Microsoft jumps on the wagon

With Blogs now going mainstream, Microsoft has jumped on the wagon and started hosting blogs at at ttp://spaces.msn.com/.

Blogs have really become the latest fad, with 'blog' being chosen as the word of the year by Merriam-Webster (an American dictionary publisher). 'Blog' was simply the most looked up word of the year, and it will appear in the 2005 edition of the dictionary.

Top ten words of 2004:

1. blog
2. incumbent
3. electoral
4. insurgent
5. hurricane
6. cicada
7. peloton
8. partisan
9. sovereignty
10. defenestration

There have been several high profile blogs this year.

1. Iraq: Nearly all the information from Iraq is filtered by politicians or the media. But not blogs. Before the war in Iraq, the world had only heard of one blogger, who went by his online name of Salam Pax. Now there are about 70 high profile blogs, Confusion is a common theme among many of the Iraqi blogs, which is not surprising, given the difficult situation in Iraq.

2. Belle De Jour: A London call girl's blog was one of the most popular sites worldwide. When she decided to call it a day and stop blogging, it was such an event that the BBC Website did an article on it. Last year, the blog earned a Guardian newspaper award and Belle was also signed up for a book deal based on her apparent experiences as a call girl.

3. Flight Attendant: A US flight attendant lost her job, over pictures she posted on her blog, and also received a lot of media attention. Queen of the Sky, otherwise known as Ellen Simonetti, evolved into an anonymous semi-fictional account of life in the sky.But after she posted pictures of herself in uniform, Delta Airlines suspended her indefinitely without pay, and then fired her. Ms Simonetti was told her suspension was a result of "inappropriate" images.

4. Boris Johnson: Even though I'm not his biggest fan, Boris Johnson has been one of the most talked about politicians this year. The Tory MP has been on a rollercoaster ride, receiving a lot of attention, and then a spectacular crash when he was fired for lying over an affair. However, I have to confess that I read his blog every now and then, as his opinions on the latest politcal issues make a very interesting read.

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