20 Million Bloggers And Counting ΠThe Stats Of The Blogosphere

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20 Million Bloggers And Counting ΠThe Stats Of The Blogosphere Powered By Docstoc
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                          20 Million Bloggers And Counting – The Stats Of The Blogosphere
                                                                By Danny Wirken

  It is confirmed. The Blogosphere continues to grow at a pace no one has anticipated. In fact, it
would be very difficult to quote a number as the total tends to change by the second of every day.

The Blogosphere Report

According to the State of the Blogosphere report as of February 2006, Technorati is tracking 27.2
million weblogs and is expected to double about every 5.5 months. The Blogosphere as it is at present
is estimated to be over 60 times bigger than it was three years ago. New blog creation is placed at over
75,000 new weblogs everyday which translate to an average of one weblog created every second. It
has also been noted that 13.7 million bloggers are still posting three months after its blog creation. This
sends a clear message that blogging is becoming a habitual activity.

The report on the Blogosphere growth made in October 2005, showed Technorati tracking 19.6 million
weblogs which was expected to double every five months. During this time, there were about 70,000
new weblogs created everyday and that the blogosphere was estimated to be over 30 times as big as
three years prior to the report. A comparison between these two recent reports would show that the
blogosphere growth is showing no signs of letting-up at the present. Reports prior to that of October
2005 will support this thinking.

While growth brings its benefits as well as its downside, the increasing popularity of blogs brought with
it the proliferation of “spings” or spam pings. These are fake or bogus notifications that a blog has been
updated. It is believed that it accounts for as much as 60% of the total pings received by Technorati.
This prompted the development of a sophisticated system that mitigates the spings and helps keep
spam blogs out of their indexes. Technorati’s efforts on working against this problem are continuous
and in cooperation with other players such as Google, Yahoo! and others. Another aspect of the
problem is the considerable percentage of new blogs that are either spam, machine-generated or
attempts to create link farms or click fraud.

There are about 1.2 million posts made each day and a number of spikes in posting volume are
generally seen during major news events. It has become impossible to read all the relevant posts to an
issue or subject due to the sheer number of choices. Again, a challenge has been presented as to how
to find the most interesting and most authoritative information in a monstrous sea of conversation.

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This problem is being sought to be countered through the use of tagging. This is essentially a simple
way for bloggers to categorize their posts to assist the searchers in their quest for the right information.
There are thousands of categories that have been created to attract influential bloggers to write while
more are created everyday to provide the most comprehensive coverage for the reader’s varied needs
and requirements.

Most blogs are personal but many of which feature the new influences of consumer decisions. These
are the consumers that provide feedback about large brands ranging from positive raves of product
excellence to rants about the latest product recall. These have prompted more businesses to consider
the relevance of maintaining a blog as part of their regular activities. With so much freedom and
availability of on-line information or misinformation, any business would benefit from having their own
conversation forum for their brands, products and services to protect their reputation. Blogs provide the
chance to give the other side of the story especially for businesses that are on siege with negative

The Blogosphere Statistics

In the year 2004, which was considered the Year of the Blog, some interesting facts came to the fore
with regards to blog readership. A very sharp increase was noted during the most part of the year
despite the fact that most American Internet users have no clear idea about blogs. The increase in
interest was evident on both the creation and demand sides.

The surge in blog creation and readership was partly credited to the fact that 2004 was an election
year in the U.S. with a highly divided electorate. The concentration was on political blogs which spilled
over into other areas. Spikes on blog activities were readily seen during Iowa’s caucuses, the
beheading of Nicholas Berg and the Southeast Asian Tsunami catastrophe, among others. Blog traffic
tends to spike sharply when certain web-communicable events occur.

In a survey conducted during the same year, it was found out that 57% of bloggers are male, 48% are
under 30 years of age, 82% have on-line experience for six years or more, 42% live in households
earning over $50,000 income annually, 70% have broadband connection at home and 39% have
college or graduate degrees. It was also the year that the conversational dynamics of blogs caught on.
A considerable percentage of American Internet users have posted comments or other materials on
blogs and are regular blog readers. The more active bloggers update their blogs regularly resulting to
more than 275,000 posts daily or approximately 11,000 updates an hour.

In the same breath, there seems to be some initial data that says less than 10% of women are political
bloggers and approximately 20% only of blog readers are women. There also seems to be a belief that
the blogosphere is elite because of the qualifications of most of its bloggers as well as its readers. Its
present composition however, may not exactly agree with the said data as gender and educational
background have long ceased to be exclusive factors to be considered. Generally, as long as someone
has something to say or contribute, the blogosphere will always welcome him/her with open arms.

Several other studies indicate that most blogs are abandoned soon after creation and that only a few
are updated regularly. The average lifespan of a blog is very short. Most blogs do not even reach 100
days while some gets abandoned after a year or more. A typical blog would be one that is written by a
teenager updating friends of daily happenings in his/her life. The tone would be very informal with no
particular concern for form and spelling.

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With the phenomenal popularity of blogs, some are quick to point out that it is about to reach its peak
and suffer the same fate as an outdated fashion. Blogs’ attraction can be largely attributed to the
novelty attached to it, but it can be tiring when overdone. Bloggers should look for that balance where
frequency and relevance come together.

