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Yahoo unveils blogging service in Korea

The first blogging service to bear the Yahoo name has been launched by Yahoo Korea.

Developed in-house by the Seoul-based subsidiary of Yahoo, Yahoo Blog went live on Thursday and is the first blogging service offered to users on the Yahoo network sites, said Brian Kim, a spokesman for Yahoo Korea.

"Blogging is not popular yet [in South Korea] although we think it will get popular like other community services," Kim said. The service is available free to Yahoo users and is competing against blogging services launched by portal competitors such as NHN's Naver and KT's Hanmir, he said.

"Now Yahoo Blog can only be accessed from a personal computer but we are planning a service through mobile phones," Kim said.

Kim did not know if other Yahoo portals were planning to follow the lead of Yahoo Korea by launching blogging services.

Blogging is one of the newest internet trends and is beginning to develop a cult following. It involves internet users publishing an online journal, often of their thoughts and musings on life, issues of the day or, more often than not, pointers to things they have read on other blogs.

As its popularity rises, some of Yahoo's US rivals are launching blogging services of their own.

On Monday, America Online announced the launch of AOL Journals, which is a blogging service for its members. Users can access and update their blogs via PC, text message, instant message and telephone.

The service supports both text and images. Lycos also offers blogging as part of its Tripod home page service, although another of Yahoo's rivals, Microsoft's MSN, has yet to announce a service.

Earlier this year Google acquired Pyra Labs, the company behind the Blogger website. Google, one of Yahoo's biggest competitors in the search market, has built direct links and support for Blogger into the latest version of its toolbar application for Internet Explorer.

However, a recent report by Forrester Research indicated that blogging is still anything but mainstream. Data from two of the company's recent surveys of US internet users found 2% of online households access a blog at least once a week and Forrester characterised the average blog reader as a "young, nerdy male".

Martyn Williams writes for IDG News Service


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