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Published:December 11th, 2005 06:23 EST
Buy My Blog! Now

Buy My Blog! Now

By John Goodin

 

There was a time, not long ago, when online journals were reserved for depressed teenagers and minor celebrities. These days, they are a global phenomenon known by a different name " blogs " " and they are making their way into the real world.

Blogs (short for web-logs ") are websites that can be used by anyone looking to make their mark on the information superhighway. There is no distinct purpose for blogging: they can be used to post media downloads, personal journals, commentaries, business projects, and anything else that can be uploaded into the digital universe.

Recently, blogs have become an increasingly popular haven for journalistic endeavors. Beware; the term journalism " is used loosely. The information disseminated through the internet often takes on many different forms, depending on who`s spreading it. For every blog run by an objective, professional journalist, there is a source of distorted misinformation run by pranksters, propagandists, and other social misfits.

The potential risks of placing credibility with bloggers has not dissuaded the commercial market from picking up the trend. Websites have popped up across the internet advertising jobs for professional bloggers. From research to marketing, blogs perform tasks just as well as the traditional means, and in half the time.

Many corporations have acted as sponsors to blogs, giving special access to their products in return for periodic namedropping on popular weblogs. Dr. Pepper, for example, recently turned to teenage bloggers to promote their new milk product, Raging Cow. Also prevalent is the most tried and true advertising method of all: paying bloggers to post links leading to corporate websites.

Employment for bloggers does is not limited to subtle product placement. Several major news networks have begun covering the stories of the blogosphere, including CNN`s Inside Politics. " Many companies, primarily small business, are asking for experienced bloggers to head marketing operations. The members of the blogging elite are now seen as valuable, talented writers who are perfectly capable of translating their personal journals into business assets.

Because search engines have become so advanced, every blog theoretically has a chance to receive just as much attention as all the others. This is why it was only a matter of time before blogs were recognized as legitimate marketing tools. The playing field is leveled, and the blogs that provide the most valued information in the shortest amount of time are the ones that will succeed.  

While these advancements are rapidly heightening the speed and intensity of wireless information distribution, the anonymity and heightened aesthetic values of blogs may ultimately be a threat to objective journalism.

The world of blogging is a world in which each person has an effect on what is considered to be true. An increasing number of inaccuracies have been promoted through blogs, most notably the various personal takes on the Hurricane Katrina situation. Even in the case of legitimate bloggers making legitimate attempts at coverage, one-man news crews are dangerously ill-equipped to consistently produce reliable sources of information.  

Another danger of the endless sources of media consumption is the ability for people to personalize their news intake. The phrase hearing what you want to hear " becomes perilously literal when each citizen gets to pick and choose from whom they get their daily take on current events, completely free of a unifying authority that ensures accuracy and objectivity.  

As the digital revolution continues to become a part of our everyday lives, weblogs will inevitably secure a role as a valid part of our commercial and social landscapes. Google, the king of wireless world, has already begun building its stronghold in this department by buying Pyra Labs, the company behind www.blogspot.com. The momentum being gained by this movement cannot help but propel itself forward; the direction in which it will travel remains to be seen.