How many blogs are there really?

Dave Sifry’s “State of the Blogosphere” recently noted that there were 50 million blogs and counting.  Kevin Burton thinks that using that number is “overly optimistic and dangerous.”

Frankly, I think that both Dave and Kevin are wrong.  It’s no fault of theirs really.  The problem with Dave’s numbers are that the number 50 million comes from the number of blogs that Technorati tracks.  Obviously, not everyone has signed up with Technorati or even knows what it is.  (Sorry Dave, Technorati is the leader in the field, but even the leader has room to grow)  The problem with Kevin’s number is that Kevin want to believe that the number 50 million is way too high.  In context (Kevin only wants to count the blogs that post regularly), Kevin is right in regards to the Technorati number.  But again, the failing here is that Kevin wants to use Technorati as the population instead of the sample.  A system that arguably doesn’t have all of the blogs in the blogosphere.  It is obviously a fairly good sample though.

I think the whole argument is really missing the point.  The better indicator for the blogosphere isn’t the number of blogs, although 50 million is a fun number, it’s the number of posts.  1.6 million per day.  Kevin uses some fancy statistical math that I don’t really understand(I’m horrible at stats) to weedle the number of active blogs down to about 1 million.  That’s still a rediculously large number.  Not because I don’t believe it, but because I find it amazing that there are that many active blogs out there.  Of course, the flip side of that, as Tom points out is the inference of how many splogs there are out there as well.

Another thing that I find interesting is the invasion of the long tail.  There are 11 blogs that have squeezed their way into the top 100 sites when comparing mainstream media sites and most popular blogs based upon incoming links.  Boing Boing has more incoming links than Fox news or CBS news.  I find it much more interesting to see the invasion into what was mainstream media turf than to fuss about how the number we should use for the number of blogs.

The one other thing that I find mildly interesting is the charts on the languages of the blogosphere.  It’s interesting to see the global reach of blogs.

What most of these number show me are an indicator of the expanding reach of the blogosphere and as it expands the capabilities of it to connect us all in one way or another.  One giant community of variables.  Different cultures, different ideas, and the ability for them all to mix together, learn from each other and enjoy the conversation.

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About Shane Ede

Shane Ede is an IT guy by day and a Entrepreneurial Blogger by night. You can follow him here on Thatedeguy or over on Twitter and Google+.