All PR bloggers are above average

I now and then take a peek at PubSub’s list of PR bloggers to check my ranking, and today it’s good news all over. All bloggers on the list are moving upwards, except for the ones in the top that are “non-movers”. No-one is down. It makes me think of the quote by Garrison Keillor: “Welcome to Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.”

In me we trust

According to the Edelman Trust Barometer 2006, global opinion leaders say their most credible source of information about a company is now “a person like me”.

In the U.S., trust in “a person like me” increased from 20% in 2003 to 68% today. Opinion leaders also consider rank-and-file employees more credible spokespersons than corporate CEOs (42% vs. 28% in the U.S.).

Also interesting is that trust in government is low in the U.S. (38%) but high in China (83%, up from 63% in ’05).

Social networks go online

I was recently approached by a journalist who wished to test a theory that kids and teenagers spend time online to build and maintain relationships but adults primarily go online in search of information. My take was that if there ever was a difference, it has disappeared the last few years and adults connect to communities almost to the same extent as young people. The new study “The Strength of Internet Ties” from the Pew Internet and American Life Project seems to suggest I might be on to something.

From the report, about the fears that social relationships are fading away in America:

“Instead of disappearing, people’s communities are transforming: The traditional human orientation to neighborhood- and village-based groups is moving towards communities that are oriented around geographically dispersed social networks. People communicate and maneuver in these networks rather than being bound up in one solidary community. Yet people’s networks continue to have substantial numbers of relatives and neighbors — the traditional bases of community — as well as friends and

“With the help of the internet, people are able to maintain active contact with sizable social networks, even though many of the people in those networks do not live nearby.”

In my survey of blog readers last year, I found that a large portion of Swedish bloggers are anonymous (6 out of 10 women), which could suggest that many people are able to maintain parts of their social network online even without revealing their true identity.

My Technorati cosmos doubled in a day

A few days ago Technorati suddenly said that the number of links to my blog are about 354, up from about 177 in no-time. Naturally I began to wonder why this figure is double the amount from the day before? It seems that Technorati has been doing some changes to the way they count incoming links and now displays links from blogs over the last six months. I’m unsure if this is the reason though.

Technorati tag: .

My guess: 24,000 Swedish blogs

There’s been a lot of talk the last few days about two articles in Aftonbladet and Internetworld regarding how many Swedish blogs that currently exist. Since I started to do some research in the matter about a week ago, I might as well give you my two cents.

Aftonbladet says 10,000. Internetworld’s Urban Lindstedt made some research that suggests there are some 18,000 Swedish blogs, based on the following number of blogs hosted [The numbers have been updated since this post, check the link above to Internetworld for the latest revision]:

Blogsoft 9600
Spaces 3460
Passagen 2700
Bloggi 761
Blogger 718
Blogdrive 182
WordPress 80 79
Typepad 75
Movable Type 34

Total: 17 689

I have a few questions about these numbers:

#1: This would give BlogSoft, Passagen and MSN Spaces a market share of 91 per cent which I find completely impossible to believe.

#2: Roland at BlogSoft told me in an email a few days before these articles appeared that BlogSoft has 9,600 registered accounts and that 1,500 to 2,500 can be defined as real bloggers, depending on definition. Henrik Torstensson states that BlogSoft is supposed to host about 3,500 blogs, unclear where this figure comes from. So, a qualified guess is that BlogSoft hosts some 3,000 to 3,500 blogs and has about 6,000 registered users that are in the process of setting up a blog, but haven’t yet begun posting.

#3: One of the most popular blog portals is which tracks recently updated Swedish blogs. To be included in the portal you must actively submit an application. By checking the id numbers of each individual blog at we can assume that more than 3,500 blogs are members of the portal, so it should be fairly representative of the Swedish blogosphere. I checked about 230 random blogs at and can conclude that BlogSoft ( and is nowhere near half the market, or a third for that matter. What I found was that 8 out of 10 Swedish blogs either use a personal domain name (can also include the address to a personal webpage hosted by their ISP, like Telia) or are hosted by Blogspot. About 1 out of 10 is hosted by BlogSoft.

We can guess that new blogs at Passagen and MSN Spaces (and possibly and are not as accustomed yet to the practice of pinging posts to a portal, and therefore are mis-represented in the stats above. Now assume that the market share for BlogSoft is closer to 10 per cent or let’s say 15 per cent due to the mis-representation noted above, and that the number of hosted blogs are in the vicinity of 3,500 to choose an even number (that is also supported by Torstensson). That would give us a suggested total number of Swedish blogs to between 23,000 and 25,000.

This way we can count backwards to get the following approximations about the Swedish blogosphere:

Market share/Host/Number of blogs

25% Blogspot 6000
25% Own domain 6000
15% Blogsoft 3600
15% MSN Spaces 3600
10% Passagen 2400
10% Bloggi + rest 2400

Total 24,000

The relation between BlogSoft, MSN Spaces and Passagen doesn’t seem to be that far off the mark, so I needed to assume that the number of blogs at Blogspot and blogs with their own domain name are not 80 per cent, rather closer to 50 per cent.

Of course, this whole arithmetical example is based on a series of half-guesses and wild assumptions, so consume it with a healthy dose of scepticism. And I am well aware of the difference between a blog software like Blogger, Blogsoft or Typepad and the actual domain name of a blog. But I don’t think it is more wrong than Internetworld and Aftonbladet. I would love to read other bloggers’ thoughts on the matter. Am I a crackpot or are we getting closer to a figure we can agree on?

Footnote: only lists 1,500 blogs on the website, but I understand that blogs that have not sent a ping in two months are not visible, which further mis-represents “inexperienced bloggers”, like bloggers that don’t use a personal domain for example.

[Edit: Bad link. Thanks Sebastian.]

Update: Christian Davén has analyzed the blog tools from another Swedish blog portal: Blogwalk. According to his stats, BlogSoft has a market share of only 2 per cent. Blogger dominates with 45 per cent. This supports my feeling that there are more blogs than the 18,000 suggested by Internetworld. (If BlogSoft has a reliable number of hosted blogs, then the total market will be greater if BlogSoft’s market share is smaller.)

Italian blog survey

Via the IAOCblog I found a new study about the Italian blogosphere. The IULM University in Milan has performed 600 online interviews which shows that Italian bloggers are mainly young:

“40% are students, 20% employees and 15% self-employed. Half of them are “mature” bloggers active for more than 6 months, while 9% are newbies who have just started blogging.

Italian bloggers are frequently online to search for information. The majority of those interviewed updates the blog at least three times per week, and 21% declares of writing on a daily basis. In addition, 65% of bloggers reads the blogs listed on his sidebar, 31% those of his friends, and 55% those of his readers.”

The survey also found that the Italian blogosphere grows at a 5% monthly rate.

Disclaimer: The fact that Italian bloggers are mainly young, might be an effect of the survey only interviewed respondents aged 20-35. I am not sure this is the case, but this page suggests that it is.

The respondents have also answered questions about the reasons why they started blogging, but I only found notes about this in Italian (and Babelfish doesn’t give a perfect translation). If anyone has more details in English I’d be happy to read it so I can compare with my Swedish survey.

More country specific blog research can be found here: Iran, Poland, Sweden (pdf), USA.