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Dipping a Toe Into the Blogosphere

There's a reason why 20,000 new blogs are born everyday, why the number of these online journals has topped 6.5 million and is more than triple the number in existence just one year ago. Blogging is easy!

I discovered this one afternoon when, after about the 10th time of extolling the value of blogging to my executive director as a way for our organization to connect to the lively activist energy flowing through the web, he said on a conference call, “OK, how hard would it be to get a simple blog built? What would it cost? Maybe we should give it a try.”

I logged on to Blogger.com, a free service provided by Google. I clicked on the “Create a blog” button, picked out a title (we were going after George Bush's selling of government policy to the highest bidders, so we called it “GeorgeWBuy”), and then picked out a simple template from the ones provided. Twenty seconds later, the screen said, “Your blog has been created! You can now add your posts to it, create your personal profile, or customize how your blog looks.”

Laughing, I interrupted the call to say, “Um, go to GeorgeWBuy.blogspot.com. I just built the site. And it's free.”

A week later, one of my colleagues astonished me by using the same tool to build DailyDeLay.blogspot.com, focused on Tom DeLay.

When the editors of YES! asked me to write a profile of one of my favorite bloggers for this issue, I said I couldn't pick just one. The most important thing about blogging is not the popular sites with the biggest audiences or the quirky individual voices. It's the democratization of media.

Does all this blogging just produce more cacophony?

Not at all. Read a few bloggers and follow their blogrolls, or use any of the new tools (like Technorati, Feedster, or Bloglines) that help readers zero in on blogs covering their interests. You'll soon discover a world full of real people committing a profoundly revolutionary act: They're telling the truths of their lives in their unique human voices. You can have a blog, too. Nothing is stopping you. C'mon in, the water's fine!

Micah L. Sifry is Public Campaign's senior analyst. His blog is at micah.sifry.com.

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