Navigating the blogosphere

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In 1995 there were about 100 blogs worldwide. In 2005 that number had surged to 20 million, and in 2006 it skyrocketed to an astounding 60 million, nearly a third of which are in English. It appears as if nearly everyone has something to say, but how do you tell who has something of value to offer when it comes to finances and investing?

“Good financial blogs are updated frequently—at least once a week, if not daily—and hold discussions on the latest breaking news,” says Russell Bailyn, a wealth manager at Premier Financial Advisors and author of “Navigating the Financial Blogosphere: How to Benefit from Free Information on the Internet.” Good bloggers also link back to multiple articles covering their topic, thus attracting readers, he says, so look for those with “ten or more comments posted on the same day the author uploads the post,” Bailyn advises.

To get a better sense of financial blogs, peruse Technorati (technorati.com/blogs/directory), which gathers, categorizes and ranks blogs by the number of sites linked to them, and Alexa (instantbull.com/blogs_alexa.htm), which ranks blogs by traffic.
Then there are celebrity blogs, such as those posted by Jim Cramer and Suze Orman. Blogging reporters can be found at publication Web sites, including BusinessWeek, Smart Money and The Wall Street Journal. “Quite often, these reporters will keep a blogroll—a list of links to other blogs [they] like and trust,” says Wilson Cleveland, who counsels financial clients of CJP Communications on blogs.

Bailyn’s favorites include Seeking Alpha (seekingalpha.com) for stock opinions and analysis, Get Rich Slowly (getrichslowly.org/
blog) for common-sense advice on money matters and Consumerism Commentary (consumerismcommentary.com) for a mix of personal finance matters.

We have found The Simple Dollar (thesimpledollar.com) worthwhile for its ramblings on personal finance and smart career moves—though some comments are more insightful than the blog itself. BloggingStocks (bloggingstocks.com) has short pieces by investing gurus, including Cramer. College students and recent grads should take a look at I Will Teach You To Be Rich (iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog), a blog on personal finance for college students.