PITTSBURGH, May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Democratic candidate for President
Howard Dean's race for the nomination has ended. But he may still have
secured a place in history as the first presidential candidate to rely heavily
A blog, or online diary, according to Laurie Brown, a faculty member of
the Multi-Media and Web Design Department of The Art Institute of California
-- San Francisco, can be defined as "an online diary that relates personal
facts and stories, political opinions, or anything else that the writer wants
Dean's use of blogs allowed him to communicate with voters, speak on
issues, and solicit donations. Many believe Dean's decision to use blogs
helped him reach young and disenfranchised voters and secure an early lead in
While the term blogs is relatively new, Wendi Dunlap-Simpson of The Art
Institute of Seattle explains, "blogging was a natural development from the
basic 'home page.'" Since the web began in the first half of the 1990s, many
individuals began their own personal web pages, often including links they
found of interest. Says Dunlop-Simpson, "Some people updated their web logs
frequently with commentary, while others did so less frequently and without
much commentary. Eventually people started calling the ones that were updated
often with new commentary 'weblogs,' and later 'blogs.'"
For Sean Fitzroy, an Instructor in the Department of Multimedia and Web
Design at The New England Institute of Art, blogs offer a new approach to
classroom learning. Says Fitzroy, "All of the students in my Internet
Technologies class are required to keep a blog. They no longer turn in writing
assignments on paper. Instead they publish their ideas on the World Wide Web
and have the option to review, respond to, and link to other students' blogs.
Fitzroy says blogs can run the gamut, for example, "blogs can be simple
project tracking systems to cathartic 'tell-all' personal diaries, or fall
somewhere in between private and public communication."
Has blogging changed the face of online communication? Perhaps. Robert
A. Emmons Jr., Assistant Academic Director of Multimedia & Web Design at The
Art Institute of Philadelphia says, "After reading many blog entries, I found
some that were astoundingly personal. I imagine that in the back of their
mind, they might be thinking, 'Well, no one is going to read it anyway,' but
many times someone does, someone that can relate to what's being written.
This idea empowers us. To connect," he says.
Not all blogs however are serious in nature. In fact, some of the most
popular blogs can be funny and compelling reflections of their writer's
personal hobbies or obsessions, for example, a blog by and about a fanatical
knitter ( http://www.wendyknits.net /). Blogs can also morph into books.
Julie Powell, a secretary from Staten Island, cooked her way through all 524
recipes from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and is turning
her online diary ( http://blogs.salon.com/0001399 ) into a book.
Like Dean's blogs, online diaries can be similar to a daily newscast, but
take a smaller, more intimate approach. For example, during the initial
battles in the war in Iraq, an Iraqi student kept a blog about his emotions
and experiences during the first days of "shock and awe." According to
Anthony Moy, instructor in the Multi Media & Web Design department of the
Illinois Institute of Art -- Chicago "the blog allowed many people around the
world to experience the other side of the international conflict from a less
adulterated and personal level."
So what do you need to get started blogging? A computer and an internet
connection, for starters. There are several websites devoted to the art of
blogging. One of the biggest, according to Robert Emmons, is Blogger.com.
Other sites include Weblogs.com, Bloggerforum.com, and Diaryland.com.
Internet watchers say it's too soon to predict the future of blogs. Says
Wendi Dunlop-Simpson, "so much information, and yes, so much blather. But it's
wonderful that worldwide publishing is now available to anybody with a web
site. There are a lot of great writers and great stories out there, and now we
get to see what we would have missed if the Web didn't exist."
The Art Institutes ( www.artinstitutes.edu/nr ), with 30 education
institutions located throughout North America, provide an important source of
design, media arts, fashion and culinary professionals. The Art Institutes
have provided career-oriented education programs for 40 years, with more than
SOURCE The Art Institutes