Blogs emerged from the primordial mist of Internet publishing in the late 1990s, and the term itself is a blending of "web log." These early blogs, often written by technophiles, sprang from the digital page as journal entries rather than carefully considered newspaper editorials.
Early blogger Jorn Barger is credited with coining the term weblog on Dec. 17, 1997 on his Robot Wisdom blog—a discussion of the finer points of James Joyce, Artificial Intelligence, and Internet culture. Peter Merholz later coined "blog" in mid-1999 on Peterme.com.
These early blogs were passionate rants, esoteric musings, and other forms of personal writing. They weren't fact-checked by trained editors and were almost immediately dismissed by print journalists.
Times have certainly changed, as blogs now enjoy greater favor with a format that lends itself to considered opinion and serious reporting. Blogs such as Hot Air, Redstate, Deadline Hollywood, and AllThingsD provide mandatory daily reading for their audiences.
At Police Magazine, we've been serving up seven blogs since May 2007—Editor's Notes, Gangs, Patrol, Recruit, SWAT, Training, and Weapons. We added three more—Technology, Vehicles, and Women In Law Enforcement—in July 2009.
We've had many memorable blog posts—click here to read our most-viewed post—and felt the time had come to shine more of a spotlight on the memorable work that's being done. As a result, we've launched "Top Blogs," a new e-newsletter that will bring you the very best blog posts from PoliceMag.com every month.
We're kicking it off Jan. 25, and you can expect it the fourth Wednesday of each month. We'll pick the top five posts from that month, so you can revisit them again … like that favorite song that's in heavy rotation on your iPod or phone.
We'd also like to thank all the blog contributors who have come and gone, as well as the stand-bys who bring informative, thoughtful posts each time they sit down at a keyboard.
If you're interested in adding your name to this list, e-mail Web Editor Paul Clinton at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let us know what topic you're interested in covering.