Today, blogging is a full-time job

Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

Since I started my own blog in the sixth grade, centered on the somewhat trivial, albeit amusing, events of my individual life, blogging has become a much more powerful force. Today, blogging has become such a publicized means of expression that certain blogs have drawn enough interest for their writers to form entire careers off of their posts.

Blogs are the new source of sharing all types of information. We’ve come far since the days of LiveJournal and Xanga, two of the earliest (and simplest in terms of design and ability to be altered by users) blogging spaces.

Now, many people are starting their own blogs – not only for personal reflection, but as a profession as well. Why are journalists from The New York Times, or popular writers like Jeff Jarvis, leaving the more traditional forms of media and turning to the blogosphere?

Forbes magazine recently compiled a list of the most influential “web celebs,” several of whom are bloggers. At the top of the list is Jessica Lee Rose, a.k.a. Lonelygirl15. Rose’s character, Bree, or Lonelygirl15, was the teenage YouTube blogger that won the hearts of millions of fans through her videoblogs in which she vented her teenage angst. The character’s popularity eventually led to Rose landing TV and movie roles.

Another popular blogger is Mario Armando Lavandeira, Jr., who writes under the pseudonym Perez Hilton. Surely his blogs often present little more than celebrity news nonsense — but it is nonsense that gets his site over 10 million hits a month. This demonstrates that blogging is not a profession exclusive to professional writers or scientists, or even experts in a given field (although not everyone can follow the ins-and-outs of celebrity relationships like Lavandeira can).

Unlike Lavandeira’s blog, many of these forums aren’t only for frilly gossip. Matt Drudge’s is a highly-visited news blog that presents stories even before they are broadcast through traditional media. For example, Drudge’s site was the first to report of President Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. Here is where blogging can be highly effective, as evidenced by Drudge’s own book and weekly radio show, likely products of his success in the online world.

There are other regular people that have become famous through their blogs, like Mary Hall. This mom and IBM marketing manager was recently featured in The New York Times for her blog, The Recessionista, whose tagline is “a blog dedicated to savings on fashion, dining out and entertaining in the Bush economy.”

Blogging, it seems, is an increasingly legitimate form of communication and now even a plausible way of making a living. Many have progressed their careers greatly just by writing in the blogosphere — and if I’m lucky, my preteen-turned-budding-adult blog could help me be next.