From The Year 2005: The World According To Blogs
Blogs are going to get you and don’t think they won’t. A new form of informal, personal publishing that started out as online journaling is emerging inexorably as a new and mysterious medium that will give the manufacturers of mainstream media sleepless nights.
Blogging, blog

In 2005, nowhere to go but up.

Don’t think so? Take a long, hard look at the numbers. Technorati, a blog research firm, monitors 15 million sites and 1.4 billion links. (That’s billion as in billion.) The Pew Internet study says that 50 million Internet users are regular blog readers, and that a new blog is created every 7.4 seconds – good for about 12,000 new blogs a day.

But politics is only the beginning. Blogs exist in every category, from gossip to glamour, from sports to crime. Gizmodo, about gadgets, draws almost 211,000 visitors per day, and the Gawker and Defamer celebrity sites both draw about 131,000 each every day. Even corporate America has jumped on the bandwagon, with major corporations like Nike Inc. and Coca-Cola Co. weighing in with their own sites. According to Technorati, leading blogs like Boing Boing (“a directory of wonderful things”) are approaching the level of usage attained by The New York Times and The Washington Post; the tracking firm has Boing Boing and other blogs doing even better online in terms of links than media brands like The Los Angeles Times and ESPN.
How can this be? The phenomenon has everything to do with the nature of a Web that has the capacity to re-invent itself according to the ingenuity of its users.

The word blog is an abbreviation of the phrase “Web log” and most blogs share certain important characteristics. They are personal, conversational, informal, and a “post” on a blog is likely to be answered by other bloggers in similar fashion. These posts are invariably shown in reverse chronological order and you can usually follow the dialogue backwards via a track-back function. Bloggers also are inclined to incorporate lengthy quotes and links to additional information. Let others print the news that fits: in blogs, opinion is paramount.

Blogs are a democratizing force in media and communications because there is no barrier to entry – anyone can get started by going to a site like, now owned by Google, and blogging away on anything under the sun. Making money is a much bigger challenge, though bloggers can make some spare change from Google and Yahoo! and smaller companies that can deliver advertising based on the context-specific content of a given page. Subscriptions are just now creeping into the mix, but it takes high-value information to get anyone to pay for anything on the Web. How to make money beyond the standard click-through Web advertising model remains a challenge.

Even so, there’s still room for explosive growth, considering that 89 percent of Web users have yet to knowingly plug into blogs. Aspen, for example, is all but blogless – hard to believe, considering that just about everyone in the valley has an opinion about just about everything. But no matter. When bloggers have access to their own printing press, you better watch out. Compared to this, Gutenberg is nothing but a footnote set in lead.

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