SCOTT SIMON, host:
Technorati is a Web site that helps computer users sift, search and sort through blogs. For example, if you want to search the Web to read what bloggers are saying about Mel Gibson, Technorati will produce a list of all the blogs out there discussing Mel Gibson. It must be quite a list at this point.
Dave Sifry is the founder and CEO of Technorati. His latest State of the Blogosphere Report finds that 175,000 new blogs are created each day, which mathematically breaks down to about two blogs created every second of every day. Dave Sifry joins us from the studios of KQED in San Francisco. Thanks very much for being with us.
Mr. DAVE SIFRY (Founder and CEO, Technorati): Thank you, Scott, it's a pleasure.
SIMON: And how big is the blogosphere?
Mr. SIFRY: It's right now about 50 million blogs, according to our latest tracking.
SIMON: Based on whatever information you have, what are let's say two or three of the blogs out there that are most consulted by people?
Mr. SIFRY: Sure. Well, we have a Top 100 list that you can get to off of the site, and in fact the number one blog is actually not even in English. It's written by Xu Jing Lei, who is a pretty famous actress in China, sort of a Paris Hilton of China, from what I understand.
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SIMON: Paris Hilton as opposed to Meryl Streep?
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Mr. SIFRY: And she writes every day, and she talks about what's going on, and she posts pictures from her phone of the latest sets that she's on and all the rest, and so it's developed a tremendous following of people who are her fans.
SIMON: What else might be at - near the top of that list?
Mr. SIFRY: Sure, so others are Engadget, which is a wonderful technology-gadget blog that has been focusing on all of the latest cool gadgets that are out there, obviously. And then Boing Boing, which is something of an eccentric little utility that provides very interesting stories and information around politics, but also around just news of the strange and the weird, as well.
SIMON: If, in fact, 175,000 people a day are creating new blogs, I wonder how many of them will be here a year from now?
Mr. SIFRY: That's a great question, and in fact, what we've found is that about 55 percent of those people continue blogging on a regular basis after three months. And in fact, what we're seeing right now is about 1.6 million postings, so that's about - consider a posting is an article - are occurring every single day. So that's about 18 posts every second of every day.
SIMON: What surprised you in this latest batch of research?
Mr. SIFRY: Well, I think what continues to surprise me is the growth. It's got to slow down sometime. We have been tracking this since 2002, and the blogosphere has continued to double in size every five to seven months, which is just remarkable to me.
And the amount of non-English posting has surprised me as well, that blogging has really taken off internationally. And we are seeing a lot of people who are blogging, for example, around the Israeli-Lebanon conflict, who are actually there on the ground, or you know, the tsunami in Indonesia or the events in Israel or the elections here in the United States. People are picking up and using their voices in their local languages to communicate with each other.
SIMON: All this batch of research that you have, do you have any thoughts about what the growth and content of blogs say about us?
Mr. SIFRY: I think it says that number one, we're fundamentally social creatures, and the more power that we are given to be able to communicate and to find each other, the more we're going to use it, and I think the real hope here is the potential for a reinvigoration of civics.
SIMON: Mr. Sifry, nice talking to you.
Mr. SIFRY: Scott, it's my pleasure.
SIMON: Dave Sifry, founder and CEO of Technorati, speaking with us from San Francisco