A blog (short for weblog) is a Web application comprised of posts similar to a diary or journal entry. Bloggers, or blog writers, can create a custom-made blog through a number of free or paid subscription services and post written entries, photos, videos, links, and other content. Blogs can also include a wide array of additional features, such as reader comments, privacy settings, calendars, RSS (really simple syndication) feeds, and others.

In recent years, blogs have become popular with specific groups such as journalists, students, hobbyists, public figures, and organized groups.

Sharing Personal Information

The Internet, by definition, is a largely public venue, with users around the world able to access information through search engines and quick links. Keeping that in mind, bloggers should give careful consideration before posting. Posting personal identifying information can put you at risk for identity theft, stalking, and cyberbullying, among others. Be aware that posting controversial or offensive content may elicit strong or heated responses. Note also that if you have included identifying information on your blog, potential employers, colleges or universities, or other groups may be able to find your blog through a simple Internet search.

Most blogging software provides users with privacy settings, such as making a blog password-protected or disallowing or moderating comments. GetNetWise.org provides tips and guidelines for protecting your blog or website.

Bloggers may also post publicly, but use a pseudonym to write anonymously. However, readers may still identify the blogger if there are photos or other identifying information within the blog. When information is posted online, it will be available for millions of people to view for an undetermined amount of time. Web archive sites, like the Way Back Machine, keep copies of websites that may have been posted and removed.