Blogosphere Growing, But Is Anybody Reading?
Feb 9, 2006 1:34 PM PT
The blogosphere is over 60 times bigger than it was just three years ago. So says Technorati, a firm that tracks 27.2 million Web logs, or blogs. The firm's latest report indicates that the blogosphere continues to double about every five and half months.
In fact, Technorati's "State of the Blogosphere, February 2006" shows 75,000 new blogs are created every day. That means on average, a new blog is created every second of every day -- and 13.7 million bloggers are still posting three months after their blogs are created.
"Even though there's a reasonable amount of tire-kicking going on, blogging is growing as a habitual activity. In October of 2005, when Technorati was only tracking 19 million blogs, about 10.4 million bloggers were still posting three months after the creation of their blogs," Technorati's Dave Sifry said in his report.
Who's Reading Blogs, Anyway?
Will the blogosphere continue to grow at this rate? Some analysts are skeptical. "I don't expect it to continue to grow at this rate, and I don't think it is growing at this rate," said B.L. Ochman, President of WhatsNextOnline.com.
"Lots of people may start to blog but 99 percent of them don't continue to blog, or if they continue they don't have an audience. Most blogs don't have anybody reading them," Ochman told TechNewsWorld.
Indeed, of the 27.2 million blogs, only 2.7 million bloggers update their blogs at least weekly, according to Technorati.
"Unless you develop an original voice and continually provide original content and news, it's not going to be something that is going to have much attention paid to it," Ochman said. "
Dealing With Sping
Still, there has been an increase in the overall noise level in the blogosphere, most notably in the number of spam and fake pings that are sent -- what Technorati calls "spings."
"These spam pings are fake or bogus notifications that a blog has been updated; in some cases, these spings can amount to a denial-of-service attack, and can sometimes account for as much as 60 percent of the total pings Technorati receives," Sifry noted.
Beyond that, about 9 percent of new blogs are spam- or machine-generated, or are attempts to create link farms or click fraud.
Responding to News
Moving beyond spam, the number of people reaching out and reaching each other continues to grow. Daily Posting Volume tracked by Technorati continues to grow, and the blogosphere also reacts to world events. Technorati tracks about 1.2 million posts each day, which translates to about 50,000 posts each hour.
At that rate, it is literally impossible to read everything that is relevant to an issue or subject, and a new challenge has presented itself, Sifry pointed out, how to make sense out of this monstrous conversation, and how to find the most interesting and authoritative information out there.
Ochman agreed. "The cream will rise to the top and there will be new stars, there always are," she noted. "However, a lot of people have begun to think that blogging is a way to make money, and it is, once you have an audience. You have to really stand out in a big way to maintain an audience."