America Online (AOL) announced recently they will pay as much as 25 million dollars for Weblogs, Inc. (www.weblogsinc.com) in a move to expand their reach even further into the consumer market.
Blogs, also know as weblogs, enable individuals to post, comment, and respond to various topics online without publishing a website. All text editing and commenting takes place right through the web browser.
The Web’s leading blog search engine, Technorati.com, lists 19.2 million blogs online.
Blog popularity has skyrocketed to the point that even news networks like CNN and MSNBC quote blogs, in particular political blogs, often giving some blog publishers instant rock star status with the media.
With all the hoopla around blogs, people forget that blogs, by their very nature, represent opinions, and opinions don’t necessarily represent the facts.
~ Information Pollution Syndrome ~
Blogs use a powerful form of psychology know as “social proof” where we look to others to help us understand how we should view, feel, or react to news and information.
Since the glut of information only gets more massive online with each passing day and rates impossible for one person to get through completely on their own, we look to others to help us sort the piles of data.
When you combine this with another online phenomenon, virtual anonymity, you get a volatile combination where any social responsibility for what gets posted flies out the window in many cases.