February 06, 2006

State of the Blogosphere, February 2006 Part 1: On Blogosphere Growth

It's been 4 months since last October's State of the Blogosphere report, so it's time to update the numbers! For historical perspective, you can see earlier State of the Blogosphere reports from July 2005, from March 2005, and from October 2004.

The State of the Blogosphere is Strong.

OK, I'm paraphrasing from a more famous speech that happened last week, but the truth is that the blogosphere continues to grow at a quickening pace. Technorati currently tracks 27.2 Million weblogs, and the blogosphere we track continues to double about every 5.5 months, as the chart below shows:

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The blogosphere is over 60 times bigger than it was only 3 years ago.

New blog creation continues to grow. We currently track over 75,000 new weblogs created every day, which means that on average, a new weblog is created every second of every day - and 13.7 million bloggers are still posting 3 months after their blogs are created. In other words, even though there's a reasonable amount of tire-kicking going on, blogging is growing as a habitual activity. In October of 2005, when Technorati was only tracking 19 million blogs, about 10.4 million bloggers were still posting 3 months after the creation of their blogs.

In addition to that, about 2.7 million bloggers update their blogs at least weekly. Here's a chart of the number of new blogs created each day, from January 2004 to January 2006:

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Dealing with Spam

There has been an increase in the overall noise level in the blogosphere, most notably in the number of spam and fake pings that are sent - what I call "spings". These spam pings are fake or bogus notifications that a blog has been updated; in some cases, these spings can amount to a denial-of-service attack, and can sometimes account for as much as 60% of the total pings Technorati receives. However, we've built a sophisticated system that mitigates the spings, and helps to keep spam blogs out of our indexes. Beyond that, about 9% of new blogs are spam or machine generated, or are attempts to create link farms or click fraud. Technorati continues to take an ecosystem approach to solving this problem, working closely with other players like Amazon, AOL, Ask Jeeves, Drupal, Google, MSN, Six Apart, Tucows, Wordpress and Yahoo, and there will be another Web 2.0 Spam Squashing Summit this spring, building on the success of the previous two summits.

A News Cycle Measured in Megahertz

Moving beyond spam, the number of people reaching out and reaching each other continues to grow. Daily Posting Volume tracked by Technorati continues to grow, and the blogosphere also reacts to world events. I've pointed out a number of the spikes in posting volume that have accompanied major news events in the chart below of posting volume:

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We track about 1.2 Million posts each day, which means that there are about 50,000 posts each hour. At that rate, it is literally impossible to read everything that is relevant to an issue or subject, and a new challenge has presented itself - how to make sense out of this monstrous conversation, and how to find the most interesting and authoritative information out there.

The Continued Rise of Tagging

In January 2005, Technorati launched its tagging service, based on the rel=tag microformat, which is a simple way for bloggers to categorize their posts, and to make it easy for people to find interesting posts on a given subject. Today, we have tracked over 81 Million posts with tags or categories - and over 400,000 new tagged posts are created every day. The chart below shows the immense growth of tagging in the past year:

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Tags for Blogs

There was still a major problem, however - how to easily find the most interesting blogs on the subjects that you cared about. So, in September 2005, Technorati launched Blog Finder, a tags-based way for people to find the most authoritative blogs on a particular subject, allowing bloggers to tag their blogs into the categories that they felt were most relevant for themselves. In 4 months, over 850,000 blogs have been put into Blog Finder, making it the most comprehensive directory of blogs on the web. Over 2,500 categories have already attracted a critical mass of influential bloggers writing about them, from Politics and Technology to Gardening or Erotica. And more are created every day, making it easier for people to find the most interesting blogs in the topics they care about.

In summary:

  • Technorati now tracks over 27.2 Million blogs
  • The blogosphere is doubling in size every 5 and a half months
  • It is now over 60 times bigger than it was 3 years ago
  • On average, a new weblog is created every second of every day
  • 13.7 million bloggers are still posting 3 months after their blogs are created
  • Spings (Spam Pings) can sometimes account for as much as 60% of the total daily pings Technorati receives
  • Sophisticated spam management tools eliminate the spings and find that about 9% of new blogs are spam or machine generated
  • Technorati tracks about 1.2 Million new blog posts each day, about 50,000 per hour
  • Over 81 Million posts with tags since January 2005, increasing by 400,000 per day
  • Blog Finder has over 850,000 blogs, and over 2,500 popular categories have attracted a critical mass of topical bloggers

Tomorrow: Going beyond search and tags, to discovery.

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Posted by dsifry at February 6, 2006 01:25 AM | TrackBack | View blog reactions