I never was good at networking

by Suw on April 30, 2003

Whilst looking for something completely different the other night, I came across a couple of sites that provide link stats for blogs. Ecosystems gives lists of the links out of and into Choc’n’Vodka, but picks up only the menu links. Organica (which today fails to work, hence no link) on the other hand appears to be a bit more comprehensive, picking up all the links in all of the archives for its outgoing list.
Whilst the concept of knowing who has linked to me is great, the reality of it is a bit pathetic really. Both links into Choc’n’Vodka are from people I know – so it seems I shall remain an undiscovered blogging phenomenon for a while yet.
Whilst shuffling though the bevvie of links that those two sites threw up, I also found BlogStreet Visual Neighbourhood, which basically finds blogs it thinks are similar to yours and lays them out in a sort of mindmap. A lot of the blogs were obvious – Bratiaith and Rwdls Nwdls, for example, I already know about and link to, if only cos they’re Welsh. But I did find #!/user/bin/girl and, via that, Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About, both of which were amusing diversions from this afternoon’s tasks at hand.
One thing I would like to know, though, is how many people read this blog. I know some of my friends do, because occasionally I’ll start some witty and erudite comment only for them to say ‘Yes, I read that on your blog’. So far so good – the people I’m writing for are reading and that makes me a happy bunny.
But I have suspected for sometime that the number of people who actually read blogs is considerably less the number of people writing them. Come on, we’ve all gone to Weblogs.com or somesuch, just to check if we’re on the list, but how many of those blogs do we actually read? Well I’m way too busy simultaneously carrying out three conversations on MSN, slapping scores of witty ripostes up on Sweet Addy in order to keep my postcount healthy, and replying to emails to do any work, let alone read any blogs.
My suspicion that blog readers are few and far between seemed to be confirmed when I was skimming this article on The Register. Although it’s actually about the Googlewashing of the phrase ‘secondary superpower’ (no, I didn’t know about Googlewashing either, but I’ll take The Register’s word for it), one bit stood out:

Pew Research Center's latest research says the number of Internet users who look at blogs is “so small that it is not possible to draw statistically meaningful conclusions about who uses blogs.”

Further exploration of Pew Research Center’s latest research fails to throw up an actual figure for the number of blog users, other than “4% of online Americans report going to blogs for information and opinions”. A quick bit of maths based on PRC’s assertion that there are 116 million Americans online indicates 4.6 million Americans ‘use’ blogs (there’s no distinction made between reading and writing).
This leaves me wondering. 4.6 million blog users in American alone isn’t exactly a small number of people, no matter how statistically insignificant it might be in the grand scheme of things. So does this mean that there are 4.6 million blogs in America? (Cue: sudden and unexplained Kim Wilde flashback.) Maybe I’m wrong in my assumption that no one reads blogs. Maybe that’s just me. After all, I’m too lazy to learn the word for ‘lazy’ in Welsh.
Anyway, this leaves me at the end here trying to figure out what on earth my point was in all that. I think it’s got something to do with the words ‘million’ and ‘two’ and the disparity between them. Come on guys, link to me!

Anonymous May 21, 2007 at 4:29 pm

you're not a phenomenon, but i think a good question is: would you like to be a phenomenon nowadays? you know, bad news travel faster…

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