In the past ten years, the spread of the Internet and other advanced technologies has had a dramatic effect on the way people access and perceive information. One of the most revolutionary technological novelties that characterises the modern 'digital revolution' has been the explosion of weblogs. Blogs have impacted numerous facets of international politics including elections, media reporting from zones of conflict, and corporate and congressional policies. They also have potentially significant implications for policy
making of the future and for national and global security. This has led to the claim that blogs deserve the title of the 'fifth estate', following an analogy with the other four estates that influence modern policy shaping: executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the state and the media. This book methodically analyses the various facets of the modern blogosphere that led the author to support this claim and offers a number of recommendations to further the empowerment of blogs in the global policy arena.