As of this writing, BlogPulse is claiming that there are 175,570,843 blogs out there. I have no idea where they’re getting the numbers from, but if we correlate this with the last published number of blogs Technorati was tracking (133,000,000 in 2008), that seems like a reasonable estimate.
Facebook is claiming 800,000,000 active users (defined as logging in at least once per month).
My own opinion is that social media platforms are simply blogs in disguise. Facebook will never say this, but their real competition is all those blogs out there in the wild, where Google knows how to best track them. (I’m not sure why Google hasn’t figured this out. Instead of trying to out-Facebook Facebook, they should be contributing to innovation in the blogging space. Open things up, Google—you know how to index open things better than anyone.)
There are some good reasons why social media has overtaken traditional blogging. Most of them have to do with feature-sets and low barriers to entry—the very things that allowed blogging to thrive in the beginning.
Here’s what I’d like to see: a new initiative that aims to boost the number of active blogs on the open web to 800,000,000. It seems to me that we already have that many people who know how to blog—they just don’t know how to blog outside of a highly gated and controlled platform.
Here’s what we’ll need:
- A good way to track the number of active blogs out there (open, hosted platforms like WordPress.com, Blogger, Tumblr, etc should be included).
- A buddy system where current bloggers mentor a Facebook friend or two (help them set up and start posting), with a commitment to post twice per month.
- A campaign to get
youngpeople used to a blog-first approach to online engagement.
I’m thinking we could potentially do this city by city, or in the case of massive cities, borough by borough. I’m also thinking that organizations like 826 Valencia could get involved.
Who’s with me, and more importantly, what am I missing?