, 2013). This is one of the examples to show that the society accepts the new or modern ways of communicating with people. Some people used blogs as their diary but without they realized it, they are letting other people to read as well because once the post was published, it is not private anymore. Nevertheless, blogs have been a strong platform for a lot of people, such as students, pre-teenagers, adult or even senior to express their idea with the whole world. With the feature that most blogs offered now, it allows anonymous to give feedback on particular post.
In terms of visual and appearance, there are few elements that differ Web 1.0 and Web 2.0, specifically in blogging. One of the elements is Web 1.0 sites are static compared to Web 2.0 (Strickland, 2008). Those days before blogs became such a massive hit, some people created their own personal website to write about any topics or issues. The information provided is very useful, but the appearance may not look as attractive as what most blogs offer now. With the technology that the users have now, they are able to customize their own blog page by using any kind of designs that they want simply by browsing through the editing mode. There are a lot of free designs, which have been provided, and the steps are not complicated. Moreover, Web 2.0 allows other people to contribute or make an impact on the sites, unlike Web 1.0, where people are only allowed to view the content, but not making any changes to the content. The same thing happens in blogs, where people can actually give feedbacks and engage with the owner of the blog. It changes the way people from different places to engage and connect with each other, which is much more convenient.
One of the advance technologies that changes and impacts the society in blogging is a tool called RSS, which stands for “Really Simple Syndication” (O’Reilly, 2005). RSS is a technology that is being used by bloggers to keep update with their favorite websites. Before RSS came in, in order to keep track, the bloggers had to use bookmark and it was quite complicated as bookmark would not notify them whether the sites have been updated or not. The only way to overcome that was through checking the websites that they have bookmark frequently, otherwise, they will missed the information updated. However, with the RSS, bloggers would not miss any latest news updated, as they will be notified through email or on news feed. Instead of visiting five different pages to get different kind of information such as latest news, photo updates or weather forecast at one time, RSS allows the bloggers to combine all pages together in one single window. Richardson (2004) mentioned in an article that the aggregator or news feed collector checks the sites that the users subscribed to in every hour and it will collects new content into one folder. This news feed collector will also check whether the website is virus-free or not, and there will be no advertisement or spam messages that will interrupt the users. Apart from that, there are many reasons on why the bloggers use RSS, such as for hobby and interest purpose, to keep updated with political issues, world news or celebrity news and to be notified when a new song has been uploaded. This technology is very convenient as it could deliver messages very quickly and it does not matter whether it is day or night, the information will be updated at any time.
The other benefit of blogs is, it is a powerful and strong platform for education purposes. Blogs For Education (2012) stated, “Blogs can promote open dialogue and encourage community building in which both the bloggers and commenters exchange opinions, ideas, and attitudes”. This will allow the teacher or lecturer to upload reading materials or even update them with any latest news, such as if the class will be postponed to another day and what not. The writer also suggested that the teacher or lecturer could assign their students to do several homework or assignments through blog and let each student to set up their own blog. Thus, the students are able to upload all digital files in their blogs as a portfolio, which will be an advantage for them in the future. Right now, there are few blogs that were created for education purposes, for example eJourney, Skippy, Bright Ideas, Readers Cup and as well as Connect. All these Weblogs have similar function and purpose and it is a new and an advance way of communicating and delivering information in terms of learning process.
Other than that, the society could also gain side income through blogging. Nowadays, a lot of people have taken this opportunity to build one platform for them to start a new business, such as online retail shops or hair products. This is one of the easiest methods that people, specifically those people who want to begin small businesses. They do not have to buy domain name and pay every year. Besides, there are few websites that are associated with blogs, which allow these blog users to gain money if someone visits their blog page. A lot of influential people or famous bloggers use this and this explains why they could earn a lot of money through blogging. Plus, a lot of bloggers nowadays are trying to focus on one single subject that they are capable to talk about and become an expert in that particular field. For instance, a food blogger. This blogger will update about new places to eat and promote these cafes or restaurants to the subscribers. Some of them were paid to promote the place and some of them were even invited to come and give reviews. But then again, it only happens if the users are influential in their blogs.
Hence, the transformation of Web 2.0 really gives a huge impact on the way people communicate nowadays. All these technologies have improvise and evolve, thus, it is very convenient for the online users to practice everyday. The revolution of technology affects the society in many ways, physically and as well as mentally. In addition, blog is one of the powerful tools that plays as an important role in various elements which have a lot of good outcomes for the users and it is getting advance as the day goes by.
Blogs For Education. (2012). Retrieved from
Chapman, C. (2011). A Brief History Of Blogging. Retrieved from http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2011/03/a-brief-history-
Johnson, J. (2013). The Rise Of Blogging [Infographic]. Retrieved from http://www.blogherald.com/2013/04/22/the-rise-of-
Media Convergence and the Transformed Media Environment. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.alrc.gov.au/publications/3-
O’Reilly, T. (2005). What Is Web 2.0. Retrieved from http://www.oreilly.com/pub/a/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html?page=1
Richardson, W. (2004). Blogging and RSS — The “What’s It?” and “How To” of Powerful New Web Tools for Educators.
Retrieved from http://www.infotoday.com/MMSchools/jan04/richardson.shtml