If we could talk to every single blog author in the world, we’d be here until the middle of the next century asking them questions about what inspires them, what their favorite blog platforms are, and a ton of other things. In August 2010, blog tracker BlogPulse estimated that over 145 million blogs were floating around the interwebz. That’s a lot, and it’s only an estimate — two years ago global media agency Universal McCann put the global blogosphere at 184 million. With so many blogs and so little time, what is a poor global blogging survey to do?
The answer has two parts: indexing and random sampling. Multiple services exist to count the blogosphere. We’ve partnered with Spinn3r, one of the best, to collect a giant list of blogs in the world. From that list, we can randomly select a smaller number of blogs to survey. If we make sure that our final list of blogs is both decently large and truly randomly selected, we can use our survey results to make fairly accurate conclusions about the global blogosphere.
Spinn3r publishes a stream of content that contains the posts from all of the blogs it has indexed. Blogging Common spent a month capturing this stream and compiling a list of all of the blogs in it. We ended up with around a million different sites. That’s still a lot to work with, so we then randomly selected 1000 blogs to become part of our study.
So. What does it mean if you’ve gotten an e-mail from us asking you to take our survey? Well, you’re one (in 1000) in a million (in almost two hundred million)! Pat yourself on the back, then click on the link we sent you and answer our questions. Your answers will be compiled with everyone else’s, and thanks to the magic of random sampling, together you’ll make up a fairly accurate picture of the global blogosphere. We’ll be able to draw conclusions about how and why bloggers do what they do, what makes certain bloggers decide to write anonymously, what bloggers think about Internet censorship, and much more. Pretty cool, huh?