Blogs Doubling every five months?

Dave Sifry, a columnist for Technorati, in his latest report on the blogosphere, claims that the number of blogs is doubling every five and a half months. Back in August 2005, it was every five months. While he acknowledges the rapid ascension of spam blogs (blogs that are essentially void of any real content and just filled with tons of links and google ads), I still find great doubt in these numbers. I read another statistic not too long ago that said that 19 million Americans have a blog. This too, I also greatly doubt.

First, what is a blog? How does it different than a website? Well, out of the various definitions you might get, to me, it has to be in fact, a log - a running roll of content from authors. Second, it has to be updated with enough frequency to look like, well, a log. Remember Captain Kirk? “Captain’s log: Stardate….”. The guy was always adding to the log.

Head to and just start scrolling through the blogs you find there (there’s a little “next blog” icon in the upper right that randomly takes you to another blog). You’ll quickly see a lot of stale blogs. In fact, the vast majority of blogs are stale and haven’t been updated in over a month. In my opinion, while they might be a website, they no longer qualify as a blog.

Just walk down main street USA - ask someone who’s not on the net: “Do you have a blog?”, “Do you read a blog?”. Here in March 2006, most will still look at you with bewilderment. A few might say “once in a while”. Hardly anyone “owns” a blog - at least that they’ll fess up to. Maybe one in a thousand. Or less. Go stand at the service desk at BestBuy. Listen to these people. “I can’t figure out why my icons are moving around”. “It doesn’t get my email from my daughter anymore”. “I think there is a virus in it”. Most of America is still fiddling with these things when it comes to computers. Blogs are for bloggers, not mainstream America - not yet, anyway.

Then, take into account the number of blogs that are duplicates (moving from one platform to another - i.e. from blogger to TypePad), moving from “free space” to “hosted space”, and just basic “do-overs” (like this one is) and you have another false increase in population. The old blogs are just usually left to die there.

Then, stir in the number of blogs that are really CMS (content management systems) for small firms and companies. They aren’t really traditional blogs.

If you ask me, what Technorati continues to do, although more by accident than design, is to incorporate more and more websites into their blog counts. If they could truly weed out the fluff, I think the blogosphere might be doubling about once every 18 to 24 months….. Hmmm, that sounds like a familiar number, eh?

Technorati : blogs, statistics

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