One question that I am frequently asked is: "How many people actually blog?" This is a tough question to answer. There are so many different variables that must be considered. These include:
- How many bloggers are there in the US or in the world?
- How many active bloggers are there?
- How many blogs have been abandoned after just a few posts and are hence over inflating the stats?
- What data is reliable for measuring the size of the blogosphere?
In my quest for better information, I have found a number of sources. Blogcount.com has gathered together some impressive numbers. But, as I have tracked this space over the past eighteen months, the one thing that has impressed me is that every stat is out of date -- too small -- the minute it is written. New bloggers continue to come online minute by minute.
For example, in early January, Bill Gates recently claimed that since lauch over 1 million Spaces have been created. Since MicroSoft launched Spaces, the english version at least, in December this growth is phenomenal. Gates also noted that there is a significant decay rate, since many start a blog only to abandon it almost immediately. Like many other bloggers, I started a Space too, gave it a test-drive, and have not vigorously blogged to it. I'll be back though.
The Gates numbers cited above present a minor challenge. They may include some blogs from the Japanese and Korean launches that preceded the english-speaking launch. Does this matter? You're not kidding it matters! According to the Korea Hearald data interpreted by Phil Wolf of blogcount.com there are approximately 11.9 million bloggers in Korea.
For my opinion, the speed of the rush to blogs by the big search engines -- Ask buying Bloglines and Yahoo! launching blogging service in Japan, suggests the blogosphere is a mere adolescent about to put on another fast growth spurt.