Merriam-Webster, the folks who make the world's #1 dictionary, says the word "blog" is this year's top word. It was the most-requested word from its online dictionary. Here is the definition they give:
blog noun [short for Weblog ] (1999) : a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer.
That's a pretty good definition. I've been "blogging" for a while now, since back before I knew there was a word for it. In May of last year, I installed software specifically designed for this purpose. Most agree that MovableType is the best blogging software out there, although it can be tricky to install. My MovableType blog is posted here: Ye Olde Rad Blog.
I use it primarily for longer entries (such as this one) ...
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... so I can wax verbose without filling up the home page.
For the home page, I use Macromedia Dreamweaver, since RADIFIED contains more than just a blog. But for pure blogging pleasure, MovableType is easier, cooler & more powerful. It also allows the reader to comment (and tell me I'm full of krap).
I think the reason blogs have become so popular is that they offer honesty. People who blog usually don't have an editor or a sponsor influencing what they write. The content you read in a blog can be wrong, but you can usually feel safe that what you're reading is the author's true feelings.
I mean, if I think something suks, I say it suks. If I like something, I say that too. People who write blogs usually speak candidly and bluntly. I omit profanity, and try to limit my comments to things for which I have personal experience. When spewing my opinion, I try to make it clear it is only that: my opinion.
There are many rules for blogging. I break most of them. My only guide is to provide original content, some original thought .. and to write clearly. That's the least I can do for the reader. The response has been good, but I get my fair share of criticism.