Technorati's David Sifry has published a new state of the blogosphere - which he is now calling the Live Web, though I don't believe he is including the larger space of social/UG media. On January the 12th, I posted a couple of items in a wish list for his next account:
- An account of the US or English language blogosphere and
- An account of trends in terms of active blogs (not all blogs ever encountered).
David commented on this post, saying:
Great points. I'll work with the team developing SoTB (yes, there's now a team!) to incorporate your suggestions. Keep up the great blogging!
While the new report does have some language breakdowns, it doesn't attempt to address either of the issues that David said he would try to incorporate. In addition, while the graph of the posts per day appears to me to be showing a clear downward trend, David says that this shows a slowing in the growth in the rate of posts. Assuming that he intended only to include a single derivative here and meant to say that growth was slowing, I think he is missing the point. It looks to me as if the blogosphere that Technorati indexes is actually shrinking. David does talk about some numbers that do indicate continued growth, but the chart he uses seems to contradict these claims.
We also see a slowing in growth in the rate of posts created per day; while there are spikes in blog posts during times of significant world crisis -- for instance, last summer’s conflict between Israel and Hezbollah -- the overall trend is that posting volume is growing more slowly, at about 1.5 million postings per day. That's about 17 posts per second. In October 2006, Technorati was tracking about 1.3 million postings per day, about 15 posts per second.
Compare this with the graph:
I wonder why the data is being spun this way. Could it have to do with TechCrunch's rumour about acquisition?
David has done a great job historically of creating thought leadership via this quarerly documentation. However, I wonder if this may become a liability in the future as they look for exit strategies that require evidence of continued growth. Note again that these numbers are the blogosphere that Technorati crawls. Crawling the blogosphere is a hard problem and so estimating its size and growth is tricky.