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The Internet: The Missing Manual by David Pogue, J.D. Biersdorfer

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Blogs

If you want your news fast, furious, and highly opinionated, a Web log or blog may be just the thing to spice up your day. A blog is an online diary or journal posted on the Web for all to see.

There are millions of blogs peppered around the Internet, turning it into the world's largest populist press. While many of them are deeply personal sites that read like someone's diary ("Today I took my pet chinchilla, Wee Fergus, to the vet…"), other blogs aim higher.

Tip

Anyone with Internet access, a little software, and something to say can set up a blog—including you. Chapter 19 has all the details.

A few of these blogs have risen to media prominence, even making a little money and getting a modicum of respect from established news organizations with much bigger budgets and staff payrolls. The vast majority of blogs, however, don't get much readership beyond the immediate family and friends of their publisher.

Bloggers are free from the usual editorial constraints of responsibility, impartiality, and fact checking. In fact, some can be downright biased and mean—which can make them maddening or a lot of fun, depending on your point of view. If you like super-snarky snipes from the worlds of publishing and entertainment, for example, visit Gawker (www.gawker.com), which consistently offers sarcastic dispatches on everything from celebrity sightings around New York to gossip leaked from the inner offices of glossy magazines.

Like your politics on the right side of the aisle? Try ...

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