Saturday, January 13, 2007


How Many Blogs Are Too Many?

David Sifry, a guy who actually studies things like the blogosphere, reported in February, 2006 that there were least 27.2 million blogs and that the number of blogs doubled every five 1/2 months.

That would put the total number of blogs at an eye-popping 110 million (27.5 x 2 x 2) if it were true, though I suspect that blog creation must have slowed down at some point over the past 12 months. Maybe not, but the number of people actually posting at least once a week is a small fraction of that number, or roughly 10%, so there is a huge difference between creating a blog (simple) and actually making use of one (requires work).

If there are 11 million active blogs, I suspect some of them aren't even read by close friends and/or relatives. I know mine aren't. My relatives generally despise me and the few friends I do have are either dead squirrels or plants, so... well, they don't have computers. That means I - like any post-newspaper era publisher - have to rely on the kindness of strangers and do things like beg for links, write outlandish articles or occassionally program all the computers at the local library to display only my blog. (Hey, traffic is traffic!)

With the internet population in the US at around 165 million users, and figuring the average user views roughly 3 blogs per week (that's a big guess, based on absolutely no data), there would be 495 million unique visitors to all blogs just from the US (I mean, who really cares about second-rate countries like Canada, France or India? Some of them don't even speaka da english).

My trusty calculator tells me that results in an average of 45 unique visits per week for the average blog. Since I got only 16 last week - and 12 of those were me - this blog is well under the average and something must be done. I'm calling on everybody to stop blogging for a month, and for 10 million of those active bloggers to put on pants, go out and get a real job because I'm not going to and I'll be darned if I'm going to let some 10 million geeky bloggers keep me from making a living without having to go outside (or shaving, for that matter).

Well, since it's time for my monthly shower, I'll sign off here. STOP ALL THAT BLOGGING NOW!

BTW: I am so mad I didn't spell check.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Norquist weighs in on Iran, Syria

Call me cynical, but when I see Grover Norquist on BBC news talking about why the US should engage Iran and Syria in talks about the future of Iraq, I'm more than a little skeptical. (I looked for a link to the on-air story but failed to find one. Trust me, I saw his bearded mug on the BBC America broadcast at 11:00 PM EST on Monday night, November 13.)

Norquist was following up a report that UK Prime Minister Tony Blair was urging opening a dialogue with Syria and Iran to quell the violence in Iraq and work towards a regional solution to the "crisis" in Iraq. In what amounts to a rehash of old policy for Blair, the PM said a "new partnership" with Iran was possible if Tehran assisted in the Middle East process, stopped its support for terrorism and fulfilled its obligations on nuclear non-proliferation.

"In that case, a new partnership is possible," Blair told the Lord Mayor's Banquet last night in London.

Blair will be leaving office in a matter of months, so the leaders in Syria and Iran may not be listening very intently, especially since mixed signals are now coming from Washington.

While president Bush - whose power has been somewhat neutered by the landslide Democratic victories in the midterm elections - is still promoting the soloist, isolationist policies that got the United States into the Middle East mess to begin with, James Baker, leader of the Iraq Study Group which is outlining a new policy for America in the region, has already met with Javad Zarif, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations and is crafting a new policy for Iraq which is likely to include recommendations of troop reductions and direct talks with Syria and Iran.

The appearance of Norquist on the tube, however, is particularly alarming, indicating the seismic rifts within the administration and the Republicans. Norquist is attempting to redefine himself as a moderate after having spent the last decade helping to promote what now looks to be a failed Middle East policy.

It's important to note the the number of Republicans and neocons switching positions, such as Rush Limbaugh's "liberation" from the party that he announced last week on his nationally-syndicated radio broadcast.

Norquist, however, is a little more on the sly side than the truth-impaired Limbaugh, so we proudly pronounce him as our Prick for the Day.