I got a strange email from Carl Bialik (the WSJ "Numbers Guy" and now their free-content editor) this week:
…I’d heard that Pegasus has an estimate for the total number of blogs. Can you send me the estimate and any supporting material, and can we set up an interview? My deadline is end of day Wednesday…
I was baffled that I could have been pegged (pun intended) as a source on that, but being a publicity whore, I dutifully started researching to come up with an answer.
Of course, it was a futile exercise in vanity on my part, as Carl was actually looking for another mythological being.
However, it wasn’t a bad time to pay attention to the number: this was the week that Technorati’s blog count tipped 10 million.
Perhaps the fellow who tipped it was Andrew Haeg, who started his promising new blog, Distributed Intelligence, after attending last weekend’s Citizens Media Summit. Aside from putting me in way over my head in the company of his "people to watch," he’s looking into "the forces and events that are transforming media into something more open, transparent, democratic, diverse and just plain ol’ interesting."
Unfortunately, I don’t think that Technorati has as good a count on those jumping of the blogging train. As Andrew jumped on, Frank Catalano jumped off, leaving some good lessons of blogging, three of which particularly resonated:
- Blogs are not a new
mechanism is a better phrase. The medium is the Internet (or, more
specifically, the Web page). The mechanism is blog authoring tools. Very
useful, very cool, and very ubiquitous (unless your service’s server goes
down). But blogs are not the new papyrus. They’re a new way of inscribing the
same digital papyrus.
- Blogs are not
"citizen journalism." Blogs enable citizen
journalism. A blog is like a piece of paper. What you put on it — from journalism to
conversation — is your choice. See the above re: "performance
- Blogs are rapidly becoming MSM. There. I’ve
said it. Those blogs whose creators have audiences larger than newsletters,
specialty magazines and even small-market radio and TV stations are no longer
underdog players. They are mainstream
media outlets, in a medium — the Web — which itself has become mainstream.
Which reminds me, for newcomers to our site, repeat after me: Pegasus News is not a blogging business, although it may utilize blogs as one of many tools. And this blog is not our actual product.