Weblogs.com – Seeing the curve

When I looked a few minutes ago, Weblogs.com was only 50 updates away from breaking over 2400 weblogs in a three hour span. This would be the first time since the war was declared over that we might set a new high water mark (on April 7).

In related news, John Robb suggests that it may be time for Weblogs.com to do a “three-for-one split” (my words, not his) and start displaying only an hour of data at a time. If this happens, of course I’ll restate the traffic curves that we’ve been seeing—but it will only be an average approximation, since there’s no archive of data to tell us what the actual hourly high water mark is.

The interesting part is why the need to move. Take a look at the curve below (last updated 4/7):

linear plot of weblogs.com high water mark growth, 6 may

See the uptick? It could be caused by one of two things:

  • The war and corporate earnings season together caused an upswing in blog posting traffic that may not be repeated
  • We could be on the cusp of an exponential explosion in weblog activity, driven by the virtuous cycle of blogging: publish – subscribe – read – comment – publish.

The above graphic was a linear plot of the traffic to date. Take a look at this log-normal plot, which maps the high water marks on an exponentially increasing scale:

linear plot of weblogs.com high water mark growth, 6 may

This suggests that the hockey-stick shape of the first graph is no accident; there really are some reinforcing loops driving the growth of the blogosphere. If that’s the case, yeah, it may be time to move to displaying a shorter time increment on Weblogs.com…