Media Morph: BoingBoing

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What it is: Officially billed as "a directory of wonderful things," BoingBoing also holds the title of "most popular blog in the blogosphere," according to, which measures links from blogs to blogs. On a typical day last week, more than 16,627 blogs had linked to BoingBoing, whose topics are so divergent Co-Editor David Pescovitz calls it a cabinet of curiosities. "We've never really been able to pinpoint what BoingBoing is about," he says. Many postings have a slightly techie bent.

Precursor: Former Wired Editor Mark Frauenfelder launched BoingBoing as a zine in 1988 and brought it online in 1994. In 2000 he turned it into a blog and has three co-editors (all writers who also cut their chops at Wired): Cory Doctorow, Xeni Jardin and Pescovitz.

The numbers: By its own count using log-file analysis program AWStats, in September BoingBoing logged 2.2 million unique visitors. Nielsen/Net Ratings, which said it used a small sample size to track BoingBoing, recorded an estimated half million unique visitors in August.

A sampling of posts: Last week's posts included one about Italian scientists creating the first-ever remote-controlled pillbot, a photo of a "milky sea" (an area of seawater that glows white thanks to bioluminescent bacteria) and a digitally created picture of Dr. Spock and Captain Kirk of "Star Trek" sharing a bathtub.

What people are saying: If this blog were a person it would be "Steve Jobs meets P.T. Barnum," writes Jessica Berthold of The Allentown Morning Call; The Independent says, "With this many wonderful things to read, don't expect to get any work done."

Why you should care: As a perpetual topper on Technorati, it wields plenty of influence in the blogosphere, and many early adopters check in here.

Ad aware: The editors filter every advertisement that appears on the site (John Battelle, whom they call their "band manager," sells them). "We're trying to be good Net citizens," Pescovitz says. "We won't approve pop-ups, endless loops of animation or anything else we find annoying in our Web experiences."

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