A “blogger” was recently charged in a Nairobi court for posting a hateful message to Harun Mwau. From the reports he posted the message from his personal Facebook account, but everyone has called him a blogger. So who or what exactly is a blogger?

Before defining what a blogger is, it’s important to first understand what a blog is. The term blog originally came from the word “weblog” or “web log”. It was coined by Jorn Barger on 17 December 1997. The shorter term blog was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog Peterme.com in April or May 1999. You can think of it as an online journal or diary, although blogs are used for much more now, like online journalism.

The definition of a blogger is a bit sketchy. If it’s considered being someone who has an online diary then anyone with access to social media accounts can be considered a blogger. You can use your Twitter and Facebook accounts to post things that make it sound like a blog. But if you think about a blogger as being someone who posts something in a systematic way on a specific dedicated website like WordPress or Blogger then the idea of people with Twitter and Facebook accounts should be thrown out.

While social media accounts are great for online diaries, having one does not make you a blogger. A blogger is someone who takes time to create content for a specific purpose. Bloggers take time to think about what to say and how to say it.

We may differ in our opinions about who a blogger is. But at the end of the day, the simple definition of a blogger is someone who runs and updates a blog.