In an effort to tap into what appears to be the public's soaring demand to express its opinions online, Yahoo! ( YHOO) said it was adding blogs to its Yahoo! News Search. The feature, which is now being tested, will allow a user to get blog results with their searches on the news site along with those from more traditional media outlets. People can add their blogs through
publisher.yahoo.com. Blogs are an increasingly popular type of media that attracts a young, well-educated demographic that's attractive to advertisers. Last week, Time Warner's ( TWX) AOL Internet unit agreed to buy Weblogs, an owner of 85 blogging sites. "Our expanded news search dramatically increases the consumer's ability to find events that matter to them, from major news stories, citizen reporting, commentary and pictures that might not be covered by the mainstream media," said Neil Budde, general manager of Yahoo! News, in a statement. Adding blogs is going to help Yahoo! as it continues to battle Google ( GOOG) to attract users to its site, already the most visited on the Internet. Yahoo! yesterday said it would add podcasts, online audio files that can be downloaded to devices such as the Apple ( AAPL) iPod player. People are taking a liking to blogging because it allows them to express their thoughts, well-founded or otherwise, on a range of subjects. For example, people can opine about The New York Times at annotatedtimes.blogrunner.com. The site dogblog.textamerica.com lets people discuss their dogs, while baldingblog.com is a forum on hair loss treatments. "What the blogs represent is a very affordable way for the masses to communicate," said Jack Shafer, media columnist for the online magazine Slate, in an interview. "If you go to blogs, you can sometimes find interesting takeouts on what you have written and what other people have written. I think that blogging is largely positive." On Tuesday, Yahoo! dropped 40 cents to $34.13.