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The march of the blog

Posted by Richard Thursday, August 12, 2004

Last night, shortly after ten, we made 30,000 hits, exactly 110 days after starting publishing. We appreciate that this is still small beer, especially compared to some of the hugely popular American blogs, which take several thousand hits an hour.

However, what we find particularly encouraging is that, while it took us 86 days to make 20,000, the next ten came after only 24 days, with the hit-rate increasing through the "silly season" despite the paucity of news with many of our readers on holiday.

Yesterday also, Wired Magazine – the authoritative online magazine about the internet – published an article by journalist Dan Gilmour, columnist with the San Jose Mercury News and author of the recently published book "We the media – grassroots journalism by the people for the people", chronicling the social and economic impact of weblogs and other networked phenomena on the business of news.

Called "We're all journalists now", Gilmour's article makes interesting reading, not least because he believes the ability of anyone to be a journalist – and attract and audience – is noteworthy. He also believes that free speech in America has fared "wonderfully well" since the advent of these powerful communication tools.

As yet, Blogs have not really taken off as a political phenomenon on this side of the Atlantic, and we do not have the same potential vast audiences – although we note that we are taking hits from all over Europe, from the US and as far away as Australia.

It was 9/11, however, when it is generally agreed that the Blog came of age in the US. We feel that its day will come with the EU referendum, the first national referendum in which the internet – and weblogs - will be a significant factor in a campaign where good information will be hard to find.

We intend to be up there, in the running, disseminating information of value to campaigners, helping to make our prediction come true. In this endeavour, as always, we thank our growing band of readers and especially those who add value to the site by putting their comments on our Blogs.