This week in the Web publishing industry has been a little bit of everything: from blogs to online content, from social media to online visitors. We have also learned that 95 of the top 100 newspapers have blogs. As far as the numbers go, it was a great week to be an online publisher.

More Blogs for Newspapers

Nielsen/NetRatings reports that unique visitors to the largest Internet newspaper blog sites rose from 1.2 million in December 2005 to 3.8 million in December 2006. Moreover, it turns out that 95 of the top 100 newspapers have blogs! Blogs are not just for the reader, but for the reporter as well. Many reporters make a daily ritual of scanning the blogs for hot topics and in-depth discussions that might not be getting picked up via traditional media.

More Reality

CBS Interactive is launching an online feature that enables groups of viewers to collectively watch and interact with streaming TV content. Called "social viewing rooms," the service has the functionality of a chat room, video conferencing and standard live streaming -- all aimed to provide views with a more communal experience when watching the network's content online. says that viewers will be able to join a virtual room to "watch a synchronized playback of popular programs while chatting, taking polls, quizzes and even throwing such animated objects as tomatoes and kisses at the screen". Expected to launch next week, reality television shows are the first to benefit from the viewing rooms, which will make it even more "real."

More Associated Press

In a major reversal, the Associated Press has decided to reverse course on its controversial rate plan. The rate plan, which would offer a premium content package at an additional cost, was not received well. The AP faced many defections from members large and small and decided to cut member assessments by another US$ 9 million next year, for a total of nearly US$ 30 million. The AP will also start an examination of its member structure that could result in a complete overhaul. AP rate reductions will be considered for AP Broadcast members as well.

More Online Visitors

Newspaper Web sites attracted more than 68.3 million unique visitors on average (41.4% of all Internet users) in the third quarter of 2008 -- a record number that reflects a 15.8% increase over the same period a year ago, according to a custom analysis provided by Nielsen Online for the Newspaper Association of America. These figures are the highest for any quarter since NAA began tracking the data in 2004.