Diving deep into the blogosphere

‘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have disappeared from view (though they might still be found on the Wayback Machine), while other posts are, perhaps, outdated.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/.

?Random Raiders! logo

Postscript

§ 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!

Header image adapted from
a good starting point
by Pandry on Unsplash

About peNdantry

Phlyarologist (part-time) and pendant. Campaigner for action against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and injustice in all its forms. Humanist, atheist, notoftenpist. Wannabe poet, writer and astronaut.
This entry was posted in ... wait, what?, Communication, Computers and Internet, Core thought, History, Strategy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Diving deep into the blogosphere

  1. Herb says:

    I wonder if the spike was when WordPress.com started using Jetpack to add WordPress.org sites? Who knows? People probably just had a lot to say. Then there are sites like mine where the blog is only a portion of it. And my blog went through several iterations. I started on blogdrive.com, went to hosting my own with a software I don’t remember, then switching to WordPress, then to Nucleus then back to WordPress again. I think I tried Joomla in there somewhere as well.
    I like the Random Raiders concept. It’s fun although it can be a surprise when you see a comment in your feed on a post you only vaguely (if at all) remember.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pendantry says:

      Wow, you certainly have been around the block a few times! I started blogging on Windows Live Spaces, then moved to WordPress.com when microsoft gave up on it and shifted us all here. WP has its flaws, but I’ve never been that disappointed with it that I’ve wanted to try an alternative.

      As for ?RandomRaiders!… personally, I rather enjoy being reminded of old posts I’d forgotten I’d created — and, of course doing the same for others, too! :)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Did my comments about your posts from 2011 and 2007 prompt this piece? Even if they didn’t, I’ll still take credit for inspiring you.

    But yea, it’s pretty mindboggling to know how many blog posts are out there. There are many blogs that are created but never kept up with, then there are those like mine (a post here and there), and those that have a new post (or more) every single day. It made me think of space – how much of that Internet ‘space’ our writing is taking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pendantry says:

      That is actually a serious problem. The amount of energy required to maintain the (how many?) petabytes of content that the Internet currently contains should be a concern to all of us.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Catxman says:

    The blogosphere is a bit repetitious when you use the WordPress Reader. I notice the same names appearing time and time again. It almost makes the ‘sphere seem SMALL.

    — Catxman

    http://www.catxman.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love random raiders The blogosphere needs more stuff like that so the old stuff isn’t lost
    ;;
    ;;
    ;;
    Laugh!! Try It You’ll Like It

    Liked by 1 person

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