May 8, 2014

How big is the blogosphere?

Till four years back, Technorati used to bring out a ‘State of the Blogosphere’ report, which gave a fair overview of the size and working of the blog world. They have stopped doing so. Some tracking sites used to come out with rough estimates of total number of blogs based on known figures, interpolations and assumptions, but they are also less frequent now. The problem with estimating blogs is that while some platforms such as WordPress and Tumblr make their numbers public, Blogger and some others do not reveal their numbers. Then, how to check whether websites not on these platforms are blogs. Well, if you arrive at some guesstimate, how do you know, how many of them are active? No one, therefore, seems to be certain about the size of the blogosphere. 

We’d go by the figure that looks not too much off the mark: over 600 million blogs, out of which only about 200 million blogs would be reasonably active. This is based on some credible earlier figures, growth trends, others’ guesses and some logic. 

Okay, let’s settle for 200 million active blogs. When talking of ‘active blogs’, we refer to blogs that have not been totally abandoned or closed, and have been updated at least once in the last one year.

Now that one can compose blogs in all major languages including Mandarin (Chinese), and Indian languages, the number of such blogs is supposed to have risen exponentially in the last 4-5 years, but English blogs still rule the roost. We reckon that there are around 100 million active English blogs, and out of these, between one and one-and-a-half million should be Indian blogs – written by Indians and/or prominently dealing with India.

How about Indian Top Blogs’ reach?

We at ITB feel proud of being the only people who have browsed around seventy thousand Indian blogs to check their content. But we feel so humble when we compare this figure with the size of the Indian blogosphere. In fact we are unable to manually handle this number too. The database was bloating so fast year after year that we finally decided to stop maintaining records for all blogs that we pass by. In the current season of checking blogs for the Directory, we’ve removed all blogs that had not even once updated since May 2013, and we are left with about ten thousand blogs.  
Well, our humility again turns into pride of sort when we compare the size of our Directory. It contains fewer than 600 blogs and in the graphic above, this number shows up as a hardly visible white dot. And we go a step further; we bring out a 'Platinum list' of Indian blogs, which contains no more than 50 blogs. Aren't we trying to search precious stones in the vast ocean of blogs? Give us a clap, friends, we need it. ;)