Blogosphere sees healthy growthWhile the above report is about the blogosphere as a whole, here's an abstract from a paper written by James Gomez about democracy and the Internet in Singapore.............
BBC News Online
Nov 8, 2006
The web's love affair with blogging shows no signs of abating according to the latest report from blog tracking firm Technorati.
Every day 100,000 new blogs are created and 1.3 million posts are made, it found during its quarterly survey.
Postings intensify around significant events such as the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in the summer.
There has also been an increase in the number of blogs being written in the Farsi language.
Farsi - a Persian language spoken in Iran and Afghanistan - has moved into the top ten languages of the blogosphere for the first time.
"It indicates that blogging continues to play a critical role in debates about the important issues of our time" said David Sifry, the founder of Technorati.
Technorati is now tracking more than 57 million blogs, of which it believes around 55% are 'active' - updated at least every three months.
While the daily figure of 100,000 new weblogs is down on the 160,000 total from June 2006 it does not indicate a slowdown in growth rates.
It just means that more spamblogs or splogs - fake blogs used for promotion of affiliated websites - are being filtered out of the index.
Technorati ranks blogs depending on how many sites link to it. The blogging elite - weblogs which have more than 500 other blogs linking to them - number about 4,000.
Many of these blogs have been in existence for several years and tend to have new posts at least twice a day.
"Some of these are fully-fledged professional enterprises that post many, many times per day and behave increasingly like our friends in the mainstream media. The impact of these bloggers on our cultures and democracies is increasingly dramatic," said Mr Sifry.
English and Japanese remain the two most popular languages in the blogosphere. Despite problems for bloggers in China, Chinese remains at number three.
Although the issue of political expression by ordinary internet users in Singapore has received the attention of some scholars, very little has been specifically written on the impact of their use during general elections in the city-state.
Since the arrival of the internet in Singapore in 1995, the People’s Action Party (PAP) government has actively sought to control the supply of political content by internet users during election time.
This paper looks at how online political expression and the regulations to control it have shaped up during the last three general elections in 1997, 2001 and 2006. In absolute electoral terms there seems to have been no impact over the last three general elections.
However, as a supplementary medium for alternative information during elections, the internet has made some headway. It remains to be seen if this headway will have an impact on the absolute electoral results in future elections or become the target of more control.....continue reading