Sunday, December 10, 2006

On Blogging

So I lead an adult discussion group on Sunday mornings. We are currently discussing current issues. The material I have is dated so I'm supplementing it with internet research. Since I'm looking for opinions and viewpoints as much as facts and figures, I'm following blog links.

There are a lot of good blogs out there. Published authors have blogs. Celebrities have blogs. Editors have blogs. And millions of ordinary people have blogs. There are around 55 million blogs by one count.

I've seen a definition of 'active' for blogs as having been updated in the past month. I guess that makes this an active blog.

55 million. That's an astounding number of blogs. Many of them are inactive, however. How many people read the average active blog? This blog gets around 7 hits a day, down from 13 when my post on front porches was sometimes the #2 hit on an MSN search for that phrase. About half the hits are still on that one post, mostly coming off Yahoo searches. That still leaves a few of you every day who come here intentionally rather than off the search engines.

Have you heard of the 'long tail'. It traces back to statistical graphs and generally refers to the impact of the internet. Say that you graph the sale of all books in print from the most popular to the least. The bestsellers would start the graph with high sales. Then would come books with fewer sales, gradually moving into the area of books that interest only a few people. The internet has made it more possible and profitable to market to the niche interest groups out on the 'tail'.

Graphing blogs by popularity would give a long tail indeed. The most popular blogs get thousands of hits every day. Others get hundred of hits. Way out on the tail are the millions of blogs that get only a few daily hits. That's where this blog falls. Welcome to the long tail.

How many blogs do you follow? I have around 30 bookmarked. I probably most often check the ones with the least amount of traffic because those are the ones belonging to people I actually know.

It's an interesting world.