Blog » And then there were ten (blogs)

11 May 2005

And then there were ten (blogs)

Filed under: Blogosphere gems,Personal — paulcook @ 9:09 pm

It’s actually been around for a little while, but I’ve finally remembered to link to it: Suvir’s The Every Now and Then Blog.

That brings the total for the number of blogs belonging to friends of mine, in the Pasadena area, to ten. Not too shabby, considering that the total ran to just two at the start of this year. Which makes it time to provide my opinions on the spread of blogging.

It seems to me that two or probably three is a typical “critical number” amongst any reasonably-connected group of friends. One or two people blogging is a curiosity; three starts to make it interesting, in that everyone else can usually find a new post frequently enough to make it worth hitting the blogs fairly regularly. Thereafter, if our experience is anything to go by, within a few months about half the afore-mentioned reasonably-connected group of friends will have blogs.

I’m going to go out on a limb here, and say that this will mark something of a plateau in blog penetration — at least until a further change in the technology, the form of which I can’t predict. Almost everyone who is interested in the concept now has a blog (with one or two possible exceptions), and the remaining half of the reasonably-connected group thinks we’re being silly.

Of course, I have other reasonably-connected groups of friends, amongst which I now have the only blog. Once another of them starts blogging, though, I’ll be interested to see if the pattern repeats.

Personally, I’m quite pleased to be in on it. Not only does it make for interesting discussions I would not otherwise be having with friends, but it means that (a) I’m going to have some approximation of a “journal” to look back at in future years, and (b) travelling the world will not mean being cut off from news from friends elsewhere.

Exercise for the reader: Make a new group of friends, none of whom are blogging. (Can’t find any such people? Try a nearby impenetrable rainforest). Get two of them to start a blog. Watch (or, indeed, laugh maniacally) as half the group voluntarily surrender any free time they once had.

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  1. Your critical mass argument is interesting indeed. I have a very close group of friends back in Texas (well, now spread about, but we all met and spent most of our time together in Texas), and I am the only one of the bunch with a blog. I really thought I would have had at least one other person interested by now (the group is largely quite computer literate), but that’s not the case. I have thought before, though, that if I could get one, I would likely snare a few more within a couple of months.

    I think there are a couple of barriers to entry, if you will. The major impediment seems to be people think they don’t have anything interesting to say. My response: that hasn’t stopped the rest of us. The second impediment is less significant, and it’s the technical barrier. Somehow it just feels difficult to start up a blog, even though the people over at Blogger do a wonderful job getting you up and running with a customized blog within minutes.

    Comment by jjk — 11 May 2005 @ 9:55 pm

  2. Your theory is crap. The only reason I have a blog is because you and Mike are blog-setting-up wizards. Most groups of people wouldn’t have such wizards and therefore the blogging saturation is higher in this group than it would be in others.

    Comment by gv — 11 May 2005 @ 9:58 pm

  3. Ah, but you’ve not proven Paul’s theory is crap. How do you know, even if Mike and Paul were not “blog-setting-up wizards” (e.g. they used some free blogging software like Blogger), that you would not have inevitably ended up being drawn into the blogosphere.

    In fact, I claim that you are intentionally sabotaging Paul’s theory! Who are you to say you know more about what you would have done in the absence of Paul’s and Mike’s help than Paul or Mike themselves? Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    Comment by jjk — 11 May 2005 @ 10:58 pm

  4. Paul is a blog evangelist. He wants us to make friends and recruit Blog converts. Mwhahaha.

    Comment by Holly — 12 May 2005 @ 12:25 am

  5. Ignore Paul. Read my blog.

    Comment by Holly — 12 May 2005 @ 12:27 am

  6. I’m waiting for the Idoru Effect – where I can track people you all know who don’t blog solely by their appearance on the blogs of bloggers.

    We used to be able to do it in Dublin in a limited fashion. This is my challenge to y’all…

    Comment by xaosseed — 12 May 2005 @ 11:02 am

  7. Actually, that’s similar to what I’ve observed about people using friendster, although there I think the critical number is higher. People with only a few connections to the network often just sign up and never return, but those with more become eager to invite more people and to give testimonials and check people’s profile updates.

    And I may end up needing some blog-setup wizardry myself if my service doesn’t keep crashing like it has been (grrrrrrr….)

    Comment by L'el — 12 May 2005 @ 12:39 pm

  8. I mean, does keep crashing. Look, it’s even ruining my grammar…

    Comment by L'el — 12 May 2005 @ 12:40 pm

  9. I agree with jjk on all counts. But to speak to his point against gv’s, the reason so many people are using WordPress specifically may be because of Paul’s and my goading, but there are lots of good online systems out there that are extremely easy to start and keep using. Blogger is a great service, LiveJournal’s got an interesting gimmick, and what I’ve seen of upsaid looks decent too. There’s a lot more power and extensibility in WordPress (or, dare I mention it, Moveable Type), but for a basic blogoform website, all those (and I’m sure others) would do quite well.

    [I should say I’m (perhaps unfairly – but only perhaps) biased against WordPress’ cousin b2evolution. I’ve heard it’s usable, though ;)]

    Comment by MDA — 12 May 2005 @ 2:35 pm

  10. Paul – I know where to post this on your blog, but I wanted to alert you to this article: Interesting pro-CAFTA perspective
    I added it to my blog discussion about CAFTA.

    Comment by Holly — 20 May 2005 @ 11:57 am

  11. Opps, I meant to say…I didn’t know where to post this. Sorry, I’m trying to multitask – very uneffectively.

    Comment by Holly — 20 May 2005 @ 11:58 am

  12. You’re slacking off! More posts!

    *getting out whip to whip Paul back into shape*

    Comment by Adam — 25 May 2005 @ 2:24 am

  13. And so, Adam, when did you post your last blog post? Hmmm?

    That’s 1-0 to me, I think.

    Comment by paulcook — 26 May 2005 @ 8:51 pm

  14. Apparently you don’t understand how this works. Rather than having my posts in a centralized location, I use the blogs of others as my platforms. It’s kind of a symbiotic relationship.

    Comment by Adam — 26 May 2005 @ 11:04 pm

  15. It’s true, Paul. If you don’t post enough, he’ll starve. Sort of like the collective Tamagotchi pet of the blogging world, if you will…

    Comment by L'el — 28 May 2005 @ 3:05 pm

  16. Hah! It’s true! I’m starved! Starved for content!

    Comment by Adam — 29 May 2005 @ 11:39 pm

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