David Sifry has posted another one of his State of the Blogosphere blog entries. He writes

In summary:

  • Technorati now tracks over 35.3 Million blogs
  • The blogosphere is doubling in size every 6 months
  • It is now over 60 times bigger than it was 3 years ago
  • On average, a new weblog is created every second of every day
  • 19.4 million bloggers (55%) are still posting 3 months after their blogs are created
  • Technorati tracks about 1.2 Million new blog posts each day, about 50,000 per hour

As usual for this series of posts, Dave Sifry plays fast and lose with language by interchangeably using blogosphere and number of blogs Technorati is tracking. There is a big difference between the two but unfortunately many people seem to fail at critical thinking and repeat Technorati's numbers as gospel. It's now general knowledge that services like MySpace and MSN Spaces have more blogs/users than Technorati tracks overall.

I find this irritating because I've seen lots of press reports underreport the estimated size of the blogosphere by quoting the Technorati numbers. I suspect that the number of blogs out there is closer to 100 million (you can get that just by adding up the number of blogs on the 3 or 4 most popular blogging services) and not hovering around 35 million. One interesting question for me is whether private blogs/journals/spaces count as part of the blogosphere or not? Then again for most people the blogosphere is limited to their limited set of interests (technology blogs, mommy blogs, politics blogs, etc) so that is probably a moot question.

PS: For a good rant about another example of Technorati playing fast and lose language, see Shelley Powers's Technology is neither good nor evil which riffs on how Technorati equates number of links to a weblog with authority.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006 1:06:40 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Tuesday, April 18, 2006 2:41:20 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Normally I'd delete silly comment spam like this but since it came from a Microsoft employee (IP address - tide505.microsoft.com) who took time out to actually fill out the CAPTCHA form, I'll leave it up for posterity
Tuesday, April 18, 2006 5:02:50 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
It's not just Technorati; people have been under-reporting the size of the blogosphere for years. I think at least in part it's due to some snobbery on the part of the reporter -- a few years back, I remember some prominent bloggers reporting that there were 6 million blogs. At the time, LiveJournal had about 6 million users...
Tuesday, April 18, 2006 10:23:13 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
100 million blogs blah blah, I have to wonder how many of those are of the type where you have maybe <3 updates a year or less than 5 subscribers. It is totally pointless to shout off how many users you have when half of them may have already moved to the next big/new thing or simply have a page that pretty much no one is reading except robots.

There maybe 1000-2000 bloggers at blogs.msdn.com but those that don't have much interesting stuff to say or avoid saying quite often stop blogging at some point. Unfortunately that isn't all too uncommon for some of the more interesting blogs either.

My point is that, atleast in my mind, "blogosphere" implies some kind of "blogging or bloggers circle" and all the 100% personal stuff are likely to be of interest only to a very small circle (family) and therefore cannot be counted.

Therefore it is fair to say the blogosphere is perhaps around X bloggers not including Robert Scoble.

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