2004 was the year of the blog for sure. People everywhere took to the web like never before to spew their digital guts into bits and bytes for the world to see and read. Everyone from health nuts to wanna-be political pundits wrote and wrote about what they love and hate the most in their lives and the world.
The actual bloggers were not the only ones interested either. The national media embraced the word "blog" and spread the news of the new phenomenon faster than a mule kicking a republicans ass. Oh, wait... maybe that was the other way around.
Anyway, the word "blog" has officially become the most often searched word online this year according to dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster. The current edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary doesn’t contain an entry for "blogging," "blogger", "blogosphere," or even "blog" but in the face of the intense public curiosity about the word, the folks at Merriam-Webster came up with one to post online:
Blog noun [short for Weblog] (1999): a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer
It really is interesting how far we have come in such a short time. The blog is an amazing tool and in my opinion one of the best and worst tools invented for the internet yet. I say it is the best because it gives ordinary people the ability to publish their rantings for the world to read. I say it is the worst because ordinary people can spread propaganda and lies at their will with no oversight or control. This makes the information gathering process that much more murky and hard to navigate when all you want is the truth.
Overall though blogs and the "bloggers" take the high road and at least try to do their jobs and provide a quality service to their readers. Opinion is one thing that we should embrace in this country because for the simple fact that we can't be shot for doing so. Our right to free speech is a cornerstone to our beliefs in this country. If you are gay, militant, anti-war, sex crazed, religious, liberal, conservative, a bad writer or even an ordinary housewife obsessed with your pet poodle you have the right to speak your mind and publish your thoughts without fear and THAT is a beautiful thing.
On this note I would say "Go forth and blog" in 2005 and beyond. We'll be here reading, learning, laughing and crying with you because... well, we can.