Pioneer blogger Justin Hall “created” blogging back in 1994, but it wasn’t until 2004 that the blog gained popularity as a public publishing platform.

Today, one in four Fortune 500 companies uses a blog to share its views publicly. A blog serves primarily to position a company with its audiences and provides a channel where it can articulate its corporate vision and its stance on various issues.

Individual bloggers generally have a somewhat different motivation for blogging. Many people start blogging when they feel that the traditional media have failed to represent their viewpoint. Bloggers are passionate about their subject and generally feel that it either isn’t getting enough attention or that the media’s views on the topic don’t align with their own.

These failings are one of the key reasons that experts and people with a keen interest in a given issue feel it is important to express their views through blogs, so that the issue can get the visibility they feel it deserves. Another key reason people blog is for recognition and enhanced self-worth.

For now, more people still read newspapers more than blogs, but bloggers can generally reach their target audience more quickly.

And this is where journalists and influential bloggers cross paths: both provide information and both want to attract attention in their area of interest. In this context, an influential blogger’s keystrokes are just important as those of a journalist. What they both represent is public opinion.

This post was originally published by Bruno Guglielminetti in Digital Thinking: Insights into an evolving online world, Spring 2011 edition.