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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 August 2005, 10:06 GMT 11:06 UK
One blog created 'every second'
Image of a woman at a laptop
The blogosphere is varied and growing at a steady rate
The blogosphere is continuing to grow, with a weblog created every second, according to blog trackers Technorati.

In its latest State of the Blogosphere report, it said the number of blogs it was tracking now stood at more than 14.2m blogs, up from 7.8m in March.

It suggests, on average, the number of blogs is doubling every five months.

Blogs, the homepages of the 21st Century, are free and easy to set up and use. They are popular with people who want to share thoughts online.

They allow for the instant publication of ideas and for interactive conversations, through comments, with friends or strangers.

Global voices

Technorati is like a search engine that keeps track of what is happening in the blogosphere, the name given to the universe of weblogs.

It relies on people tagging - giving keywords to - their blogs or blog posts so that its search engine can find them.

Free blogging services such as those provided by MSN Spaces, Blogger, LiveJournal, AOL Journals, WordPress and Movable Type were also growing quickly, said the report.

Image of a man at a laptop
Blogs are easy to use and can be subscribed to
Thirteen percent of all blogs that Technorati tracks are updated weekly or more, said the report, and 55% of all new bloggers are still posting three months after they started.

It also pointed to the growth in moblogs, blogs to which people with camera phones automatically send pictures and text.

Other services, such as the Google toolbar and the Flickr photo sharing website, have implemented "blog this" buttons, which also make it easier for people to post content they like on the web straight to their blogs.

The voices in the blogosphere are also sounding less US-centric, with blog growth spotted in Japan, Korea, China, UK, France, and Brazil.

Varied sphere

What is clear is that the blogosphere is highly varied, with blogs coming in many shapes and forms, whether they be professional or for personal use.

Blogs have been used as campaign sites, as personal diaries, as art projects, online magazines and as places for community networking.

Much of their appeal has been boosted because readers can subscribe to them, for free, to stay updated of any new posts automatically.

Blogs have played a part in highlighting issues that journalists have not covered. They have also proved to be a valuable communication channel for journalists in repressed countries who have no other publishing means.

They have recently shown how they can also complement and enhance mainstream press in coverage of events, such as the recent London terror attacks.

The Technorati report did not, however, break down the blogosphere in terms of gender use.

Over the weekend, the BlogHer conference took place in the US, which saw a gathering of almost 300 bloggers talk over blogging issues which are pertinent to women, and to men.


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