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The Blogging Iceberg: Not.

The Blogging Iceberg: Not.

Perseus Development Corp has randomly surveyed 3,634 blogs on eight blog-hosting services (Blog-City, BlogSpot, Diaryland, LiveJournal, Pitas, TypePad, Weblogger and Xanga) and strangely come to the conclusion that 4.12 million blogs have been created and that 2.72 million blogs that have been either permanently or temporarily abandoned. So on the basis of 0.09% of Blogs on what are essentially free or low-cost, low setup servers, 66% of all weblogs on the web are kaput!. Perseus says its margin of error is 2.85%, based on what?
Whilst we are not statistical geniuses, there are many examples of polls based on supposed random sample data that have been far off the mark, some of the Election Polls in the US predicting a Democrat landslide in 2000, polls in Australia predicting Labor victories in 2001, the list can go on and on. The Blog Herald believes that the small sampling, restricted to blog hosting companies, should be taken with the grain of salt it deserves. Whilst not doubt that abandonment rates are high, and teenage girls make a large section of bloggers, such a small and narrow band of analysis does not make a true picture of blogging.
For those wishing to read the report:

View Comments (3)
  • I’m just working on a blog post re this same survey. As the proprietor of a directory of blogs, abandoned journals are a professional issue for me so I read the report with interest.

    The Perseus folks at least follow their highly specualtive report with enough disclaimers to let the knowledgeable reader know that it is fairly meaningless. Not so with The Regster’s story on the Perseus report:

    As I’ve noted in other articles from the Register’s Orlowski, he seems to have a burr up his behind when it comes to blogging. His story on this survey fails to mention any of the caveats included in the source material.

    The survey itself is quite flawed. By only looking at hosted blogs and ignoring blogs served under their own domain, they essentially skimmed off the cream before making their anaylsis. I’m an avid blogger with two blogs that I update daily. In my role as a blog resource site operator, I also signed up for several lowcost or free services to simply test the products. After one post, I abandoned those. This makes me part of the vast dead pool, though I am far from it.

    The survey does bring a pertinent issue to light. Dead blogs are, indeed, a nuisance cluttering up the blogosphere. I can see that blog service providers, like Blogger, gain a certain amount of traffic and possibly some new clients by keeping these dead pages active. My thinking is that the negative aspects outweigh the positives, though.

    At BlogsCanada, we attempted to spider our database looking for dead blogs. The fact that blogs do not serve up 404’s when dead, however, makes this a near impossibility.

    As that iceberg grows, so grows the tip. A better sampling method would have shown a much more vibrant picture. To continue the iceberg analogy, as long as the unseen portion does not really pose a danger, why not just revel in the excitement of that which can be seen?

  • Hi My name is CASEY,
    I am 11 years old and i am studing ANTARCTICA!!!
    I had a question in S.O.S.E. book and i have to answer it.
    Could you help me because i could not find any infomation on it or about it?
    It is…
    When is an iceberg not an iceberg?
    THANKYOU :-)

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