Saturday, July 27, 2002

Diaries have been around for centuries, stuffed under mattresses or hidden in sock drawers, their pages containing the soul searching of countless anonymous authors. For this genre to adapt to a new format with the advent of a new technology may seem less than remarkable. But with the blogging revolution a shift has taken place: when you blog, there's the strange possibility, and in any case, the feeling, that your thoughts are being broadcast to the world. For some people this doesn't impede them at all; they blather on about their cat, their friends, their bodily functions, with abandon. Others try harder to reward the readers who visit their journals by not wasting their time.

Four years ago there were maybe a dozen blogs, two years ago, a couple hundred, and this year alone hosts over 375,000, according to Cat Connor, founder of Blogathon. The word "blog," a crude contraction of "weblog," now appears in an online dictionary of marketing terms.

Some of the original bloggers explain the recent revolution best: Rebecca Blood has written an essay on the history of weblogs and has just published one of the first books devoted to them. Meg Hourihan, one of the founders of, writes about blogs here.

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