How many blogs really matter?

Dale Wolf, author of Context Rules Marketing, highlights some interesting subscription statistics from RSS aggregator, Bloglines:

According to Jim Lanzone, Senior Vice President of Search Properties at Ask Jeeves, there are 36,000 blogs that “really matter” since they have 20+ subscribers. That means only a small percentage of blogs have enough relevant material to gather a community around them.

The thing that is generally useful from Lanzone’s analysis is that subscriptions for blog feeds through Bloglines gives us a relative understanding of the blog world:

Level 1 — 36,000 blogs that are serious enough to garner 20 subscribers.

Level 2 — 14,363 blogs that have +50 subscribers

Level 3 — 437 blogs that have +1,000 subscribers

Level 4 — 60 blogs that have +5,000 subscribers

Level 5 — only one blog with +50,000 subscribers

The lonely most popular blog? Slashdot.

[Via Octavio Rojas Orduna]

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  • The long tail of blogs. Millions with a few readers. I wonder how many of the 4m+ bloggers at Skyblog.com in France are in the Bloglines sample.

  • How many blogs really matter? The simple answer is ALL of them to the person doing it. Welcome to the new world where we ALL matter not just the few with the keys to the presses. Also any one blog can be plucked from obscurity rise to immense readership and fall again all in the space of a week. Is that blog any less important than a newspaper that has never done anything other than serve as a wrapper for my fish and chips.

  • Hi Geoff – agreed. From a personal perspective, everyone’s blog matters to them, and with cat blogs that’s probably all the audience they’re going to get, or even want to get.
    Of course too, a single post on an obscure blog, can rapidly become the center of attention for a short period of time. (As an aside, many Web 2.0 companies suffer from this issue too – peak in demand, then few repeat users, but that’s another issue).
    I think what’s interesting here from a PR perspective though, is that necessarily you want to have some understanding of which blogs are the most influential. All might be important, but some are more influential than others. There isn’t a good way to do this yet, but subscriber numbers on Bloglines or Feedburner, do give an indication of how many people have ‘voted’ for that content by subscribing. It also gives you some impression of the reach of that blog.
    It might be a little unfair to say that blogs without 20 subscribers don’t ‘really matter’. In some markets, eg exotic finch breeding, there might only be 18 people who are interested in which case you have 100% of the market subscribed.

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