How many blogs in China?
Duncan Riley> I’ve had a few questions lately about my post in January in which I calculate that there are around 34.5 million blogs in the world. Without revisiting the calculation, I’m having doubts on the figure, and no, I don’t think its too high, I suspect that it may actually be under the true figure.
There are still a number of issues outstanding, such as just how many blogs does Google’s Blogger service host, how many blogs in South America (I think the 1/2 million underestimates the market), how many in Africa (there’s a blog ring in Kenya now) but the biggest question is: How many blogs are there in China?
The interest was prompted by a comment on Rebecca MacKinnon’s blog as part of a silly conversation in which Rebecca and others proport that the blogosphere lacks diversity (my comments are on site, so I wont revisit that one here). The comment, from Bobby Masteria of Reflexive Blog, includes the claim that there are 30 million blogs in China. Unfortunately he didn’t respond to my email in which I asked him how he came up with the figure, but is it possible?
Best estimates of Internet users in China range from 87 million to 120 million, so a figure of 30 million would be around 25% to 35% of all internet users in China having blogs, which lets face it, is highly unlikely. Having said this though there are approximately 16.5 million blogs in South Korea in a country where internet usage is around 31 million people, so in excess of 50% is not impossible, even allowing for the fact that the number of blogs in South Korea is likely different to the number of bloggers, with high broadband use and relative affluence meaning that the number of blogs per blogger may well be high in South Korea.
Scoble writes at Webpronews that his conversations with the operators of BlogChina.com shows about 1 million blogs in China, although the authority of the figure from the operators of a blogging company is probably more representative of their accounts than the total figure. They quote 8 million posts a day from Chineses bloggers, which if accurate would be more likely a reflection of more that 1 million blogs, as at 1 million blogs this would equate to 8 posts per blog per day, a highly unlikely figure.
I think at this stage that the figure for China is likely to be around 2-3 million and rising, but I say this only as an educated guess. Potentially, China has the opportunity to become a blogging giant in the future, as more and more people get online and blogging continues to gain awareness both domestically in China and internationally.
But just how many blogs are in China? Anybody have a better figure, let me know, and I’ll revise the world-wide figure upwards.
This is a figure that I’m concerned about too. Today was one of the few times that I’ve seen a bookmark on del.icio.us popular that was in any language other than English. It linked to a Chinese blog in China. It is clear that Chinese users are becoming more advanced and are taking advantage of non-Mandarin technologies outside of China such as Gmail, Flickr and Del.icio.us. It is also interesting to note that they often blog about things written in English yet blog in Mandarin about them. I don’t think we will see Mandarin dominate the internet anywhere in the near future, but it is interesting to note that we will have to learn Mandarin if we want to know what some popular del.icio.us bookmarks are about.