Blogs increasing in number all over the world
According to the Blog Herald the number of bloggers world-wide is over 200 million. But this survey was done a year ago – in February 2005 – and bloggers must have increased by at least 50 million since. I say 50 more million as countries like India and China are seeing high rates of increase.
A few Blog Herald statistics (2005):
United States leads the pack with 50-80 million
Canada – 700,000
France: 4.5 million
India: 1.2 million
Japan: 10 million
United Kingdom: 4 million
In India specifically blogging is catching on. According to a 2006 Windows Live Spaces survey, the number of Indian Bloggers stands at 3.5 million, and that’s up by more than 100 per cent over last year! It has apparently reached a tipping point…although there are some who feel that the number of bloggers must be lesser – at 1 million. But that is impossible.
Windows Live Spaces (a blogging platform part of the MSN network) have devised their extraordinary estimates of over 3 million Indian bloggers on the basis of visitors to their MSN portal. Their other findings about the Indian blogosphere are even more interesting:
39 percent of Indian online users are aware of blogs
50 percent of blogs receive only 10 visitors or less per week
50 percent said that blog content is as reliable as the mainstream media such as newspapers, radio, TV
42 percent of online users read blogs to stay informed
49 percent read blogs for entertainment
50 percent of readers find blogs by business leaders interesting
32 percent of blog readers enjoy reading about technology
24 percent enjoy reading about news and education
Over 75 percent of all bloggers are men
54 percent of bloggers are between the ages of 25 and 34, with 32 percent under 25, and 15 percent over 35
90 percent of bloggers spend up to 5 hours per week reading blogs or updating their own blogs
Out of these, about 100,000 post once a week.
Now that’s a pretty comprehensive peep into the Indian Blogosphere. I don’t know whether this will make bloggers more respectable here, but certainly their sheer numbers could make the mainline media, politicians and marketers sit up and listen. I believe even in the United States except for a few well-known and respected bloggers, bloggers are looked at sceptically. Well, I believe that bloggers will not only continue to grow all over the world, there will be some blogs which people will trust more than they trust mainline newspapers. This is the future…which is already happening with some American blogs.
Blogs will be valued not just to report news, but to analyse it. In India at least news analysis is not very common. Even important research reports are often just dumped on the reader without analysis. Also, blogs have an option not to be commercial. They can just be an honest voice, not influenced by politicians or the advertisers. Today many people are looking for just that.