With 15.5 Million Active Blogs, New Technorati Data Shows that Blogging Growth Seems to be Peaking

New data on active blogs and on daily posts in English from Technorati seem to show that blogging growth is plateauing.
Heather Green

After Dave Sifry published the most recent State of the Live Web, I emailed him to drill into a couple of the numbers, prompted by questions at Matthew Hurst and Steve Rubel's blogs. The data Sifry sent back seems to show that blogging growth is plateauing.

The reason? Though social media is going strong, one particular form of it, blogging, simply might not be for everyone.

The numbers here show around 15.5 million active blogs, or blogs that have been updated in the past 90 days. Hurst pointed out, and I agree, that this is a more key number. That's why I asked Sifry for this data. It's a very different number from the overall 70 million total blogs that Technorati ever reports tracking.

As well, the percentage of blogs that are active compared to the total number of blogs tracked by Technorati is declining, according to the data that Sifry sent. (Here's the actual slide he sent, which I can't shrink down without losing the data)View image

March 2007 15,534,430 20.93%
Oct. 2006 15,297,100 27.42%
May 2006 13,720,748 36.71%

I also asked about daily posts. I had been a little confused by a sentence he wrote that said that daily posts were growing, though he had included a chart that appeared to show them dropping.

Here's his answer: "The number of new posts per day that Technorati is tracking is indeed increasing, from about 1.3 million posts per day to about 1.5 million postings per day."

However, there has been slight decrease in the number of English-language posts.

The number of daily English language posts dropped to 495,000 in March from 507,000 in October.

In other words, in October 2006, 39% of blog posts were in English. In March 2007, only 33% were in in English.

In his email Sifry says "My conclusion is that we're still seeing growth in the blogosphere, but that the growth is slowing."

I would argue that it's peaking, though of course, to be entirely sure, you need to have more data for a few more quarters.

But what does it mean, whether it's slowing or peaking? It may well be, as Rubel and Gartner argue that, most people interested in setting up their digital soapboxes already have. And that folks are opting to do other types of social media, including video, podcasts, and social networks, which appeal to them more.

Excited to try out a new way of connecting with folks online, people flocked to blogging. But after 3 months on average, most bloggers realize that writing about their politics, launch haunts, or co-workers isn’t for them, says Adam Sarner, an analyst at researcher Gartner Inc. Sarner argues that, since the audience reading blogs continues to grow, this classic tech cycle of hype and maturity is good news for the remaining blogs. Those left standing are the influencers that attract audiences and advertisers.

But overall, the question of just how big the blogosphere could be is becoming much clearer.

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