Everybody’s Blogging (Not)

“In August 2009, the number of known blogs will more or less equal the population of the world,” says Tim Bray. What a daft thing to say!

Tim Bray is Director of Web Technologies at Sun Microsystems, and on the advisory board of blog search engine Technorati.

He read an article by Dave Sifry which claims that the number of blogs has been doubling every five and a half months. A good piece with plenty of useful statistics, and part two explores links between blogs and searching. Thanks Dave.

But Tim extrapolates, stating that in 2009 the number of blogs will equal the population of the world.

This “assume exponential growth will continue forever” idiocy fuelled the dot.com boom and bust, and continues to be the hallmark of technology boosters everywhere. Tim seems to be intelligent and presumably realises that exponential growth won’t continue — a billion people on this planet have never used a telephone, let alone had Internet access.

The risk is that by presenting the number without any critical thinking attached, this “double every five and a half months” factoid will become embedded in the mythology. And another emerging Internet activity — blogs — will have its importance blown out of proportion.