‘Blogging’ has been with us since the mid-1990s. At the start of the 21st Century, WordPress blogging began. Currently, about 7.5 million blog posts are written every single day — and the trend is upward.
The ‘official’ view of the blogosphere is as a network. I prefer to picture it as a continuously expanding sphere in which the exterior shell is made up of current posts, while the interior consists of all the previous ones.
Most of us only get to see the outer edge of this sphere, through our ‘follower’ connections and tools such as the WordPress.com Reader, which only ever presents us with the most recent posts. A staggering quantity of content lurks within; many are articles which, it’s true, have disappeared from view (though they might still be found on the Wayback Machine), while other posts are, perhaps, outdated. But the vast majority are still worthy.
Attempting to approximate the inestimable
Actually figuring out the volume of the blogosphere is, I’ve discovered, incredibly difficult. New blogs appear all the time; while others are abandoned. I’ve not been able to find much hard data on the numbers; for one thing, there’s confusion between ‘blogs’ (websites) and ‘blog posts’ (individual articles). As far as I can make out, roughly three billion blog posts are published every year, on a rising trend, as shown by this chart of posts on WordPress.com sites since its inception in 2006:
After doing some (very rough) crunching on the data I could find, I arrived at a value of 21 billion§. That’s my best stab at the total number of blog posts that have been created so far since the inception of blogging, around a quarter of a century ago.
And that means that the blogosphere contains about six times as much content in its interior than exists on the surface. My own travels with the blog-driven time machine into the blogosphere’s depths have proven to me that there are hidden gems down there, just waiting to be (re)discovered.
An invitation to explore (and help improve) the curate’s egg
I set up a new site recently. It’s just one page; but it’s a gateway to a larger place, a portal into the blogosphere’s interior. Please visit https://randomraiders.wordpress.com/.
§ I’m pretty sure ’21 billion’ must be an underestimate. I really have no idea what the actual volume of the blogosphere is — if you have any thoughts on that, I’d love to hear them!