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blogosphere

Blogosphere is a term some writers have used to describe the grassroots and interactive journalism made possible by participants in blogs (logs or journals maintained on the Internet) and the symbiotic relationship between bloggers and traditional journalists. In this relationship, bloggers often cite and link to mainstream news articles and mainstream journalists often get story ideas from blogs they monitor.

One observer likens the millions of blogs and their contributors and users to a blog biosphere or ecosystem. Another view is that the participatory phenomenon of the blog and its impact on journalism has created the 21st century equivalent of the 18th century coffee house, a place where anyone interested could meet to exchange news and opinions in public.

Blogs allow grassroot news to be developed by eyewitnesses or those with expertise or interest in a particular subject area. The blog format allows readers to add further information or corrections. Journalists can then report and consolidate blog leads into stories for a wider audience. And, in turn, bloggers will tend to refer to these stories, sometimes using them as touchstones for additional news or opinion. The events of "post-9/11," for example, have generated thousands of blogs (sometimes known as "warblogs") that in turn have triggered a significant number of news articles. Meanwhile, blogs are said to be generating so much traffic at some sites that they're affecting server bandwidth.

Many blogs syndicate their content to subscribers using RSS, a popular content distribution tool.

This was last updated in March 2006

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