Following one of the biggest days in democracy, it seems like a good day to talk about another manifestation of democracy, via the Internet:  Blogs.

The ability to blog is arguably one of the coolest, most valuable features the Internet has brought. Blogging itself has completely changed the production of written texts, allowing virtually anyone to speak their mind, and share experiences good or bad, sans censorship.

A new study by Jupiter Research found that not only has blog readership gone up–by 300 percent!–but that blogs influence the purchase decisions of readers. And this influence is far more than that of social networks. None of us here would say it’s much of a surprise. Consider what blogs offer:

1. A real voice for the people. When I was a growing up I always imagined writing a letter to the editor, or if a business gave bad service, reporting them to the Better Business Bureau.  Now I don\’t have to; even if I don\’t have my own blog, there are countless out there ready and willing to accept comments.

2. Personal and original content.  Who wants to read the same old dry perspectives, the corporate pitch, the product specifications, when you can check out blogs and learn about real experiences and opinions?

3. Word-of-mouth builds trust.   Who doesn\’t believe what a friend or colleague says about a product or issue?  Most of us at least give this more credit than a biased spiel from an organization, corporate or otherwise. Blogs mimic the power of word-of-mouth because they offer a platform to collectively share and exchange experiences and insights.

Do you use blogs in your life, professional or personal? How do you find them the most valuable?   Take a moment to share with us below!

Shaneli Ramratan, Director of Marketing, mobileStorm