How Many Active Political Blogs Are There?

Jeff Jarvis and Michelle Malkin are having a little back and forth over this statement that Jarvis made:

“Don’t judge the blogosphere only by 100 blogs on top of some list. That’s so old media. There are eight million blogs — and 7,999,900 of them that get more traffic and more links and more interest than those mere 100.”

This is worth digging into because I keep hearing fantastic numbers being tossed around — like these from Technorati’s Dave Sifry (which I check daily by the way) — and they give a lot of people who don’t really understand the story behind the statistics a false impression of the size of the blogosphere:

“Technorati is now tracking over 7.8 million weblogs, and 937 million links. That’s just about double the number of weblogs tracked in October 2004. In fact, the blogosphere is doubling in size about once every 5 months. It has already done so at this pace four times, which means that in the last 20 months, the blogosphere has increased in size by over 16 times.”

Now is this untrue? No, I’m sure that Sifry is right and all these blogs are being created. But are they active? Want to know my opinion? Of course you do!

The overwhelming majority of these blogs are inactive. They feature blogs set-up on a whim, that aren’t updated and nobody ever even knew they existed other than the blog’s creator, their mother, God, & Google. They’re not drawing any interest, having any sort of coversation, or doing much of anything other than being an electronic member of the living dead, doomed to forever to be hosted on free servers, despite the fact that there’s no life in them.

So how many active blogs, particularly political blogs, are out there? Sifry says 45% of the blogs technorati tracks haven’t been updated in 6 months, but that’s too loose a definition of “active” for me.

If you asked how many conservative blogs are out there that let’s say have been averaging an update a day, 5 days a week, for let’s say two months, then my gut instinct is that you’d talking about 1000 or so blogs (and that’s probably high). But let’s double that number — just to be safe — and we’ll say 2000 blogs. Then add in another 2000 blogs for the left, and we have around 4000 or so “active” political blogs.

Now some of you may be thinking, “But Hawkins, NZ Bear’s ecosystem has more blogs listed than that!!

Well, start clicking on the blogs from 2501 on back and see how many of them are being updated daily. Percentage wise, you’ll find that it’s not very many (*** I hit 8 and none of them were being updated daily ***).

So it’s a good news, bad news sort of thing. There are a lot less active blogs out there than most people think, but that’s great news if you’re a blogger. It means if you’re posting every day, you’re already beating 99% of the blogosphere…

You can read more about this topic at Dignan’s 75 Year Plan .

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