Blogging may be replaced sometime in the future by some technical innovations. That is just the way it
is in modern technology. The good thing about it is that some things like the need to converse with
another would remain. So even if blogging goes, a better alternative would surely come that would
serve the same purpose, but definitely in an improved way.

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              Technorati And Associated Press Merger - How This Affects The Blogsphere
                                                              By Danny Wirken

The News

In the morning of May 23, 2006, Technorati and Associated Press (AP) initiated a new service that was
guaranteed to make news in the blogosphere and give more PR for blogs. The service includes having
Technorati search for blogs that link to AP articles. Those blogs will then appear on websites that use
the AP Hosted Custom News and who opt for the new feature. The new feature includes having a Blog
Roundup section that consists of the links to blogs containing the most relevant information on the “Top
Five Most Blogged About” AP articles in the past 48 hours. Under each most relevant blog there is also
a link to a list of the next 24 relevant blogs for people who want to read more on what the blogosphere
have to say about the article. In addition to the Blog Roundup section clicking on a particular AP article
will prompt Technorati to produce a list of “Who’s Blogging About” that article.

The Effect to the Blogosphere

This new service is undoubtedly beneficial to the blogosphere. As a Digital Grit article mentioned, the
new partnership would be of much interest for those who want better visibility for their blogs or for
those bloggers who are SEO-minded. For those in the know being linked back by the press is a bonus
for your page rank. However, it has always been a challenge for bloggers, even for the popular
bloggers, to be noticed by the press much less get link back by them. The Technorati-AP partnership
changes all that. Instead of having to think of ways and gimmicks to get noticed by the press and still
just end up with nothing all a blogger has to do now is to write posts in connection to current AP
articles and link back to those articles. Technorati then submits that post along with other relevant
posts to AP for affiliate websites to display on the blog roundup. Note, however, that the number of
blogs that will be linked back to is limited. This means that for your blog to be linked back by AP your
post has to be perceived by Technorati as among the most relevant posts in blogosphere. So for
blogger that think that simply linking to AP articles will do the job for them is seriously deluded. As
always good content is still the key to rising in popularity in the blogosphere.

Aside from making it easier for some bloggers to get a higher page rank, the Technorati-AP merger
has a more universal effect on bloggers. Even if only selected bloggers will appear on AP stories, the
arrangement will still result in more awareness of the blogosphere as a whole. People who previously
had no knowledge at all about the existence of the blogosphere or at least do not read blogs as part of
their regular ritual will not only be exposed to the idea of the blogosphere as an additional or
supplementary source of information regarding current events. The links, which are updated regularly
and are always relevant to current issues, will also encourage news readers to regularly read the blogs
as well. This will undoubtedly suck in some of the news readers to be regulars in the world of blog and
thus create more audience for bloggers.

The Technorati-AP partnership also does much for the blogosphere’s credibility as a news source. Not
only will it create awareness of blogs’ ability to supplement the news it will also show that blogs have
something more to contribute to the story. As Peter Hirshberg wrote in the Technorati weblog,
“Increasingly, what the blogosphere says about a news story becomes part of a more complete story,
lending diverse perspectives and often expert commentary. The AP believed it was increasingly
important to deliver the living blogosphere as a compliment to their core professional news product.”

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The new service that AP offers to its readers is a nod to the blogosphere’s ever increasing contribution
to the news network. In fact the motivation behind the partnership is actually AP’s belief that
“citizen-generated media could enhance the AP in their mission to be the essential global news
network." The service has caused much excitement in the blogosphere and as Hirshberg put it, “is a
deep validation of the power of citizen media and how each person is gaining more power - power to
have their opinions and thoughts heard, in a truly democratic process.”

As the deal legitimizes blogging even more it also blurs further the line between press and bloggers.
Some journalists are offended that some bloggers feel that what they do amounts to journalism.
According to the journalists what bloggers do isn’t journalism but simply collecting stories that are
reported by the real journalists who do the hard work of actually going out there to catch stories. They
resent the idea that bloggers, who do their story telling in just one place should be given recognition as
journalists for delivering commentaries on new stories. However, according to Jane Seagrave, AP’s
vice president of new media “The truth is there are not that many of us who are breaking news
anymore, that have people on the ground ... the whole notion here is to spotlight those who are real
content creators and not make news such a generic commodity on the Web." This means that they are
focusing on worthy bloggers out there who produce quality content and have something of real value to
offer and add to the telling of news stories.

What it Does for AP

As for AP, the move itself is also strategic since more and more bloggers are sure to link more to their
articles instead of their competitors’. There are currently many news sources out there that bloggers
individually follow and comment on. AP’s new service will surely encourage bloggers to make AP
articles their primary source of new stories and link to them, which would lead to greater traffic to AP
affiliated sites from the blog world.

In terms of monetary returns, however, the project isn’t expected to generate revenue for either AP or
Technorati. The two companies will be sharing the profit made from the ads on the web pages but this
profit is expected to cover only the cost of the project. This says something about both companies in
terms of their desire to give better service to their users and in furthering the sharing of information in
the Internet.

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