What is a blog?
A blog is a website with regular updates (often daily or weekly) called posts, that typically combine text, images (graphics or video), and links to other websites. Blogs are often informal in tone—some resemble an online diary or journal, while others provide news or organizational updates. At AIDS.gov, we try to keep our blog posts to about 500 words.
Many blogs encourage dialogue by allowing their readers to leave comments. Blogs provide opportunities for you to share information and engage in an online conversation with your target audience(s). Some common free blogging platforms include Blogger and WordPress. Tumblr is a popular social blogging site where individual blog posts can be taggable, searchable, followed, “liked”, and reblogged.
Who is blogging?
- By the end of 2011, there were an estimated 181 million blogs worldwide, up from 36 million in 2006.1
- By the end of 2011 there were 39 million Tumblr blogs and 70 million WordPress blogs.2
- 71% of all bloggers say they blog to speak their minds and share their expertise; and
- The majority of bloggers have been blogging for at least two years.3
How can I use blogs in response to HIV?
- Exchange ideas about HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and research.
- Increase program collaboration and service integration.
- Engage people at-risk for, or living with, HIV in a dialogue about HIV-related issues and topics.
- Share personal stories and experiences of individuals living with HIV or caring for someone with HIV.
- Provide updates from HIV conferences and other events.
What are some examples from the field?
- AIDS.gov’s blog
- AIDS Action Committee’s blog
- Black AIDS Institute’s Tumblr
- The Body’s Blog Central
- National Minority AIDS Council’s blog
- Sex, Etc.’s Tumblr
- White House Office of National AIDS Policy’s blog
Where can I learn more?
- Common Craft’s Video “Blogs in Plain English”
- Problogger’s “How to Blog: Blogging Tips for Beginners”
- The New York Times’ “Blogs 101”
1 Nielsen Blog, “Buzz in the Blogosphere: Millions More Bloggers and Blog Readers,” http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/buzz-in-the-blogosphere-millions-more-bloggers-and-blog-readers/. Accessed on 1/14/13.
2 Pingdom, “Internet 2011 in numbers,” http://royal.pingdom.com/2012/01/17/internet-2011-in-numbers/. Accessed on 1/14/13.
3 Technorati, “State of the Blogosphere 2011,” http://technorati.com/social-media/article/state-of-the-blogosphere-2011-part1/. Accessed on 1/14/13.
Last revised: 07/01/2013