Quote of the Day from the Web 2.0 Expo: Ted Shelton

“Traditional media will eventually become curators instead of creators of content.”

Ted Shelton, VP Business Development, Technorati, on the Media 2.0 panel

Media 2.0 Panel (Ted Shelton)

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Over 70M Blogs Served: Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere

Dave Sifry offers Technorati’s latest state of the blogosphere, one of the best way to size up the growth, the evolution and measure the importance of the blogosphere and other social media. Highlights:

Size of the blogosphere:

Technorati tracks over 70 million blogs (74.9M today), about 120,000 new ones are created worldwide every day.

Mainstream media vs. blogs:

“The number of blogs in the top 100 most popular sites has risen substantially. During Q3 2006 there were only 12 blogs in the Top 100 most popular sites. In Q4, however, there were 22 blogs on the list”

Languages:

“Japanese retakes the top spot from our last report, with 37% (up from 33%) of the posts followed closely by English at 36% (down from 39%). Additionally there was movement in the middle of the top 10 languages, highlighted by Italian overtaking Spanish for the number four spot.”

Tags:

“The bottom line: we’re seeing explosive growth in the tags index. People are clicking on tags, people are using tags, Google features tagged media in its results pages. Tags adoption has become a phenomenon across the Live Web (definition), and we are seeing a correlative explosive growth at Technorati. Technorati is now tracking over 230 million posts using tags or categories, and the number of people who are using tags is growing.” This confirms the Pew Report on tagging we covered in January.

Summary:

  • 70 million weblogs
  • About 120,000 new weblogs each day, or 1.4 new blogs every second
  • 3000-7000 new splogs (fake, or spam blogs) created every day. Peak of 11,000 splogs per day last December
  • 1.5 million posts per day, or 17 posts per second
  • Growing from 35 to 75 million blogs took 320 days
  • 22 blogs among the top 100 blogs among the top 100 sources linked to in Q4 2006 – up from 12 in the prior quarter
  • Japanese the #1 blogging language at 37%, English second at 33%, Chinese third at 8%, Italian fourth at 3%, Farsi a newcomer in the top 10 at 1%
  • English the most even in postings around-the-clock
  • Tracking 230 million posts with tags or categories, 35% of all February 2007 posts used tags, 2.5 million blogs posted at least one tagged post in February

What it means: the blogosphere is now a brilliant and strong standalone ecosystem. I believe it has reached a scale which makes it a viable environment for new business opportunities. I also like the comment about tags as I strongly believe the future of Web information will leverage structured data.

How People Find Blogs (and Some Learnings from Praized)

eMarketer analyzes a Vizu Answers and Ad Age report that discusses the way readers find new blogs.

Survey highlights:

  • “Two-thirds of blog readers discover blogs by links on other blogs.”
  • “Recommendations account for another 23% of blog finds. “
  • 20% finds them through search engines
  • 6% through blog search engines like Technorati or Google Blog Search

eMarketer adds:

The fact that blog awareness is effectively spread by word-of-mouth is key for anyone using one in a campaign. Not only can you not build it and expect them to come, you cannot even build it and optimize it for search and expect them to come. Blog launches must be accompanied by links on established blogs, and some good recommendations from established, influential bloggers.

In addition, the survey asked respondants their main reasons for reading blogs:

Two-thirds of blog readers said that they read to be entertained, and 43% said that they read to keep up with personal interests or hobbies (multiple answers were allowed). A third said they read for education and 12% for business, making these clearly minority opinions.

What it means: high-level, here’s what I’ve learned about blogging (and blog linking) since I started writing 5 months ago.

  1. Before you start blogging, you need to identify the ecosystem(s) in which you’re going to “evolve”. The Praized blog is part of multiple ecosystems: Above all, it is part of both the Local Search ecosystem and the Social Media ecosystem. But geographically, it’s also part of the Canadian bloggers ecosystem.
  2. Once you’ve identified your universe, you need to start reading blogs from these worlds. I follow updates through a RSS reader (I use Google home page, nothing fancy). I read about 40 to 50 active blogs (by active,I mean daily updates) that operates in those three worlds. You’ll find a good subset of these blogs in my blogroll (I have not updated it in a while).
  3. Pretty soon, you’ll want to start commenting in these blogs. This will allow you to find your voice.
  4. You’re ready to start blogging. Continue commenting in your ecosystem’s blogs and make sure you refer to other blogs when you find interesting news on them.

I’ve also found some interesting qualitative data about blog post “tagging” (the “Categories” in the right column), which might help you with search engine indexation, but that story is for another day…

How People Find Blogs (and Some Learnings from Praized)

eMarketer analyzes a Vizu Answers and Ad Age report that discusses the way readers find new blogs.

