Here are a couple of things that I have learned:
- The blogosphere tends to double every 6 months.
- The blogosphere is 60 times bigger than 3 years a go.
- Fifty five per cent (55%) of bloggers are still blogging after 3 months.
- A new web log is created every second.
- Eleven per cent (11%) of blogs update weekly or more.
- Sixty per cent (60%) of pings are from spam blogs and their cousin spings (ping spam — or spam on trackbacks!)
- The most amazing thing is the chart that is shown above which is the spike in blog postings as are correlated with world events. I think that the offline increase in conversations and how they are reflected in online life is fascinating. (If this interests you, you may want to see the Center for History and the New Media they are doing some cool analysis and research about this information.)
News Media watches the blogosphere for Grassroots News
In the historical article entitled Blogosphere: the emerging Media ecosystem the author, John Hiler, a mainstream journalist says:
By adding to the diversity of original content, weblogs have added a whole new layer to the Media Food chain. That puts weblogs at the base of the food chain, generating the sort of grassroots journalism that the new Media Ecosystem has grown increasingly dependent upon.
Because bloggers are closer to a story, they'll often pick up the sort of things that traditional Journalists miss. This is expecially true for Eyewitness blogs: blogs written by someone involved in a story…
In a world where over half the media outlets are controlled by six corporations, that sort of diversity of perspective is becoming increasingly important.
John Hiler goes on to discuss the “New Media Foodchain” where individual blogs have their conversations correlated by blog indices including daypop, blogdex, and technorati. This creates sort of a computer-filtered analysis of conversation. (John's article was written in 2002 but is excellent and such articles have influenced the news media over the last few years!)
John also talks about community blogs — I would include my favorites: digg, and slashdot. These community blogs create good information because people submit articles and then rank them, thus it is a human-filtration type of index.
Taking the information from Dave Sifry and the incredibly insightful article from John, here are several conclusions I have for you as a blogger.
- Consistent bloggers (that 11% who updates at least once a week) have an inordinate amount of influence compared to the average person in America.
Everyone has opinions. Bloggers log those opinions. Those opinions act like “votes” and are counted!
- Bloggers who are smart have even more influence: they ping, they attach keywords to their post, and they submit articles and participate in community blogs such as dig.
These habits of successful bloggers make sure that your opinion is found and considered by others.
People who care, blog!
It is one thing to have opinion, it is another thing to make it count.
So, if you CARE, if you WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE, if you are passionate, there is an outlet for you besides unconstructive temper tantrums: YOU BLOG!
So, teacher, let's take this one step further. If you want your student's opinion to count, how can you best help them have this influence and effectiveness? TEACH THEM TO BLOG EFFECTIVELY! Makes sense.
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