Microsofties take it on face value that they host the most blogs. They even love shoving it in your face. Yesterday someone who works on the Windows Live team was taunting me with “influentials don’t matter, we got to be #1 and we don’t care that there aren’t any influential bloggers using our stuff.”
I was asking them why so few bloggers at BlogHer or Gnomedex use Windows Live Spaces, which is Microsoft’s blog and photo sharing service.
Today I see that George Moore, General Manager of Windows Live, just told a crowd in New Zealand that Windows Live is “now the largest blogging service on the planet.” At least according to Richard MacManus, who I’ve found to accurately report past events, and who is at TechED in New Zealand.
So, that made me itch and when I have an itch I want to scratch it.
Here’s my what’s itching me:
1) Is Windows Live Spaces really used as a blog service very often?
2) Is Microsoft only counting when it’s used as a blog service, or is it counting all uses of Windows Live Spaces?
3) Do other services actually have more “real” blogs? At least percentagewise?
Now, I know that WordPress.com (currently the service that most of the “in crowd” is recommending) only has about 300,000 blogs. Microsoft is claiming 72 million blogs.
So, over the next few hours I’m gonna do some analysis and see if I can find out how much overcounting there’s going on (there is SOME overcounting, based on my initial looks at http://spaces.live.com and http://www.weblogs.com — I see a whole bunch of things there that don’t look like blogs at all).
First, let’s define what a blog is, at least enough to count for this purpose.
1) Have original content. Spam blogs that are copied off of somewhere else don’t count.
2) Have at least 500 words of new text-based content every month. Things that look like Flickr streams aren’t blogs, sorry.
3) Have at least two posts in at least the past 30 days. If you aren’t posting, you’re not blogging.
4) I don’t care if you have comments, have trackbacks, have blogrolls, or any of that.
Here’s my methodology.
1) I’m going to pull the last hour’s worth of content that was published to each of the services, as reported to weblogs.com as of 3:52 p.m. today (before I post this so no one has time to monkey with the results).
2) I’m going to also visit the home pages of http://spaces.live.com and www.blogger.com and www.wordpress.com and www.typepad.com and report on the percentage of blogs that I find that have been published to their “most recently published” pages are actually blogs.
Add all those percentages together and find an average. Then take that average to the reported number of blogs on each service and see if Microsoft is still #1.
Does that sound like a good methodology? Any changes you’d make?
One thing that’ll be interesting is to compare the percentages today with percentages on, say, Wednesday since I’d expect more “everyday people” to be blogging today, while on Wednesday I’d expect to see more corporate bloggers, which, my thesis is, will skew more away from Windows Live Spaces.
What do you think?
What results do you expect to see from such an exercise?
Disclaimers, Maryam, my wife, uses Windows Live Spaces. I use WordPress.com. Our book blog, Naked Conversations, is on Typepad. My son used to be on Google Blogger, but he is now on WordPress.com too.