I saw this headline on BBC News: “One blog created ‘every second’.”
“Crikey,” was my first thought, followed by, “well, of course, most of them are probably forgotten about after a few days.”
But then I read David Sifry’s report. It reveals that the majority of blogs are actually considered ‘active’. 55% of blogs have been updated in the past three months (55% of 14.2 million — that’s a lot!). That still means that 45% of blogs are dead, or at least dormant. Worse, only 13% of blogs are updated weekly. However, that’s still an awful lot of blogs — 1.8 million. So there’s plenty of choice out there. It’s getting a little bit crowded out here. 😀
What I find fascinating is that, despite the fact that the number of blogs doubles every five months, the ‘activity’ of the blogosphere has remained the same. So there aren’t heaps of bloggers just writing a few posts and then getting bored of it and moving on to the next fad. Or if there are, there are no more than there used to be.
I think the fact that there are now so many bloggers is a great thing though, and it’s one of the reasons why I have a problem with the idea of the blogosphere as one great big thing. People are always talking about the blogosphere, but unless there’s somebody out there who reads 1.8 million blogs a week the idea is useless. Bloggers aren’t all the same thing, and the blogosphere is non-existant, certainly in the sense that people like to think of it as (“the blogosphere said this,” “the blogosphere did that”). There will be pretty tenuous connections between blog number 1 and blog number 14,200,000. Instead, there are lots of mini-blogospheres. People probably think of the couple of hundred blogs that they read as the blogosphere, but everybody is reading a different couple of hundred blogs.
There is surely still also a problem as to how to define a ‘blog’. Do, for instance, LiveJournals count, or those things on Myspace? I somehow doubt it. I’ve never seen a LiveJournal appear in this blog’s Technorati cosmos, even though I know that at least one LiveJournaller has linked to this blog. But there are people who think of LiveJournals as blogs — they certainly share a lot of the same features. LiveJournals even have comments, which plenty of ‘proper’ blogs still don’t have! Then there are the blogs that resemble little more than a plain webpage. Imagine if all of these things were counted in Technorati’s results — the figure might reach above 30 million.