The blog counting game

Question: do these count as blogs?

Question: if you’re an advertiser what kind of person do you want to reach? People who publish empty spaces like those? Or folks who publish real content and have real audiences?

So, when Microsoft says “we have the most blogs” does that even matter to ANYONE?

No. Advertisers see through that smoke screen. That’s why more and more money is pouring into real blog networks like B5 Media and Federated Media Publishing and AdBrite.

Just wondering how Microsoft defines “blogs” if they get on stage and say “we have more of them than anyone else?”

Are all blogs the same? Even ones that have no content in them? (By the way, a very high percentage of the “most recently published Live Spaces” are empty like this — I’ll give you a better count in a few).


Scoble says half of all Live Spaces aren’t blogs*

Update: Mike, in my comments, thinks my headline is sensationalistic and says he didn’t say they aren’t blogs. We disagree on what a blog is, which is what this whole post is about so I changed it to say that I said that half of all Live Spaces aren’t blogs.

Mike Torres of the Live Spaces team just said that more than half of all Live Spaces are private. Um, Mike, you DO realize that private Web spaces are NOT blogs, right?

In a ThinkWeek paper, accepted by Bill Gates, and discussed with him before MSN even started publishing Spaces (more than two years ago), we (not just me, but MS researchers too) defined blogging as having five things:

1) Easy to do reverse-chronilogical content display. Type in a box and hit publish. New stuff goes at the top of the page. Old stuff moves down.
2) Discoverable. Through search engines (I listed Google, Technorati, MSN, Yahoo, and a few others). I specifically mentioned a ping server as infrastructure too, ala Technorati or IE, blogs are public. I would go as far as saying that a site that does not ping a pingserver, like, is NOT a blog (private Web sites don’t ping and are NOT discoverable by search engines).
3) Social. I can track when you link to me from another domain, either through search engines, through trackbacks, or through my referer logs. (I can’t be social with private cross-domain spaces).
4) Permalinkable. I can send you a link directly to a post. (I can’t do that with private spaces).
5) Syndicatable. I can use a news aggregator to read your content, which lets me read a lot more blogs. (I can’t do that with private spaces).

So, half of all Live Spaces are NOT blogs. They are something else. How about we make up a name for them? “Plogs.” Not to mention but “blogs” got their name from Pyra’s Blogger, which complies with all these things.

I feel so strongly about this stuff that we put this into our book as a common definition of why Blogging is hot. If your tool or service doesn’t comply with all five of these things it might be very cool (and there might be a LOT of them) but you shouldn’t be able to claim that they are blogs.

Oh, geez, Marc Canter show remix

Hi Marc Canter! Yeah, I see you posting weird videos to Trying to distract me from exposing Live Spaces’ lack of real blogs. Getting in the way of real journalism. Can’t have THAT here on the blogs. 😉

Yeah, you can distract me by writing “Scoble” on your blog. Technorati is an evil thing. If you link then you distract me twice. Once in my ego search in Technorati (Maryam watches there too) and once in my referer log which shows up everytime I go to’s Dashboard.

It’s Sunday evening, though. Hope you’re similarly distracted!

Hmmm, who do I want to distract? Bhuvana Sundaramoorthy. He wrote an awesome post on common interview questions and went straight from the “Z list” to the “A list.” How do you do that? He caught a ride on the Digg express!

Oh, why not pander to the A list? I saw Kevin Rose, founder of Digg, at TechCrunch on Friday night. Distracted Kevin?

How about Doc Searls? I was just reading his blog and Seth Finkelstein and Dave Rogers are saying he’s some kind of gatekeeper of the “A list.” Wait a second, Doc didn’t link to Bhuvana?!? I guess that gatekeeper job isn’t as good a deal as Seth and Dave make it out to be.