August 02, 2005

State of the Blogosphere, August 2005, Part 2: Posting Volume

Onwards and upwards! This is part 2 of the August 2005 State of the Blogosphere. Part 1 covers the overall growth of the blogosphere in terms of new blogs created. Today I'll discuss the number of posts made each day, also known as posting volume. Just to keep everyone updated on that set of statistics, here's what I wrote back in March, 2005:

To expand on my post yesterday on the overall growth of the number of weblogs, today I'm going to look at another important measure of the growth of the blogosphere, posting volume. A single post is a single entry to a weblog, whether it be a long essay or just a short entry, each is a post, and the posting volume is the aggregate number of posts per day. Just as it is important to note the increased growth in the number of weblogs out there, it is as or more important to see if blogging is a fad or if people are blogging at a sustained rate. The chart below shows that posting volume has been growing. (Compare with the chart from October 2004)

Here's that same chart updated with data through to the end of July 2005 (Compare with the chart from March 2005):

Slide0005-3

As you can see by the black trend line, posting volume has followed a strong upward trend. After a brief dip last winter, the average rate of postings has grown steadily such that at the end of July 2005, there were about 900,000 posts created each day. That's about 37,500 posts every hour, or 10.4 posts per second. It peaked at just over 1.1 Million posts per day after the Live 8 concerts and Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced her resignation from the US Supreme Court.

In fact, the posting volume has more than doubled in the 7 months from the beginning of January 2005 to the end of July 2005. Partly this is due to the tremendous popularity of simple hosted blog solutions like MSN Spaces, AOL Journals, Blogger, and LiveJournal, and we've seen a lot of people take up blogging because of the growth of tools like post-from-IM, a feature available for AOL and MSN users, where they can post from their instant messaging clients. There's also been a significant jump in tools making it easy to post to weblogs, including Flickr, TextAmerica, Buzznet, del.icio.us, and others, so posting can be as easy as tagging an interesting link or snapping a photo on your cameraphone.

I'd like to point out as well that Technorati's median time from post to index has now dropped to under 5 minutes. That means that on average, public blog posts are indexed by Technorati in less than 5 minutes after they are created or modified, and are thus available in our search and tag results. This is also part of the recent performance and scaling work we've been doing.

I always find it interesting to look at the spikes in posting volume as well, and see what they can tell us by looking at the number of posts around the current events that caused a significant reaction in the blogosphere. I've listed a few of them on the chart above, including the US political conventions last summer, the Indian Ocean Tsunami, the Superbowl, Live8, and the London Bombings. Please note that the absolute number of posts is not indicative of importance of the event - remember that there are a lot more bloggers today than there were 6 months ago. However, it is very interesting to look at the percentage deviation from the norm that each spike represents - the bigger the relative spike, the more jarring the event was to the overall blogosphere.

On the larger chart you can also see the effect that weekends have on posting volume as well, generally causing a drop of 5-10% from weekday volume. Not shown on this chart is information in intraday posting volume: We see the largest number of posts each day between the hours of 7AM and noon Pacific time, meaning between 10AM and 3PM Eastern time in the USA.

Summary:

  • Technorati is tracking about 900,000 blog posts created every day
  • That's about 10.4 blog posts per second, on average
  • Median time from posting to inclusion in the Technorati index is under 5 minutes
  • Significant increases in posting volume are due to increased mainstream use of easy hosted tools as well as simple posting interfaces like post-from-IM and moblogging tools
  • Weekends tend to be slower posting days by about 5-10% of the weekly averages
  • During the day, posting tends to peak between the hours of 7AM and noon Pacific time (10AM - 3PM Eastern time)
  • Worldwide news events cause ripples through the blogosphere - not only in search volume, but also in posting volume

More tomorrow - including the growth of tags.

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Posted by dsifry at August 2, 2005 05:31 PM | TrackBack | View blog reactions