The New York Times revived a 2008 Technorati study that found only 7.4 million of the 133 million blogs started since 2002 were “active”, defined by Technorati as having been updated within the last 120 days.
Okay, I’ll agree that 126 million blogs that haven’t been touched for at least four months is … a lot of fallow ground. But “only” 7.4 million active blogs is far from the “serious letdown” that the Times claims.
In the United States, there are perhaps 8,500 consumer magazines, maybe 12,000 trade titles, and as many as 3,500 associations that publish on a regular basis. The vast majority of these publications are no more frequent than monthly, and most produce perhaps 50 pages of editorial content per issue. Do the math: (8,500 + 12,000 + 3,500) x 12 x 50 = 14.4 million pages of content a year.
Personally, I think that’s high, but for the purposes of comparison, it’s fine.
Now, let’s assume those 7.4 million “active” bloggers produce each just one page of content per month. The active bloggers I know are more likely to produce three or more pages a week, but … why pile on? Once a month, I write a page: (7.4 million bloggers x 12 months) = 88.8 million pages of content per year, six times higher than all of the other content combined.
Ah, but that’s not “edited” content. That’s not “curated” content. Anyone can publish anything they want in a blog. Professional publications compete on quality, not volume.
If you really believe that, tell me the last time you read a consumer magazine story in your sweet spot of industry or personal expertise and said, “They got that EXACTLY RIGHT!” Tell me the last trade publication article you read that didn’t immediately provoke a “but they didn’t talk about …” reaction. And the New York Times and piracy … Don’t get me started.