The rumor about blogs

The rumor about blogs

The "blogosphere" continues to grow at a surprising rate. In fact, the number of blogs published is expected to double approximately every five months.

At this time, there is a new blog published every second, according to Technorati, the search engine that tracks weblogs. In March there were more than 7 million blogs, that number now exceeds 14 million.

Weblogs have become the home pages of the 21st century and are used for everything from sharing recipes, personal opinions and travel adventures, to the latest in political and economic news.

Blogs also face their share of controversy and praise. Reporters Without Borders recently published its "short list" of the seven best blogs of the 60s, which won the "Freedom Blog Awards" for defending freedom of expression.

The winners (chosen by the public that votes for their favorite blogs) included "Shared Dolores", which describes life in Afghan, and Mojtaba Saminejad, an Iranian whose blog is published in the Farsi language. (He received a two-year prison sentence in 2005 due to his blog).Because he allowed a comment on his blog in 2004 that he reportedly "insulted Islam" according to authorities, he was also threatened with imprisonment.

This award marks the first year for the event, but Reporters Without Borders expects it to be annual. The organization follows and reports on press freedom worldwide.

In oppressive countries, such as Iran (which closed almost all independent newspapers in 2000), blogs have provided a way for journalists and others to express themselves and share the latest news and events. But talking in those places often has serious consequences, like a blogger in Iraq who was jailed by the authorities after talking about what was simply a local problem.

China is another repressive area. Recently, the Chinese authorities declared that all bloggers had to register their blogs with them, or were at risk of being closed.

To help combat these and other similar problems around the world, organizations are being created to provide global support among bloggers to whom they are being repressed.

One of the biggest controversies at this time is whether bloggers should receive the status of "journalist." Some people see blogs and bloggers as a kind of counterweight to what they see as media arrogance, while others call them vigilant. Recent events with Newsweek, CBS News and others have caused a division between the mainstream media (MSM) and bloggers who feel that "the truth is out there" and want it to be told.

One thing that bloggers and the mainstream media agree is that things have changed forever. Media tools are no longer the exclusive property of the press, they are also freely available to people. What that means for us in the future, or what changes blogs will bring to the way we receive and act on the news we receive, nobody really knows.

It is not so controversial, blogs have also become a conventional tool for large and small businesses everywhere.

Blogs provide a simple and low-cost method for companies to keep in touch with their customers, get free publicity and create a trademark.

As technology continues to evolve, and the number of blogs continues to increase, it remains to be seen whether blogs will continue to be an effective business and marketing tool.