Forget the likes of Bridget Jones and Carrie Bradshaw - there is now a new breed of diary addict who thinks nothing of keeping a no-holds barred online journal for all to see.

In fact, with one-in-four internet users writing a regular blog, and nearly two-thirds of them posting their personal thoughts on the web for anyone to read, it seems that many Britons are perfectly happy to reveal their innermost secrets online - albeit anonymously.

However, it's not just chatting and insider gossip that has captured our imagination, according to the Blogging Britain Report from blog hosting service MSN Spaces, which is home to three million British-registered blogs.

The plethora of online topics cover just about anything you can think of from health, hobbies and style to property, travel, world events and education.

"Blogging has taken Britain by storm and allowed a nation to express itself in a hugely interactive way," says Cristiano Ventura, MSN Messenger product manager at MSN Spaces.

However, there are an increasing number of news stories about employees who have set up less-than-flattering blogs about their company bosses and been fired when their cover has been blown.

Most recently, Catherine Sanderson, a British bilingual secretary living in Paris, was dismissed for her ramblings about her high-flying bosses at Dixon Wilson chartered accountants. (Visit

You have been warned. "Blogging is a great way of expressing yourself in a society where we actually feel as if we have fewer and fewer opportunities to voice ourselves as individuals," explains Prof Helen Petrie, specialist in Human Computer Interaction at the University Of York.

"We simply don't have the time to be creative these days, and it doesn't take a huge part out of our busy day to create and maintain a blog."

Another reason why blogging is rapidly gaining popularity in the UK is that most of us rarely have time to invest in hobbies anymore, Prof Petrie says.

"The blog may become a kind of hobby in itself, as well as a way of socially sharing what you are doing or are interested in - it's a way of interacting with people you have something in common with.

"The things we used to do in real life we are now doing in a virtual life and, of course, you have this feeling that you might be reaching people from around the world, not just your immediate neighbours and friends."

When it comes to sharing your personal diaries with all and sundry, Prof Petrie says it is often easier to be revealing about yourself to a more anonymous audience than those you know intimately.

"Many people write anonymous blogs which makes psychological sense because it avoids unwanted repercussions with friends and family, but there is that sense of release in expressing exactly what you think."

A blog can be whatever you want it to be, from a personal diary, a memo to the world or a daily pulpit, to a collaborative space, a political soapbox or a breaking news outlet.

There are millions of them, in all shapes and sizes. It's good to see what other people think. Get out and explore what other people are writing about Then share your findings.