Thursday, May 24, 2012

Why Blog? 1.0
Why blog?  Hmm ... good question.  What causes people to start a blog?  After all, there are roughly as many English-language blogs as there are drops of water in a backyard, 6,000 gallon, above-ground swimming pool[1].
It seems there are three types of blogs[2]: 1) personal blogs, 2) interest blogs, and 3) commercial blogs.  The number of blog sites has been increasing at astonishing rates[3] since software applications designed specifically for the format were developed in the late 1990's[4].
As of this writing, May, 2012, there are estimated to be 450 million English-oriented blogs[5], up from an estimated 200 million blogs in 2009[6].   Including non-English-oriented blogs, the number is estimated to be one billion blog sites[7].
Commercial blogs are, of course, designed to promote products and/or services, essentially extensions of a company's advertising and marketing efforts, albeit at much lower costs than traditional advertising.
Interest sites are those that highlight a specific focus of a group, e.g. political, religious, social, environmental, etc.  Essentially advertising for that group's interests – as opposed to products or services – they still are designed to have others 'buy into' the perspective or hype of the group.  No different than company-oriented blogs, they are essentially selling an idea, an ideal, a perspective.
Personal blogs are a different story.  It is easy to argue that personal blogs also assert specific views of the author and, in very loose interpretation, therefore attempt to 'sell' a view.  However, a personal blogger who does not also expect to learn – not just receive feedback – from interaction with others falls out of the personal blog into the interest blog, simply representing a group of one. 
With no well defined assessment available, it is virtually impossible to determine the number of blogs of each type; however, many blogs are abandoned and many others lay dormant long enough to render them irrelevant.  Therefore, the blogosphere is not as large and pervasive as the numbers imply.
I repeat ... why blog?

[1]  Assuming the scientific standard of twenty drops of water per milliliter
[2]  http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2011/01/too-many-blogs/
[3]  http://techliberation.com/2008/05/06/need-help-how-many-blogs-are-there-out-there/
[4]  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog
[5]  http://www.hattrickassociates.com/2010/02/how_many_blogs_2011_web_content/
[6]  ibid
[7]  ibid

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