Blogs don’t exist in a vacuum, of course–there are tens of millions of them, many of them interconnected, and blogging is increasingly synthesized with social networking. Many bloggers like to think of themselves as part of the greater community of the blogger world, commonly referred to as the “blogosphere.” Many bloggers communicate and cooperate, a lot of blogs have co-editors and links to other blogs of interest, and bloggers frequently comment on each others’ blogs. This is the case with any kind of blog, including photoblogs and videoblogs.
While generally an informal term of a humorous/satirical nature (it is a derivative of “logosphere,” the Greek term denoting the “universe of discourse), the term “blogosphere” has entered the general discourse, including mainstream media. Besides its personal social networking and community-building aspects, the blogosphere also serves as a kind of informal “peer review” of individual bloggers’ material. This is especially valuable in the case of news and investigative reporting on blogs, which has influenced contemporary journalism to a great degree.
Another important feature of the blogosphere is “blog ranking,” done by special services that keep track of the different webs of connections between blogs, and that can follow topics and conversations as they spread across the blogosphere. Examples of these services include the specialized blog search engines Technorati and BlogScope, and the blog content tracking service Tailrank.com.