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Do you really know what a blog is or understand how it works? A video for people who wonder why blogs are such a big deal.

"Blogs in Plain English" introduces the concept of a blog as a way for every person to have the power to share news. The video includes:

  • How blogs are changing the idea of news in the 21st century
  • How blogs are created and organized
  • The role of blogs in bringing like-minded people together
  • How blogs facilitate conversation

You’ve seen the word, you’ve seen the websites, and you may even have one. But have you ever wondered, what’s the big deal about blogs?
This is "Blogs in Plain English".

To make sense of blogs, you have to think about the news and who makes it. We’ll look at news in the 20th century versus the 21st century to make our point.

In the 20th century, the news was produced professionally. When news happened, reporters wrote the stories and a tiny group of people decided what appeared in a newspaper or broadcast. Professional news was mainstream, general and limited.

The 21st century marked the point where news became both professional and personal. A new kind of website called a "weblog", or "blog" for short, came on to the scene and let anyone be a reporter and publisher, often for free. As blogs became popular, they created millions of news sources that gave everyone an audience for their own version of news. Of course, we’re using the word "news" loosely, but really, isn’t everything news to someone?

With a blog, a business owner can share news about his business, a mother can share news about her family, a sports star can share news with fans. These people are all bloggers. How does this happen?

Well, blogs made sharing news on the web easy. Anyone with an idea can start a new blog with a click of a button and share news minutes later. Here’s how blogs works:

Blogs are websites that are organised by blog posts. These are individual news stories, like articles in the paper. Bloggers simply fill out a form like this one to post a new story. With a click of a button, the blog post appears on the top of the page, just above yesterday’s news. Over time, the blog becomes a collection of these posts, all archived for easy reference.

Also, each blog post can become a discussion with comments left by readers. Blogs make the news a two-way street. But really, the fuss is not about how blogs work, it’s about what people like you do with them that matters.

Let’s say you have a blog about green living and outdoor photography. It reflects your unique perspective. This helps you build relationships with your readers and other bloggers with similar interests.

Speaking of relationships, bloggers often work together. In addition to comments, you’ll read each other’s posts, quote each other, and link your blogs together. This creates communities of bloggers that inspire and motivate each other.

Weather it’s their easy views or the opportunities they offer, blogs have been adopted in a very big way. Since 2003, there have been about 70,000,000 blogs created, each with its own version of news.

So that the big deal about blogs, is that they give people like you the power of the media, and created a personal kind of news that appeals to a high number of small audiences.

So, it’s up to you. What you will do with this new power? There is likely a group of people out there who want to hear what you have to say.

You can search for blogs using Google’s blog search or Technorati. You can also start your own blog for free, at Blogger or Wordpress.com.

I’m Lee LeFever, and this have been "Blogs in Plain English", on the commoncraftshop.

WONDER= be curious about

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT IT?= What is so important about it?
- That’s no big deal= that’s not very important

PLAIN ENGLISH= simple, clear English, so that everybody can understand it, even if they don’t know about the subject (e.g. "I told her in plain English that I don't like her, but still she doesn’t understand!")

TO MAKE SENSE OF X= to understand X

NEWS= this word ends in –S but it is uncountable, so the verb is singular.
- I’ve got some news
- I've got a piece of news (
but not *a news)
- no news is good news
When we say "the news" it is a singular countable noun, and it usually means the news programme on TV or the radio, e.g. "Have you listened to the news today?"
In BrE it is pronounced with a diphthong (like in YOU), in AmE it is pronounced with a single vowel (like in BOOT)

VERSUS= (formal) against, compared to, confronted with

TO MAKE OUR POINT= to make you understand our idea

REPORTERS= journalists

TINY= very little

BROADCAST= something that is heard on the radio or seen on television

MAINSTREAM= the group of people or ideas that most people belong to.

FOR SHORT= as an abbreviation

CAME ON TO THE SCENE= appeared

SOURCE= the source of something is its origin, the place where it comes from

AUDIENCE= the group of people listening or reading

WE’RE USING THE WORD "NEWS" LOOSELY= we’re using the word "news" with a non strict meaning

SHARE= if you share something with another person, you both have the use of it

POST= to post something on the web is to publish it, to put it on a web page so that other people can see it. In a blog, the piece of text you post there is called "a post" (instead of an article or a text)

ABOVE+number= higher than, more than

OVER TIME= after some time

ARCHIVED= filed, organized

FOR EASY REFERENCE= so that it is easy to consult them, to look for information there

A TWO-WAY STREET= something that works in both directions, going to and coming from

THE FUSS= the exciting thing

MATTERS= is important

GREEN LIVING= a way of life which is ecological, respectful with nature

OUTDOOR= something outdoor happens outside a building (in the open), especially if it’s outside a town, in the middle of nature.

UNIQUE= pronounced with the stress on the second syllable. Something that is unique is the only one of its kind, there’s nothing else similar.

QUOTE= to repeat the exact words that someone has written or said.

LINK= on the Internet, to link to another page is to put a link to that page, so that people who click on the link can go to the other page

2003= years in English are read in groups of two ciphers:
1734- seventeen thirty-four
1800- eighteen hundred
1905- nineteen o five
1980- nineteen eighty
That’s alright up to the year 2000, but there things change. The year 2000 should be "twenty hundred", but we say "the year two thousand"
2003- may be "twenty o three", but we usually say "two thousand and three". Up to the year 2010 when people begin to say more ofte "twenty-ten" (but still "two thousand and ten" is still possible).

THE BIG DEAL ABOUT BLOGS= the important thing about blogs

THE MEDIA= the mass media communication systems (radio, television, newspapers, etc.). The word "media" is the plural of "medium", so "the media" or "the mass media" are supposed to be plural words, but the are often used with singular verbs, even sometimes you can see the regular plural "the mass mediums".

APPEALS TO X = it is interesting for X

IT’S UP TO YOU= you decide, it’s your decision

LIKELY= probably

SEARCH FOR= look for

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