Oh! Endless frustration.
I have spent HOURS trying to find a single number that would tell me the size of the blogosphere.
Technorati used to tell you that back when Dave Sifry was king, but Technorati no longer do. Is it some sort of ‘top secret’, ‘secret squirrel’ type number that the release thereof would create untold panic in the western world? Is it a number too dangerous to world peace to release on an unprepared blogosphere?
For goodness’ sake!
You’d think that Technorati, the old blog search engine of choice until Google got its act together, would know. Even the big ‘G’ itself could easily run a query.
I even put out a request on Twitter to see if any of the usual suspects knew of the number – nope.
I asked if Technorati were still alive, as their old ‘State of the Blogosphere’ reports were brilliant and answered such a simple question.
All I got was a tweet back from Richard Jalichandra, one of the Technorati folks who reckoned the annual State of the Blogosphere October 2009 report would reveal all. Wrong!
No answer there, Richard! Lots of psychological profiling of US bloggers (and great fodder for those who would market to them), but again (surely I’m not the only one who thinks this) USA doth not the world make (Mark Pack, in response to Emily Braham’s post, shows I am not alone – at least on this point).
Dave Sifry (the founder of Technorati) last gave us hard numbers back in 2007, showing the blogosphere was 70 million+ strong. If, as George Kittredge asserts, based on what was reported at BlogWorld (I presume 2008), the blogosphere was STILL 70 million, then where are the 3 million new blogs a month going to? Or are they part of the well-recognised condition, ‘45% Blog Fade’, wherein a new blogger suddenly realises how much work a blog actually entails and gives up, the novelty having worn off.
Somewhere in late 2008/early 2009, in research for the 2nd Digital Summit in Auckland, New Zealand (you can view my slides on slideshare), I read on Technorati’s own ‘About us’ page that the number of blogs they were following was about 200 million. Unfortunately, I have no screen shot to verify this. As I type, their ‘About us’ page merely says that Technorati “indexes millions of blog posts.”
Here’s what Wikipedia said as I wrote this (9pm Australian CST, 26 December 2009) :
But in 2009 there IS no number. Nowhere on their website. If, as George suggests, it’s now only 70 million-and-a-bit, then are we going backwards? Has Twitter eaten into our blogging?
Why ask the question, Lee? Surely it’s not important?
Well, sorry to burst your bubble Technorati, but it IS important to the CEOs, CFOs and CIOs that I talk to. They like the reassurance of numbers – big numbers. Even if just to satisfy their own curiosity and/or to have some ammo to take to the Board.
Richard, you can give me all the marketer-friendly psychological profiling of US bloggers you like — let’s face it, any statistician will tell you that your findings are pretty useless; kind of like inconveniently forgetting that nearly all psychometric tests that came out of the USA in the 1960s-1990s were based and ‘standardised’ on that very weird subset of humanity called ‘North American university student’ – if you weren’t such a human being, you probably weren’t going to fit the ‘normal’, ‘healthy’ response to that test.
What I and my clients want are ‘hard numbers’. Please give them to us, Technorati. Here’s what my clients and I are asking for:
- Size of the blogosphere
- Size of the twittersphere
- Percentage blogfade
- Percentage twitfade
Not exactly rocket science for a search company that only looks at the ‘live web’, one would think…
Ask not what bloggers can do for you, Technorati, but what you can do for bloggers and their clients. As Paul Simon once sang, “when times are mysterious, serious numbers are eager to please.”