But Still They Blog: Platforms, Currency and a few more profiles

More bits & pieces from But Still They Blog: The Liblog Landscape 2007-2009–this time, pages 9-10 and part of 11, plus three blogs from page 19.

Blogging Platforms and Programs

How do library people blog? Any blanket statement will be wrong, particularly since the whole universe of liblogs may be unknowable. For the blogs in this study, here’s the breakdown.

Program Blogs Percentage
WordPress 245 47.2%
Blogger 190 36.6%
TypePad/MovableType 48 9.2%
Other 24 4.6%
Drupal 7 1.3%
LiveJournal 5 1.0%

Table 1.2: Blogging platforms and programs

WordPress is close to a majority and certainly accounts for a large plurality of the blogs. Oddly enough, as compared to the 2008 study, Blogger has precisely the same percentage (36.6%) albeit of a smaller universe, but WordPress has jumped from roughly 38% to roughly 47% (and increased in real numbers), while TypePad and MovableType decreased in real numbers and increased from 8.8% to 9.2%. (I’ve lumped MovableType and TypePad together since both are similar products from the same company.) “Other” includes a few identified programs and platforms with no more than two blogs each—and a number of blogs that are either handcrafted or shorn of brand identity.

My guess—and it’s only a guess—is that a broader study, including short-lived and less visible blogs, would show a higher percentage of Blogger blogs, most of them on blogspot.com. While it’s trivially easy to set up a hosted blog at Blogspot.com, WordPress.com or Typepad.com, I believe Blogspot is perceived as being the fastest and easiest of the three. (Some Blogger blogs above are not hosted on Blogspot.com—and I’d guess most of the WordPress liblogs use WordPress software on other sites.)

There has been a slow migration of blogs to WordPress. I believe it’s safe to say that WordPress software is the preferred blogging platform for most long-term “serious” bloggers. I see very few people migrating elsewhere (except, for example, forced migrations to MovableType because people move blogs to shared services such as ScienceBlogs). But I have nothing more than anecdotal evidence—that, and the near-majority numbers above.

If you’re a numbers person, you may note that the numbers above don’t add up to 521. In the two weeks between completing the scan of blogs for metrics and doing a second scan for blogging platforms, two blogs had become unavailable, temporarily or permanently.


How current are liblogs? I used March-May 2009 for metrics—but I recorded those metrics in September 2009. To get a checkpoint, I checked each blog on September 30, 2009, looking for the most recent post but rounding down to week intervals—and beyond that, to spans that seem indicative.

Here are the results, which require some explanation.

Weeks Blogs Percentage Cumulative
1 218 42.0% 42.0%
2 51 9.8% 51.8%
4 56 10.8% 62.6%
8 49 9.4% 72.1%
13 24 4.6% 76.7%
17 14 2.7% 79.4%
26 22 4.2% 83.6%
52 34 6.6% 90.2%
99 29 5.6% 95.8%
Ceased 22 4.2%

Table 1.3: Currency of most recent post as of September 30, 2009

I marked a blog as Ceased if there was an explicit declaration that there would be no new posts—no matter how recent that declaration was. (Here again, the universe is 519, missing two blogs that seem to have vanished.) Other than that:

  • More than 40% of the blogs are robust—they had a post within the most recent week.
  • Just over half the blogs are active—with a post somewhere within the most recent fortnight.
  • Stepping back at larger intervals, it’s interesting that the number with posts sometime during the month (but not in the most recent fortnight) and those with posts sometime in August are fairly close to the “week before last” group.
  • “13” indicates sometime within the last quarter (13 weeks). More than three-quarters of the blogs had a post within the summer quarter (July-September).
  • I include “17” (actually four months) because Technorati uses that cutoff for blogs that could be considered alive. Roughly 80% of liblogs had a post between June 1 and September 30, 2009.
  • The next two levels are half-year and year marks—in both cases representing blogs that are neither active nor clearly dead.
  • “99” really means “more than 52”—that is, blogs that haven’t explicitly ceased but haven’t had a post in more than a year.


Lady Crumpet’s Armoire

Began July 2002.

Metrics 2007 2008
Posts 12 2
Quintile 4 5
Words per post 130 40
Quintile 5 5
Comments per post 0.8 0.0
Quintile 3 5

No announcement of hiatus or dropping the blog, but the most recent post was on August 20, 2008.


“Accurate, focused law and technology news.” By Sabrina Pacifici. Began August 2002.

Metrics 2007 2008 2009 C08-09 C07-09
Posts 736 770 733 -5%% 0%
Quintile 1 1 1 2 1
Words per post 122 133 137 3% 13%
Quintile 5 5 5 3 3

Purely professional with no distinctive authorial voice. Does this belong in a liblog study? It’s a prolific set of very brief descriptions of, and links to, news items done by a special librarian. But it’s in blog form, Pacifici calls it a blog, and she is a librarian, so. Note the remarkable consistency over the years.


“the last, since 2002” By Amanda Etches-Johnson. Began August 2002.

Metrics 2007 2008 2009 C08-09 C07-09
Posts 11 10 1 -90% -91%
Quintile 4 4 5 5 5
Words per post 257 289 250 -13% -3%
Quintile 3 3 3 4 3
Comments per post 3.2 6.8 4.0 -41% 26%
Quintile 1 1 1 4 2

When Etches-Johnson posts, she usually has something interesting to say. Lately, she hasn’t posted much (the single post for this quarter is about the lack of posts and an experiment in “lifestreaming”).

Go buy it!

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