A blog (web log) is a website where stories (items) are displayed in a reverse chronological order, often centered around an area of interest. The action of authoring and maintaining a blog is called blogging, and the one who does it called blogger. Blogs are often non-formal, going for a more detached and subjective style of writing, usually targeted at a certain number of users and a certain interest. It is an important and active way of online communication, which has lead to the proliferation of many blog-hosting websites.
Various similar journals were published, either by radio amateurs (radio journals were called glogs), and, later, on USENET, BBS systems, forums and even traditional websites or more interesting options like the finger protocol. The term weblog appeared in December 1997, and the term "blog" appeared in 1999, when Peter Merholz broke "weblog" into a sentence: "we blog". Blogs have spread at an amazing rate, and various supportive software works have appeared.
Although, technically speaking, all blogs are websites, they do differ from a traditional website. Blogs are certainly designed so that the creation of new entries is very easy, usually form-based so that it often requires no programming or web design knowledge from the user. Unlike forums, only the blogger starts new discussion threads on a blog, although visitors are usually allowed to post comments. Most blogs are text-based, but niche experiments (like MP3 blogs) are ongoing.
Blogs have often been used to describe personal experiences, often making them more involving and challenging than traditional websites. Persons who have been sentenced to death or who live in special conditions have had successful blogs over time. Blogs are often used as a newspaper-like publishing environment by various social groups who share common views or interests. Blogs are theme-centric, which makes each of them very personal and unique in their own way.