Look at these spikes in blog posts registered by Technorati compared to major (US) political events:

stats image

At the Norwegian blog contest I juried last year less than 10% of the submissions were “political blogs”. I wonder whether there’s any other way of interpreting those spikes than assuming they’re connected to mainstream, political, US news?

And what’s that downward spike just before Hurricane Katrina about?

10 thoughts on “spikes in posting

  1. James L.

    The down spike before Katrina might be people vacationing just before school starts, at least in the US.

  2. Matt

    That downward spike could be something as simple as it being a slow news day/week in the middle of the summer. People are away, the politicians are actually not being too obnoxious and to top everything off there’s a lot of nice weather to keep people happy and away from their compluters.

    (Though the biggest thing is probably a slow news week/day)

  3. Francois Lachance

    There are two graphs being read side by side: number of postings to blogs; timeline of events. The statistics don’t indicate if the posts are on the subject of the events. What would be very interesting would be to track persistence of topics through time. How long does each current event maintain blogger attention? As well as number of blog entries, there is also the length factor. Many short entries versus less but longer entries.

    What is most striking in the posting data though under played by the comparative points in time (almost more suitable to compare event reaction with a set of bar graphs) is the upward trend: more postings over time. Does this indicate a greater participation in politicized discourse or simply more consistent blogging. Be interersting to compare to 2003 figures. As well how much of that increase in blogging is newcomers or already bloggers blogging more?

  4. Martin

    I also suspect that many of the people who are heavy posters are people who are involved
    in political discourse of some sort, while “civilian” bloggers probably are more sporadic posters. .
    Also, many of those political events are so big that they would also be commented on by civilian blogs: Katrina, election day, the London bombings.

  5. Shaded

    When Katrina hit people stopped posting long enough to learn from the news what was going on, then they started talking again.

    The dip is when people are learning. You know how some people say “shut up you might learn something?” Think of this as the entire blogosphere listening. The peak is when people are error checking (Talking to others and testing their ideas)

    Great graph by the way… never seen it before.

  6. Jill

    Good grief, I didn’t link to the report where I found the graph – added hte link now! There’s lots of other stats there too, as well as in part 2.

  7. Thomas

    Jill asks: “And whatís that downward spike just before Hurricane Katrina about?”
    Well, I guess it was the calm before the storm …

  8. Jill

    Haha 🙂

  9. Dennis G. Jerz

    I’m not so sure I buy Shaded’s explanation.

    In addition to vacations, that downward spike might represent a lot of college students in transit, a lot of academics frantically trying to finish their syllabi. There’s a similar gap around the same time in 2004, though of course that raises the question of why late 2004 seemed to be a dry time for blogging.

  10. Chuck

    Late 2004 could be similar. People are home for the holidays, visiting family. And of course aacdmeics in English departments are at MLA (or working on syllabi). I’d imagine that travel probably is a major factor in some of those dips.

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