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Some Interesting Analysis on the Blogosphere

In an interesting summation, Caslon Analytics reports on blog statistics and demographics which may help you get a perspective on what is going on with the Blogosphere. Here are some highlights:

Wired News noted claims that in January 2002 alone some 41,000 people created new blogs using Blogger and that there are now more than 500,000. In August 2002 another source claimed that Blogger had 350,000 users, with converts supposedly “creating a new weblog every 40 seconds, or more than 60,000 a month”…In May 2004 Technorati claimed to track 2.4 million blogs, increasing to 11.7 million blogs in June 2005…Wired exulted that “nine blogs are created every minute and 2.3 content updates are posted every second”…

…Several studies indicate that most blogs are abandoned soon after creation and that few are regularly updated. The average blog thus has the lifespan of a fruitfly; one cruel reader of this page commented that the average blog also has the intelligence of a fly…Perseus claimed that the average duration of the remaining 1.63 million abandoned blogs was 126 days, with some 132,000 blogs being abandoned after a year or more. The oldest abandoned blog surveyed had been maintained for 923 days…

…Nanoaudiences are the logical outcome of continued growth in blogs. Assume for a moment that one day 100 million people regularly read blogs and that they each read 50 other peoples’ blogs. That translates into 5 billion subscriptions (50 X 100 million). Now assume on that same day there are 20 million active bloggers. That translates into 250 readers per blog (5 billion / 20 million) – far smaller audiences than any traditional one-to-many communication method. And this is just an average; in practice many blogs have no more than two dozen readers…

…Indeed, a survey of taxi drivers, pub landlords and hairdressers (“often seen as barometers of popular trends” according to Reuters, though God alone knows when hairdressers became barometers of anything), by ad outfit DDB London showed that 90 per cent of barometers have not the foggiest idea what a podcast is, and an impressive 70 per cent live in blissful ignorance of blogging…The UK figure is consistent with independent surveys. The June 2005 Pew Internet & American Life study reported that “the average American Internet user is not sure what podcasting is or what an RSS feed does”. As late as January 2004 Pew found that 68% of online people in the US supposedly did not don’t know what a blog was…

…Blogging is many things, yet the typical blog is written by a teenage girl who uses it twice a month to update her friends and classmates on happenings in her life. It will be written very informally (often in “unicase”: long stretches of lowercase with ALL CAPS used for emphasis) with slang spellings, yet will not be as informal as instant messaging conversations (which are riddled with typos and abbreviations)…

…Teenagers have created the majority of blogs. Blogs are currently the province of the young, with 92.4% of blogs created by people under the age of 30. Half of bloggers are between the ages of 13 and 19. Following this age group, 39.6% of bloggers are between the ages of 20 and 29…

They also claim that the “blog phenomenon has peaked and – as forecast in an earlier version of this page – most blogs will soon be stored in the part of cyberspace dedicated to hula hoops, pogo sticks and other fashions that reached their use-by date.”

Well, that’s a lot of information, told in an interesting, and often sarcastic way, but what does this information tell you about the state of affairs for bloggers today and in the future? Do you feel that it is reflective of your involvement in blogging? Do you think that blogging has peaked? And what do you think about blogging, podcasting, and such not being common knowledge? Is this just a generational thing? Where do you think blogging will be in another five years? What say you?

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen


  1. Posted January 25, 2006 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have 100% surity of where blogging will be in 5 years, but I do have hopes.

    The idea that blogs are the provence of teenage girls is a gross overstatement, and that “92.4%” has to be wrong…

    unless you count all the MySpace blogs, which in my opinion don’t really count for the most part.

    Blogs, in my opinion, are the Zines of the internet, and most of us blog for the sheer love of creating something and sharing it. How many Zine publishers had more than a couple hundred readers? Did that matter? Did that stop them then, and does it stop them now (yes, there are still many Zines out there going strong)? Does it matter that the general red-state population remains uneducated on what Zines are? I answer no to all of these.

    The cool thing is that Blogs have made it so cheap and easy to create and maintain that so many folks who didn’t feel able to take the time to create Zines (myself included) feel enabled to create with blogs.

    Has the blogging “fad” peaked? Not yet, but it is starting to mature, and I think we’ll see more quality blogs coming out by folks who held off on getting involved for a long time, but are now just biting the bullett and becoming addicted to the gunpowder there in (if you don’t mind the stretched metaphor).

  2. Posted January 25, 2006 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Well, if you cut out all the MySpace blogs, then that would probably skew the stats. 😉

    Since I don’t think blogging has peaked at all, in fact, I barely see it reaching maturity, I think it’s early to predict its passing as a fad. I hope we will still see more quality over quantity. Agreed.

  3. Posted January 25, 2006 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Read Blogs very gladly for me the Steckenppferd made, it increase the general education and the knowledge. And in addition one experiences things by InterNet faster around the world goes, which can become correct the craze.

  4. Posted January 25, 2006 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Well, sure, if you’re going to say that blogs written by teenage girls ‘don’t really count’ because they’re written by teenage girls then yes, 92.4% is a bit of an overstatement. If you’re not making value judgments but merely tracking the usage of blogs, though, I’d say it was bang-on.

  5. Posted January 25, 2006 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Actually, I’m not discounting blogs written by teenage girls. That’s just too sweeping. What I am discounting are the blogs that were made as part of a package which has a main purpose other than blogging. MySpace is one of those packages. The blog is an add on. An Extra.

    I’m not saying that ALL MySpace (or Tribe or Yahoo360 or whatever) blogs should be discounted. What I’m saying is that because the main purpose of MySpace is to connect and collect friends and not to create a blog, it is much more likely that those blogs will be abandonned. Since MySpace is largely dominated by teens, if you count all of these blogs the number is badly skewed in my opinion. Which, as Manuel said, can become correct the craze… or something like that.

  6. Steve L.
    Posted May 21, 2006 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Were do i find some new MS layouts?


  7. Posted May 21, 2006 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    I assume you are talking about MySpace and not Microsoft. I’m not familiar with the inner workings of MySpace blogs. You’ll have to look elsewhere. Good luck.

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