Blogs give average Joes the chance to express themselves, vent

NEW YORK - Many people have become obsessed with blogs - personal journals posted by individuals on the Web .

According to a Pew Internet Study, 50 million Internet users read blogs regularly. About 12,000 new blogs are created every day and about 10,800 blog updates are made an hour.

Blogging can be both a cost-effective and a time-efficient way of connecting with people, providing many benefits that can enrich your life.

Encourage your young children to create a blog that keeps track of their daily activities. Your college-bound kids can keep blogs so that you won't feel they're so far away.

But not everything is perfect: Don't trust everything you read in blogs. While more news organizations and companies are creating blogs of their own, many blogs are filled with false information.

Don't give out too much personal information in your blog. Even using your real name, rather than a pseudonym, puts you at risk. You don't want to unwittingly give thieves a road map to your personal records or financial information.

A free site where you can start your own blog is

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