800 Million Active Bloggers

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:

  1. A good way to track the number of active blogs out there (open, hosted platforms like WordPress.com, Blogger, Tumblr, etc should be included).
  2. 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.
  3. A campaign to get young people 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?

4 Responses to ‘800 Million Active Bloggers’

  1. Pingback: Why 800 million active bloggers? | David Pensato

  2. Hello, David.
    That’s a remarkable idea.
    I think that a competitive advantage of Facebook is that it offers its “bloggers” the quasi-certainty that whatever you write will be seen / read by someone significant to you (or anyone at all). That’s a Facebook-specific benefit from the “you are not alone” family.

    Fact: at the time of the present comment, two weeks after you published your post, it gathered five “+1″ and one “share” on Google+ and no visible reaction on this blog.

    That’s enough for most people to abandon their dreams of a truly personal on-line presence.
    If I can come up with a solution, I’ll share it with you :)

  3. You are correct about the “you are not alone” factor.

    It’s an odd one, because while there hasn’t been much reaction here in the comments, I’ve had a good number of real world discussions that came out of this post. And rather ironically, twitter provided a fairly animated conversation, too.

    It’s part of why I think there’s significant work to be done, some of which I discussed in the previous post and some in the follow-up.

    Matt Wiebe, I think makes a similar point to you, and it seems like they are taking steps over at WordPress.com to try and address this.

    For me, the conversation alone and that people like you and Matt are giving it some thought is encouraging.

  4. Pingback: 800 Million Bloggers is a Good Start – mattwie.be

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