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[Opinion] A Decade of Blogs

Posted April. 10, 2007 07:36,   


There is a story going around about the power of blogs. Thomas Mahon, a tailor in Britain, was worried about his lack of customers. Listening to the advice of his close friend and beer buddy, Hugh, who was in advertising, he made a blog called “englishcut.com” in January 2005. Visitors poured into his site filled with information and sincere passion for tailored suits, and the orders started flowing in (An excerpt from “Blog Changing the World”).

It has been a decade since the blog, called the “personal media,” was born. Blog is a word combining “Web” and “Log,” meaning “logbook” of the internet. In April 1997, the founder of Userland Software, Dave Winer, created the first blog, called “Scripting.com.” As soon as Blogger.com was launched in 1999, over 70,000,000 expression-loving young users worldwide became attracted to it.

The blog culture of Cyworld.com, also launched in 1999 in Korea, reshaped the lifestyle patterns of young Koreans. Bloggers decorate their blogs like diaries, and visit others’ blogs as a daily ritual. The boom in digital cameras is closely related to decorating blogs. “Doing Cy,” “Linking Ilchon,” and “acorns” may seem like passwords to secret societies to those unaware, but blog users make up 39.6 percent of all internet users in Korea, over 13,500,000 people.

Because anyone can write posts, upload pictures and images, and “scrapbook,” the blog has been called the new alternative media. But due to the proliferation of false information and libel, its limitations are clear, and instead the blog is becoming a leader of the “Web 2.0 Revolution,” which emphasizes participation and sharing more than traditional journalism.

For companies, the blog is an attractive marketing tool. While the blog may be a public diary for the individual, it is the root of all word-of-mouth for businesses.

Chung Seong-hee, Editorial Writer, shchung@donga.com