Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Blogosphere matures

David Sifry, the CEO of Technorati – which tracks virtually all blogs – published his State of the Blogosphere report for October this month. This is a very helpful quarterly report which helps to keep track of what is happening in the blogosphere. The key facts are that:
  • Technorati is now tracking more than 57 Million blogs.
  • Although the amount of garbage from spam blogs is beginning to reduce, they’re still having to fight intensive spam attacks
  • The increasing size of blogosphere has slowed somewhat due to the elimination of the spam blogs. It now doubles in size approximately every 236 days.
  • About 100,000 new weblogs were created each day in the last quarter (from a peak of 160,000 in June when spamming activity peaked)
  • About 55% of blogs are classified as active i.e. they post about once every 3 months
  • Blogging activity is levelling off at about 1.3 million posts per day or about 54,000 posts per hour.

Sifry focused in this report on the invesigation Technorati have done into the common characteristics of top bloggers, whether they behave differently and what can be learned from them. They ranked blogs falling into the top 1.5 million blogs (ie 3 links or more in the last 6 months). This is based on the premise that Technorati establishes a blog’s authority (or influence) by tracking the number of distinct blogs that link to it over the past 6 months. It identified four distinct groups of bloggers

The Low Authority Group (3-9 blogs linking in the last 6 months)
The average blog age (the number of days that the blog has been in existence) is about 228 days, which shows a real commitment to blogging. However, bloggers of this type average only 12 posts per month, meaning that their posting habits are generally dedicated but infrequent.

The Middle Authority Group (10-99 blogs linking in the last 6 months)

This contrasts somewhat with the second group, which enjoys an average age not much older than the first at 260 days and which posts 50% more frequently than the first. There is a clear correlation between posting volume and Technorati authority ranking.

The High Authority Group (100-499 blogs linking in the last 6 months)

The third group represents a decided shift in blog age while not blogging much more frequently than the last. In keeping with the theme of the maturation of the blogosphere, it seems evident that many of these bloggers were previously in category two and have grown in authority organically over time. In other words, sheer dedication pays off over time.

The Very High Authority Group (500 or more blogs linking in the last 6 months)

In the final group we see what might be considered the blogging elite. This group, which represents more than 4,000 blogs, exhibits a radical shift in post frequency as well as blog age. Bloggers of this type have been at it longer – a year and a half on average – and post nearly twice a day, an increase in posting volume of over 100% from the previous group. Many of the blogs in this category, in fact, are about as old as Technorati and we’ve grown up together. Some of these are full-fledge professional enterprises that post many, many times per day and behave increasingly like our friends in the mainstream media. As has been widely reported, the impact of these bloggers on our cultures and democracies is increasingly dramatic.
Thus there is a strong correlation between the aging and post frequency of blogs and their authority and Technorati ranking. The older the blog and the more often it posts, the more likely it is to have both authority and rank highly. (Note: This blog qualifies as 'middle authority' or C List. It's been in existence for 11 months and currently ranks between 30-35,000 out of 57 million blogs. You can check its profile here.)

After his report was published I came across a fun tool which purports to let you know whether you've made the A list yet! It's fun (for those of us who like pink flowery things!) but don't take it too seriously - ranking in the real world of browsers tends to depend on the weight of the site linking to your blog........

And the moral of this story:
  • Either - don't give up on blogging iof you've just started! Keep at it and one day somebody will see your art and/or listen to what you have to say! ;)
  • And/Or - don't take any of this too seriously - otherwise you could end up like Hugh's cartoon.........
copyright Hugh Mcleod

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