CNET's posted an interesting Reuters article today that suggests that the head of GE's (NYSE:GE) NBC unit is open to the idea that some of the network's star anchors might start blogging. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, as the old saying goes, and some newspapers have already begun facing the music by inserting blogs into their online content.

For the uninitiated, the word "blog" is short for "Web log," and its humble beginnings were "online diaries." Over the course of time, the form has taken on more important issues -- these days some blogs specialize in certain subjects, such as politics or literature, and have turned many people into amateur pundits. Their interactive nature -- blogs allow visitors to post comments -- also make it an attractive medium for the Internet-inclined.

Meanwhile, not only have blog celebrities emerged -- previous unknowns such as Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report, or someone such as Ana Marie Cox, known in the "blogosphere" as Wonkette -- but celebrities grown the old-fashioned way have gotten into the act. For example, I know some fellow Fools enjoy stopping by Dave Barry's blog occasionally, and I found myself visiting David Duchovny's blog recently (I guess I haven't quite gotten over my crush on his Fox Mulder character, of X-Files fame).

Anyway. The popularity of both reading and writing blogs has increased, according to a recent study from Pew Internet & American Life Project, even though there is still plenty of growth, seeing how a majority of folks (62%) still didn't know what a blog was as of January.

The idea that there is such room for growth would explain why outfits such as Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (which has owned Blogger for quite some time), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) are getting into the practice. Blogs may be as free as free can be, but they're quite possibly developing into another source of stickiness, ripe for advertising revenues.

Meanwhile, though, old-school media companies seem to have a love-hate relationship with bloggers, and the Reuters article pointed out a few important truisms: For example, that the "dinnertime appointment" with evening news anchors is no longer quite so relevant to the modern American as it once was.

Furthermore, there has been quite a bit of media attention over the last year or so as news stories have been "broken" by bloggers, and it's arguable that oftentimes, bloggers have voiced opinions that many people could relate to more personally than those of traditional journalists -- or, conversely, blogs have often given their audiences the opportunity to speak their own minds in comment sections.

Is the world ready for a media where you can talk back to the experts? Where accountability or difference of opinion can be publicly aired? Where the tough issues that come to light in news stories get discussed? (OK, and granted, where occasionally greatly misspelled flames with inappropriate language are posted.) Given the history and increasing popularity of blogs, it seems the time may be nigh, and reports like this suggest media companies are taking the challenge seriously.

Read more on the growth of blogs:

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Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.