Survey highlights:

  • “Two-thirds of blog readers discover blogs by links on other blogs.”
  • “Recommendations account for another 23% of blog finds. “
  • 20% finds them through search engines
  • 6% through blog search engines like Technorati or Google Blog Search

eMarketer adds:

The fact that blog awareness is effectively spread by word-of-mouth is key for anyone using one in a campaign. Not only can you not build it and expect them to come, you cannot even build it and optimize it for search and expect them to come. Blog launches must be accompanied by links on established blogs, and some good recommendations from established, influential bloggers.

In addition, the survey asked respondants their main reasons for reading blogs:

Two-thirds of blog readers said that they read to be entertained, and 43% said that they read to keep up with personal interests or hobbies (multiple answers were allowed). A third said they read for education and 12% for business, making these clearly minority opinions.

What it means: high-level, here’s what I’ve learned about blogging (and blog linking) since I started writing 5 months ago.

  1. Before you start blogging, you need to identify the ecosystem(s) in which you’re going to “evolve”. The Praized blog is part of multiple ecosystems: Above all, it is part of both the Local Search ecosystem and the Social Media ecosystem. But geographically, it’s also part of the Canadian bloggers ecosystem.
  2. Once you’ve identified your universe, you need to start reading blogs from these worlds. I follow updates through a RSS reader (I use Google home page, nothing fancy). I read about 40 to 50 active blogs (by active,I mean daily updates) that operates in those three worlds. You’ll find a good subset of these blogs in my blogroll (I have not updated it in a while).
  3. Pretty soon, you’ll want to start commenting in these blogs. This will allow you to find your voice.
  4. You’re ready to start blogging. Continue commenting in your ecosystem’s blogs and make sure you refer to other blogs when you find interesting news on them.

I’ve also found some interesting qualitative data about blog post “tagging” (the “Categories” in the right column), which might help you with search engine indexation, but that story is for another day…

Top Sites Among Young Adults: Facebook Rules Dude!

Youth Trends (via eMarketer) just released the results of their most recent quarterly survey about 17-to-25 year-olds Web site usage.

Highlights:

  • Facebook is the top site for nearly 70% of females ages 17-25 and 56% of males of the same age group
  • It was “the first time that Facebook was tops among both women and men”
  • “Two blogs were in the female top 10 list for the first time: Pink Is the New Blog and What Would Tyler Durden Do? (WWTDD). Both blogs have an entertainment/gossip focus, which Mr. Weil (Josh Weil of Youth Trends) says “is consistent with Gen Y females’ current adoration with content surrounding celebrities and their ‘uh oh’ moments.” “

  • “MySpace was second on the top 10 list for females, but it remained sixth for males, with the percentage of 17-to-25-year-old males listing it as their favorite moving up slightly from 13% in the previous quarterly listing to 14%. “
  • “The average 12- to 17-year-old spent 260 minutes on MySpace and viewed about 808 pages. By contrast, the average 35- to 54-year-old spent 179 minutes on the site and took in 560 pages,” Ad Age reported in October (but did not cite the source of the data). “

This survey is conducted quarterly

What it means: this survey asks respondents to name their three favorite sites (on an unaided basis), which is all about usage but also brand awareness. It tells a lot about the strength of Facebook in that specific demographics. In addition, I think it’s really impressive that two blogs get mentioned by females ages 17-25: Pink is the new blog (#196 in Technorati) and WWTDD (#477 in Technorati). According to this site, WWTDD had 5 million monthly unique visitors and 21 million monthly page views in January. Very good for a “parasitic” medium… (I’ll get back to that news next week…)

Tagging: Everyone’s Doing It! Are You?

The Pew Internet & American Life Project just released a new report about tagging. The survey has found that “28% of Internet users have tagged or categorized content online such as photos, news stories or blog posts. On a typical day online, 7% of internet users say they tag or categorize online content. ”

What is a tag?

According to Wikipedia, “a tag is a (relevant) keyword or term associated with or assigned to a piece of information (like picture, article, or video clip), thus describing the item and enabling keyword-based classification of information it is applied to.”

Who are the taggers?

According to the survey, “Taggers look like classic early adopters of technology. They are more likely to be under age 40, and have higher levels of education and income. Taggers are considerably more likely to have broadband connections at home, rather than dial-up connections. Men and women are equally likely to be taggers, while online minorities are a bit more likely than whites to be taggers.”

In addition, there is also an interesting interview with David Weinberger (co-author of the Cluetrain Manifesto). Asked “What started the current interest in tagging? He answers: “First, tagging lets us organize the vastness of the Web. Second, tagging is social.” He’s also working on a new book: Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder

(found via David Weinberger’s blog)

What it means: Those numbers are definitely higher than I thought they would be. Ever since I started blogging (a short three months ago!), I’ve discovered the power of tags. Not only do tags help organize your content, they help others find your content through search engines or other sites like Technorati or Del.icio.us. Coming from the business directory (“Yellow Pages”) world, I believe the future marriage of taxonomy and tags (folksonomy) will create a much stronger online categorization system. As more and more people start tagging content, any web site owner with structured data needs to allow their users to tag the information. BTW, David’s book seems fascinating. I wonder if one of my readers has received an advanced copy and could comment on it?