I realized a while ago that it's been a year today since I've been entertaining myself with this Skeptacles blog.
I remember reading somewhere a year ago that there were something like 11 million blogs, and that the number was growing by something like 15,000 per day.
Here is a March 2005 post from David Sifry, founder and CEO of Technorati, showing that Technorati was tracking something shy of 8 million blogs one year ago, and that at the time they were registering 30 to 40 thousand new blogs per day (after the spam blogs have been cleaned out of the stats).
Then here is Sifry not quite a year later (February 21, 2006) reporting that Technorati is tracking about 29 million blogs these days.
That's just Technorati. Googling "number of blogs" quickly yields numbers ranging very widely, reaching as high as 50 or 60 million blogs worldwide nine months ago. Sure, some large number of those are abandoned blogs, spam blogs and other blogs that shouldn't count, but the number is huge none-the-less.
Blogging has been a fun hobby, and I've greatly enjoyed corresponding with the occasional reader. I've learned more than a little from some of the blogs I've read. My collection of blog bookmarks and RSS feeds has grown to more than I can keep up with.
I think I have validated Cas Sunstein's concerns about the internet echo chamber. One day I realized that I was only reading blogs conforming to a certain type, and that my views had been hardening - just what Sunstein is concerned about. What's worse, when I became conscious of my echo chamber and deliberately tried to avoid it, I found it quite difficult to read all that other junk. In fact, I stopped caring about the echo chamber. I still keep a few anti-echo-chamber links in my collection, but I hardly ever look at them (even though once in a while I find something worthy there).
When I ask myself why I blog, the rationalization I usually reach is that I want to be part of this complex, interconnected system from which may some day emerge a sort of global brain. Really though, I don't know why. I just do.
Onward and upward...