Personal Publishing

Towards a picture of European weblogging…

Found via a referral and then a couple of moments later via Euan Semple, Loic Le Meur is attempting to put together a rough picture of The European Blogosphere on his wiki – with core questions about the country’s main blogging platforms, total number of weblogs, famous weblogs, impact on mainstream media etc. I haven’t really had time to dig around in it as much as I’d like, but my first impression is that – as ever – what’s going on in the UK tends to get lost in the larger picture of English-language weblogs across the world. I mean, I simply don’t believe it’s true that there are only 200,000 UK weblogs in existence as opposed to the several million in France. My instinct is that these figures are artificially low because it’s so hard to technically differentiate with statistical analysis alone (and without any strong weblogging platforms aimed directly at people in the UK) which weblogs are British, which are Irish, which are American (or Canadian or Australian or English-speaking French / German etc).

Anyway, in a nutshell, I don’t think the page about the UK adequately reflects the culture of weblogging that I’ve seen in the UK over the last five and a half years. So I’m going to go and try and improve it now, and I thought I’d ask in public for Brits (and people from the rest of Europe) to come and help me find trustworthy information online that can help Loic give a fair representation of what’s actually happening. The link again for those of you with a short attention span: The European Blogosphere.

7 replies on “Towards a picture of European weblogging…”

Something else that might skew the data – and I’m just speculating here – is that a lot of British and Irish weblogs aren’t hosted in this part of the world (since English doesn’t really have any barriers on the web; my own site is hosted in Georgia, USA, for example) whereas in other European countries there are language barriers which would largely restrict hosting to within the borders of a given country.

Well, there are 198808 LiveJournal users who list their location as UK. Taking the percentage of accounts who have updated in the last month (20%), that suggests 39761 active UK LJers. Assuming you want to count LJers as bloggers, of course.

If I really wanted to find out how many UK bloggers there are I’d start by asking MSN (et al) for information from their blog indexing efforts.
Some blogging engines embed tags like “en-GB” and the erroneous “en-UK” in the feeds they output. The search engine bots would certainly have downloaded that meta-data and may have it stored in databases ready for somebody to just ask nicely.

I doubt the link between “en-GB/en-UK” and UK bloggers.
A large number of those are probably set incorrectly anyway (i.e. UK bloggers having their language set to “en-US” and not knowing how to change it) and then you might also get a substantial number of non-UK-bloggers having set their feeds to “en-GB”.
Not to forget all the expats both ways: All the foreigners who live in the UK and all the Brits living abroad. Some of the foreigners living here might have set their feeds to “en-GB” (mine is), but a lot of them possibly won’t be (if their blog is in their native language). I would still count all of them as UK bloggers (the Germans are including a bunch of Brits and Americans in their entry ;-)). And where do you count all the Brits living abroad?

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