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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Bloggy Tail

Michelle Malkin and Jeff Jarvis have been discussing the traffic of the blogosphere the past couple of days and I was struck that it was mostly anecdotal evidence. Of course, both of them have better things to do than be data geeks and conduct some research on this. Being the data geek that I am, I've decided to give them something to work with.

The best place that I was able to get daily traffic counts for blogs was at The Truth Laid Bear. N.Z Bear is one of the great resources of the blogosphere; I'm sure that I am not the only one who obsesses over their place in the Ecosystem. Not only does TLB rank blogs by incoming links, but also by traffic. While only the first 5000 blogs are ranked by daily traffic, this does give some information to start with.

I have proceeded to enter all of this data into an Excel spreadsheet to analyze and have come up with the following bits of information:

This of course is not the full picture. Jeff mentioned the idea of there being 8 million blogs. While Michelle does correctly point out that many of these are simply spam blogs, I decided to do a little "what-if" experiment. Using the same TLB traffic data, I made an assumption that the total daily traffic of all blogs is 5 million. I agree that this is a bit arbitrary, but it is at least a starting point. This goes on the assumption that there could be around 5 million blogs with one visit per day, as Jeff suggests, though I lowered his guess. So what do these numbers look like?
  • DailyKos now accounts for 7.11% of all blog traffic.
  • The top 10 blogs mentioned above account for almost 27% of all blog traffic.
  • The top 100 blogs account for about 45% of all blog traffic.
  • The top 500 blogs that TLB tracks account for about 66% of all blog traffic.
This tells me that even with millions of blogs, the top blogs truly are influential.

Update: I just thought of another point. Should all the blogs that get only a few visits a day even be considered a part of the blogosphere? Certainly there are millions of blogs that are never intended to be seen by anyone other than family and friends.

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