Holy cow, blogman!

It is quite some time since I mentioned blogs and blogging so I hope you’ll excuse me if I return to the subject this week.

Before I get to the nitty gritty however, I should briefly remind you that a blog, or weblog, is a Internet-based diary which people use to record their experiences for the rest of the world to read. The technology is interactive and allows readers to reply to the original post, or have discussions with other readers.

David Sifry is the publisher of a quarterly report on the state of the blogosphere (at www.sifry.com) , which comprises all the blogs out there and the social and cultural networks around them. David is uniquely placed, as the founder and CEO of Technorati, a search engine devoted to blogs, to be able put together statistics on the blogging phenomenon.

Technorati is currently tracking 70 million blogs and reports that1,4 new ones are being created every second, which amounts to a staggering 120000 a day. Believe it or not, the growth rate of the blogosphere is slowing down and is now taking a whole 320 days to double its size.

Bloggers apparently add 1,5 million new posts to their blogs every day, which is up from 1,3 million per day in the last quarter. Japanese, at 37%, is the language of the majority of posts, with English following behind at 36%.

I get quite a lot of my news from the Internet and I see that the news sites I visit, mostly newspapers, are starting to use blogs as an important addition to the content they provide. It gives their correspondents a forum to publish information, opinions and experiences that don’t make it into print.

One of the premier sites in this regard is the Telegraph, at www.telegraph.co.uk, whose blogs page is one of my first stops, after the main news page. You never know what you’ll get, whether from the correspondents, themselves, or readers who have commented on the posts.

Another rising phenomenon are the increasing numbers of blogs which are being published in book form and which can earn their authors substantial sums of money. One example is UK journalist Judith O’Reilly, who began a blog at www.wifeinthenorth.com after moving from London to the wilds of Northumberland, and who cracked a £70000 book deal in six weeks.

Another example is the book Blood, Sweat and Tea by Tom Reynolds, which is a collation of the posts he made to his blog at randomreality.blogware.com, about his life as an ambulance medic in London. Tom’s is a fascinating blog, which more than doubled the research and writing time needed to write this column.

Anyone can get involved in blogging and it needn’t cost you anything because there are a number of excellent free blogging services available out there, including www.blogger.com.

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