Essential Tools for Blogophiles
A much better web browser than Internet Explorer. Faster, more secure (no ActiveX support), tabbed browsing and a useful bookmark manager are a few of the more helpful features. People who read blogs and news sites will love being able to ctrl-click on links to open them in new tabs so that they can view them later without navigating away from the current page and without opening up a separate window.
Offers collections of recently posted articles in a number of news categories from a wide range of sources. I suggest you customize/personalize the page as this lets you re-order the display of topics, add or remove topics and even create custom news categories of your own. I, for example, created a gun news category that shows me any recently published news stories containing the word "gun".
It lets you quickly enter free news sites without the hassle of creating an account and providing personal information (or cleverly crafted misinformation). I suggest you click on the FAQ link and get the plug-in for your browser so you can just right-click on any login field and select "BugMeNot" to fill in a username and password from the BugMeNot.com database.
A search engine specifically for blogs. Many of the mainstream search engines either exclude or do a poor job of indexing blogs. Technorati lets you search the blogosphere for topics that interest you, much as Google lets you search the web at large. Conveniently, it also shows you how many other sites link to each blog in the search results as a pseudo-measurement of how much popularity/authority they have. You can even search within any of the blogs in your search results to find specific posts that contain your key words.
A web site to help you quickly check if a story, legend or email is a known Urban Legend. Before you get riled up about the latest "I can't believe that really happened!" story, search for it on Snopes to make sure it isn't a well known fake. It's both embarrassing and annoying to forward a story to your friends and family only to later find out that it was a myth.