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"Don't ever turn down pleasure because you were afraid of what other people might say," writes Belle de Jour on her blog.

The London call-girl this week delivered that parting wisdom, as she put an end to her famous online diary. No more whips, no more chains, no more homemade S&M devices. A tragedy? Probably so.

Belle's last message didn't bring the public any closer to knowing exactly who the whore is. Register reporter Andrew Orlowski had once been fingered - pardon the pun - by papers as the possible blogger. At the time, Orlowski said, "It is true that a photographer from The Times staked out The Register this week. I'm shocked. To be accused of being a whore is one thing, but to be accused of being a weblogger is actionable." Orlowski could not be reached for comment this afternoon - being a media tart and off keynoting something or other.

Before that, his loving lass Sarah Champion had been accused of blogging for cash as well.

Now, however, it seems that Belle will finally reveal her true identity in the coming months. The Internet strumpet makes mention of a well-publicized book deal and even upcoming TV appearances.

"Doors have opened and I'd like to see where they go," it writes. "As book and telly projects progress, I'll come back to link - and I will let you know if the site is going to be moved."

It's hoped that Belle's TV appearances won't be marred by a blurry square over her no doubt pristine face. Plenty of fans must also be hoping to catch a glimpse of some fierce rug burn running down her arms or perhaps evidence of a whip crack on thigh.

To be sure, Belle will be missed, as she did more for blogging than drooping pundit Joe Trippi could ever hope to. Are bloggers changing the face of politics and challenging the old guard media like never before? No. But they are helping move a few more Segways.

Belle did what most of the waste can never accomplish simply because she actually had something to write about or at least something to pretend about. The real-world musings of a call-girl, participating with the hopefully washed masses, are fair more gripping than an Emergent Insomniac intoxicated by sloth, riddled with Diet Coke driven anxiety and climaxing over his latest "scoop" on the intricacies of Microsoft Word. Run, Dan Rather, run. ®

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