The term “bleg” is a portmanteau of “blog” and “beg,” and, as you might imagine, it refers to a request for assistance posted by the owner of a blog. In some case, an entire website can be a bleg, maintained specifically for the purpose of asking for something, and in other instances, a blogger may publish a blegging post to ask for help in special circumstances. Some people find blegging in poor taste, especially on sites which are already profiting from advertisements and other promotions, while other people find it acceptable in certain circumstances.
People may post blegs for any number of reasons. For example, some bloggers ask for help when they need to buy new blogging-related equipment, such as a laptop or other technology. If a blogger falls on hard times, he or she might also request support from readers to help pay utilities or to cope with the rent. Some blogs have also used blegging as a fundraising tool to fund trips to sites and events which the blogger writes about, or to raise funds on behalf of an organization or individual.
Although blegging is often done for the benefit of the site owner, it can also take on a more altruistic nature. Bloggers often pitch in to help each other out with medical expenses and disasters, publicizing the needs of other bloggers to expand the support base. A bleg might also be posted on behalf of someone in a community who needs assistance; for example, a blog which focuses on Houston, Texas might ask people to pitch in and help the victims of a fire get back on their feet.
Sometimes, a bleg doesn't involve financial or material support. For example, a blogger might bleg for information about something, like updates from people in a disaster area, or commentary from international readers. Some bloggers bleg for reader responses about topics of interest, asking readers to become more engaged with the website and each other.
Responses to blegs vary. Many readers recognize that maintaining a blog costs money and time, especially in the case of sites which are frequently updated, and since some bloggers attempt to make their living through blogging, readers may find the placement of advertisements, wishlists, and strategic blegs relatively inoffensive. Other readers suffer from donor fatigue, and they may be turned off by things like frequent blegging, sponsored posts, and advertisements. For this reason, bloggers are usually careful about how and when they bleg, as they do not want to alienate their reader base.