Lots of new blogs, less writing going on

19 April 2006

Dave Sifry's latest report on the rate at which new blogs are being created has some curious aspects. Most people have concentrated on the dizzying rate at which people are creating blogs. When you consider MySpace is not included - 35 million blogs is a remarkable number. And that is double the number around six months ago.

But then look at the daily posting volume. Up to the middle of last year, the daily posting volume was building rapidly. According to Sifry in his bulletin from July 2005, average daily posting volume also doubled during the first six months of the year. At that point, Sifry considered 55 per cent of all blogs to be 'active', with 13 per posting at least daily on average. Fast forward to April 2006 and we still have that 55 per cent number for active blogs (defined in this case as having seen a new post in the last quarter). There was a rolloff in active blogs during the second half of 2005 - slipping back to just over 50 per cent.

The daily posting volume also slipped in the second half of 2005, building again gradually to the levels seen in the summer of that year. But the sustained average is still only just above mid-2005 levels. Only one peak, at the end of March, surpassed the 2005 peak associated with the London bombings of July 7th. Then, Technorati was logging a bit more than a million posts per day. In April, it was 1.2 million. It looks like growth, but it's nowhere near a doubling.

Personally, I would have expected daily posting volume to have tracked the rate of blog growth more closely. Instead, the rate of posting, on average, is going down. This paints a different picture to the relentless growth story Technorati, and many other people, want to tell.