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Blogging as we know it today is considered to have begun in 1994. Early bloggers were known as diarists or journalers since their Web sites were often set up similar to an online diary or journal, keeping track of their daily thoughts and activities.

Jorn Barger, an industry pioneer with his weblog Robot Wisdom, was the first person to use the phrase, blog, around 1997. At the time, all digital conversation took place among communities using systems and online services such as Usenet, GEnix, and Bulletin Board. Conversations were held with user comments and messages threaded together on a virtual corkboard. Other users were able to read messages separated by topic or content and add newer threads to the conversation.

The start of new blogs became widespread in the late 1990s due to the use of blogging tools such as browser-based software and Web hosting services. One of the more popular hosting services,, was home to 43 percent of bloggers and reported more than 42 million blogs in 2012.

Blogs and bloggers are increasing their power and influence over how news, issues, and events are covered, commented on, and shared worldwide. The Web site The Huffington Post aggregates various blogs to provide news coverage on a wide range of topics including politics, current events, and celebrity news, and attracts more than 25 million visitors a month, according to the New York Times. In 2012, The Huffington Post sold for more than $300 million to America Online (AOL). 

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