State of the What?

David Sifry from Technorati has posted the latest State of the Blogosphere – except that now it is the “State of the Live Web.”

He notes that, in a change from the old State of the Blogosphere reports:

With this report, we expand on this tradition by introducing information and analysis relating to the broader range of social media on the Web — what we and many others call the Live Web (another good definition). Technorati continues to grow well beyond its roots at the leading blog search engine; increasingly, we are the main aggregation point for all forms of social media on the Web, including blogs, of course, but also video, photos, audio such as podcasts and much more.

It’s odd to me that the links for “Live Web” actually point to Linux Journal – I’d always though of “Live” as a kind of Microsoftism – to go with Windows Live Search, Live Spaces, Office Live, etc.

(According to Doc Searls, the “World Live Web” meme goes back to 2001 and was coined by Allen Searls – I know Doc has been using this distinction between Live web and Static web for some time.)

Anyway, some conclusions:

  • 70 million blogs tracked, 120 thousand new ones each day
  • Doubling now takes 320 days, not 180 (continued lengthening from last report)
  • In Q4 2006, there were 22 blogs in the top 100 most popular sites, up from 12 in Q3 – there is an increasing overlap / mixture of “mainstream media” and “blog” audiences

Interesting that Sifry doesn’t take on any of the reports that blogging will reach it’s peak in 2007 – or is already in the process of dying out. (See this BBC article about Gartner’s predictions, or see Bruce Sterling’s SXSW rant that Blogging will be dead within 10 years).

While I don’t see blogging dying anytime soon, I can imagine it might change forms.

Will Twitter surpass blogging? I hope not. What about tumblelogs, on platforms like Tumblr?

Perhaps I’m too old (at 37 I’m on the late edge of the curve for many Digital-era technologies) but I prefer the longer form blog to these microblogs, even if they are updated in near real-time.

It’d be interesting to plot average length of blog post over time – are we (collectively) writing more but shorter posts?

Is there no future in the long form essay on the weblog?

(Technorati has also set up a homepage for these reports, enabling users to review all of them in reverse chronological order, and clarifying the creative commons license under which the reports are published).


  1. Hey.

    For what it’s worth, I’m a bit of a voice in the wilderness on this Live Web thing. In fact, about the only success I’ve had with it, so far, is with Technorati.

    That said, I do believe that the differences between Live Web and Static Web are much more sharp and easily defined than those, say, between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. But I’m just one writer, not a publisher and conference-giver like O’Reilly, which successfully obtained widespread usage of the Web 2.0 meme. (Just as IDG successfully drove adoption of the expression “IT”, replacing the worn-out “MIS”, back around the turn of the 90s.)

    I hope the Live Web/Static Web distinction catches on. It’s a good one. But it won’t be the end of the world if it doesn’t.

    As for long-form blogging (or writing on the Web in general), I’ve had far more good effects with long-form writing than with short form. So have Paul Graham, Clay Shirky and many others.

    And, as for Twitter vs. Blogging, it’s not a contest. Literally. One is a site with a service; the other is a widespread practice that involves millions of sites, all independent from each other (rather than dependent on one site, or one company). That’s not a knock on Twitter, just an observation of a distinction.

    Finally, I agree that blogging will change. It has all along, and will continue to do so.



  2. Thanks Doc – I agree absolutely that it isn’t fair to call Blogging vs. Twitter a contest – but it might be fair to talk about two significantly different schools of thought on blogging, which have been present all along but are evolving into more distinct branches:

    1. Long-form blogging, in which posts are a bit less frequent but contain more analysis and discussion.

    2. Short-form tumble-blogging and Twitter-style ego blogging, in which posts are very frequent (>5 a day, maybe even >10 a day) but the commentary or analysis is light or nonexistent.

    To push it a bit further, I guess you could argue that Twittering (or whatever verb is preferred for what one does on Twitter) isn’t really a form of blogging at all – but tumble-blogging is?

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