Technorati's quarterly blog growth numbers are out. From my point of view, it is time to de-emphasize the total number of blogs and the net new blogs, and start putting greater emphasis on a more granular dissection of the existing blogs along with a qualitative analysis.
The quality component is difficult because who is anyone to say this, but what I am interested in is the number of blogs that are still being maintained after 6 months and 12 months, in other words not how many blogs are started but how many are still at it.
Frequency of posting is interesting, but only when combined with some kind of "authority metric" to triangulate on how broadly the least frequently updated blogs are quoted. An example of this is Ray Ozzie's blog, which as was pointed out recently gets updated pretty infrequently but when it does it is mind blowingly profound and everyone reads it. Of course, you could also argue that Ray Ozzie has such a high profile in this business that he has the luxury of writing less frequently, while regular people like myself need to maintain a constant flow to keep people interested. I suppose you could credibly argue it either way, but I'd like to think that quality is rewarded in the marketplace for ideas irrespective of the frequency and amplitude.
Another area of analysis is what areas of the blogosphere are bulging out. We witness a big push in political or issue blogs around campaigns, and then they taper off. Technology blogs are obviously a large category, but what about enterprise software (what I'm interested in)?
The posting volume graph that Dave has on his post shows some interesting spikes with an overlay to current events, but at the same time there are some out of scale dips and an interested overall pattern to posting growth… almost like an expansion-and-digestion pattern. Again, I'm not so much interested in posting growth to the entire blogosphere but rather the segments I am interested in.
In the final analysis we also need to ask the question of whether or not these statistics actually tell us anything that is meaningful or actionable. I am not sure they do, quite honestly, other than satisfying our collective egos with the notion that blogs continue to defy the skeptics and those that want to bucket us into the "latest trend" thing.
Sifry's Alerts: State of the Blogosphere, April 2006 Part 1: On Blogosphere Growth
Technorati currently tracks 35.3 Million weblogs, and the blogosphere we track continues to double about every 6 months,