What goes online

It was a bit of a shock to the Anglo-lingual blogosphere when Technorati CEO and founder David Sifry released a "state of the blogosphere" report that found that there were more Japanese bloggers than English-speaking ones.

It was a bit of a shock to the Anglo-lingual blogosphere when Technorati CEO and founder David Sifry released a "state of the blogosphere" report that found that there were more Japanese bloggers than English-speaking ones.

In a time where America is mired in political squabbling, fearful of the burgeoning Chinese militaristic might, and losing jobs overseas, at least, we thought we had domain over the blogosphere.

Those blog true believers could take comfort in their awe of America’s runner-up status: clearly this proves that blogs are a pursuit for nearly anyone: techies, Ugandans, and single moms. As long as they have something to say and an interest in saying it, they will likely great a blog someday. Reaching these disparate groups will be the next great PR challenge of this decade.

Another telling statistic is that off the 37.3 million blogs being tracked by Technorati, only 19.4 million have been updated in three months. While both numbers are incredibly large, it’s important to take all figures with skepticism. When a marketer (or blog specialist) comes up to you, client-side PR professional, and tells you 300,000 people have blogged about your company, you need to ask the salient questions: how many in the last month? How many have any readers? Did particularly condemning or vitriolic posts get traction? What about the splendid ones? And so on.

The blogosphere, according to Sifry, is doubling its size every six months and is now 60 times bigger than it was three years ago. Since he did not qualify this as being either blogs updated in the last three months, or overall blogs created, one has to assume he means overall blogs created. Thus, the wow-factor is diminished considerably. It seems the only ones to actually delete unsuccessful blogs, those that are either mocked or fail to meet traffic expectations, are corporations. To whit: Thecaptainsblog.com.

If anything, these figures prove that blogs will never leave our consciousness. It is, of course, too early to figure out exactly where they fit into the media mix, but it safe to say they’re at least lodged somewhere within.

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