In what has been variously described as the "attention economy" or the entertainment economy, being noticed is more important than ever as compared to being substantive.
So who is popular online among business-related blogs and websites?
This is important for us to track as a law firm specialising in the commercialisation of Websites, Web ventures, content on the Internet and information technology.
David Sifry, the founder and CEO of Technorati should know which blogs are popular. His latest quarterly report is The State of the Live Web. It is a statistics and graphics-rich report on the status of the world of blogs (ie the blogsphere). Details and observations follow and one personal prediction.
Five points stand out on my reading of The State of the Live Web, as discussed in the bullet points below.
Technorati says it now "tracks" 70 million blogs (about double the number from a year or so ago), with 120,000 created per day. This big number talks up Technorati's game. It admits there are 3,000 to 7,000 new "splogs" (fake, or spam blogs) created every day. It does not provide a breakdown to assess several issues in the 70 million number, for example how many million blogs are virtually dead in the sense of having little or nothing posted for months.
The most read "blog" in Technorati's top 50 most popular blogs is a Web magazine, Engaget. It is focused on inspiring new gadgets and technology. Also in the top 50 list is a Web magazine or group blog (Boing Boing) and an Internet ventures analysis site (Techcrunch). In Technorati's top 100 is also marketing guru Seth Godin's site.
Despite the popularity of blogs, the most popular sites on the Web continue to be heavily populated by US traditional media sites (Technorati's graphs refers to them as "Mainstream Media"), like the New York Times, Washington Post, and CNN. Popular top 50 non-US Mainstream Media sites says Technorati include bbc.co.uk, guardian.co.au, asahi.com, and your abc.net.au. For the most popular domains see the graphic in Person of the Year caught in copyright scandal.
In the fourth quarter of 2006 there were more blogs in Japanese (37%) than in English (36%) - see the Technorati graphic below.
There is explosive growth in the use of tags, such as on social media sites such as Flickr and YouTube.
A surprising summary
With reference to Sifry's report, doodling with the data could suggest that those who are the most popular and getting attention in the blogsphere write in Japanese, operate a Web magazine style blog, write about Internet ventures or technology gizmos, and use tags on their blogs.
This suggests that the top blogs getting attention in the blogsphere are those that are both popular and substantive.
Get thee RSS and to Arizona
I predict that RSS feeds will be a key driver in the next phase of eyeballs moving to the Web.
If you don't use an RSS reader, find out what it is and get it if you have a need to keep up to date efficiently and regularly. To understand RSS watch this brilliant 3.5 minute training video.
Last week as I was updating my bookmarks and Bloglines RSS feeds I examined hundreds of websites. Very few Australian sites had an RSS feed. Hello!
All this attention seeking online does get tiring. So I hope your eyes have been relaxed by my photos taken in Arizona, the most wondrous place I have ever been to in the United States. The first shot is from the Painted Desert and the others from Monument Valley.
Monument Valley was the favourite location for the four-time Oscar winner, American film director John Ford (1984-1973).
With the films he shot there - including Stagecoach (1938), My Darling Clementine (1946), The Searchers (1956), and How The West Was Won (1962) - Ford gave film audiences worldwide the impression that the American West all looked like Monument Valley. Ford was then using the most attention grabbing media of the 20th century - cinema.
PS See Top Aussie Blogs which links to and comments on the Craig Harper list of the most popular Australian blogs judged by their Technorati ranking.