red tulips | copyright Jill J. Jensen




everything you need to know about the blogosphere


Got blog?

That might be the question you didn't know you needed to ask about another way to communicate online.

By now, blogs (short for 'web logs') have been around a while, but there's still a lot to learn. And a lot to keep track of. According to the BlogPulse website, well over 161 million blogs currently exist, with thousands added by the day. More than 60,000 blogs sprouted up in one 24-hour period. We do seem to have a lot to say!

So what's a blog? Think of it as an online journal. A place where you can post your thoughts on anything that happens to cross your mind — and invite comments from others. Linking to other blogs and to other snippets (or epics) of information from the vastness of the World Wide Web is also a key feature of this communication tool. Bloggers have certain affinities that draw others to them and make their "dialogues" appealing.

While you can view many blogs through a Web browser, just as you would a standard website, you can also "subscribe" to receive only what interests you; the site notifies you when a new item is posted. RSS (Really Simple Syndication; yes, that's actually what it stands for!) is the name of blogging's subscription-based "pull" technology — maybe you've seen the small orange RSS box in a corner of your Web browser screen or on a Web page. RSS feeds are immune to spam, which makes them a positive alternative to email for certain purposes.

Nielsen Media Research launched to get a handle on this latest techno-tool and to monitor the online world now known as the "blogosphere." Metrics are important to businesses and advertisers trying to convert air to cash and decide if their efforts are worthwhile.

Blogger or not, just taking a look at the BlogPulse website gives a broad view of our brave new, wild, wild, Web world.


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