April 17, 2006

2.13 billion blogs?

From David "Technorati" Sifry's quarterly "State of The Blogosphere":

* Technorati now tracks over 35.3 Million blogs
* The blogosphere is doubling in size every 6 months
* It is now over 60 times bigger than it was 3 years ago
That means if the 'sphere keeps growing at its current rate for another 3 years:
2,130,000,000 blogs i.e. 31.5% of the global population.
If the curve starts to significantly dip anytime soon, it won't because blogging jumped the shark. It'll be because the planet has run out of smart, passionate people with cheap internet access.

Crazy future projections notwithstanding, methinks the next three years are going to be VERY important for the history of communication.

I hope the big media companies are paying attention. What sayest Rubel?

Posted by hugh macleod at April 17, 2006 3:03 PM | TrackBack


I just built off what your calculations and compared to what the predicted census will be in 2009.

I've got a percentage of how many people will be blogging on this marble in 2009.

It's just plain amazing

Posted by: Jeremiah Owyang at April 17, 2006 4:44 PM

"If the curve starts to significantly dip anytime soon, it won't because bogging jumped the shark. It'll be because the planet has run out of smart, passionate people with cheap internet access."

One never gets tired of a good bog ;)

Seriously that's a great quote, and also, I think the roughly 10% increase in active blogs after 3 months is very significant. Seems the learning curve for bloggers is flattening. A very good sign.

Posted by: Mack Collier at April 17, 2006 4:45 PM

the number of people writing blogs is exploding - but the number of people reading them is declining. Is blogging turning into the pyramid fiasco of the 2000s, only working for early adopters?

Posted by: peter at April 17, 2006 7:03 PM

Peter, you're missing the point. Here's the point:


Anyway, if your content is dreck, it doesn't matter how early an adaptor you are.

Posted by: Hugh MacLeod at April 17, 2006 7:10 PM

I'm more concerned about the long end of the Long Tail being polluted by splogs.

Blogs at the nice plump left side of the Long Tail are safe. Readers know and love them, or learn about them from the other Big Blogs.

The only way readers will find out about the small blogs are through links from big and medium blogs, or search engines like Technorati.

Navigating through Technorati's "a little authority" search results makes me worry for the small blogs' visibility and future.

Posted by: Jonathan Cohen at April 17, 2006 9:16 PM

Hugh - you change my "adopters" to "adapters" - switching the emphasis from the tool itself to the talent and creativity of the person using it. I think you're right to do so.

The idea that X billion blogs will inevitably have massive impact on global communication is far from a foregone conclusion. The blogsphere boosts the number of talkers, but not necessarily the number of listeners. As Fran Liebowitz said: "the opposite of talking is waiting".

Posted by: peter at April 17, 2006 10:02 PM

Peter, I think blogs have already changed the world, at least, the more interesting bits of it ;-)

Posted by: Hugh MacLeod at April 17, 2006 11:51 PM

Sounds like a great idea for my seventh blog...

**blogs it.

Posted by: Ross Hill at April 18, 2006 11:50 AM

A lot of people who are internet-savvy have no interest in blogging. This is not so strange; some people are compulsive diarists, some are not. Likewise, some people are compulsive bloggers, some are compulsive players of WoW and some are compulsive Wikipedians. Extrapolating to 2bn bloggers in 3 years time is, of course, the fallacy of the exponential.

Posted by: daen at April 18, 2006 7:54 PM

My comment got too big, so I posted it on my own site. The short version is that the extrapolation is questionable, but the conclusion holds. Blogs are something new and important, and if you aren't thinking about them yet, you should be.

Posted by: Katherine at April 19, 2006 6:55 AM

Hugh - many feel the same could be said of the Daily Mail. ;O)

Posted by: peter at April 21, 2006 3:40 PM


Just wanted to let you know I linked to your blog in my column on CBSNews.com today. Thanks!

If you want to take a look, here's the link: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/04/25/blogophile/main1541690.shtml

Happy blogging,


Posted by: Melissa at April 26, 2006 1:24 PM