Sunday, April 1, 2007

71 Million and Counting...!

Blogtastic, blogs, blogging, blogger, blah, blah, blah! Prior to my enrollment in Professor Robertson’s J1 class, I had never even considered reading blogs muchless blogging myself. To be completely honest there is a strong possibility that I did not even know what blogs were. However, during the last eight months ‘blog’ in every sense of the word has become part of my daily routine. Thanks in large part to David Silver, my enthusiastic (to say the least) Digital Journalism professor, I constantly find myself either writing, reading, or even checking USFblogtastic for comments and updates.

In March 2007, Technorati, a blog search engine, reported that there were over 70 million webblogs. As Technorati’s webpage popped up on my screen, a box in the corner that read “71 million blogs…some of them have to be good” (Matt), instantly caught my attention— as an avid blogger, I could not agree more! There seems to be a blog for (what it seems like) just about Everything. Politics, religion, fashion, food, music, education, celebrities, business, art, sports—and I promise you that does not even begin to scratch the surface (every category I listed can essentially be broken down into a copious amount of subcategories)!

However, on my quest for an ‘interesting’ blog to share with my classmates and ultimately add to our feevy, I found myself less than impressed with most of what I found. Maybe I am jumping to conclusions or being unfair to the blog society. Since technically I was searching for a blog relevant for a Digital Journalism class, the blog subjects were not exactly…exhilarating. Perhaps if the search had been for blogs about Dave Matthews Band or shopping, I would have found myself absorbed into the blog sphere much more quickly.

Refusing to let the inordinate amount of mind-numbing, repetitive blogs get the best of me—I set out on a blog-adventure, determined to find one worthy of our time. It had to be interesting, it had to be relevant. Basically, it had to be legit. Upon entering college, our lives became inundated with the Internet—e-mails, instant messaging,, Google searches (personal guilty pleasure!), and (although, no one likes to admit it) the infamous Facebook. Former Facebook Inc. Senior Engineer Karel M. Baloun even wrote a book about the “Facebook Generation” and societies need to understand it. Baloun’s book, Inside Facebook, reported that “85% of students at U.S. universities have made Facebook and essential part of their social lives.”

Create your personal identity: how old you are, where you are from, the kind of music/books/movies that you like, relationship status, and excessive amounts of pictures. seemed so innocent at first. It was merely a place for social networking, a place to keep in touch with friends who are far away or even catch up with long lost friends from the past. However, recent changes in the network have opened up a can of worms! (Sorry, sometimes clichĂ©s are just really dead on—but I guess that’s the point.)

To make a long story short, Facebook just seemed so relevant, considering we are the “facebook generation” that Baloun is talking about. Justin Smith, of Social Intelligence ( A social networking watch list and analysis), is the independent author/creator of the blog: Inside Facebook- Tracking Facebook news, commentary, and analysis. It approaches issues including companies who search profiles to screen employees as well as schools attempting to force student athletes to cancel their accounts. As the 7th most popular site on the web ( and a service that directly affects our community (USF ie. College students), I think that dissecting a blog trying to get to the bottom of and social networking could be very useful for our class!

1 comment:

Michael Vick said...

I love this blog, Sam. Ever since I got involved with Facebook as a result of our class discussion about it, I've been interested in learning more. Now I know there is a blog I can go to to do so.

On another note, when you search Technorati, you should try sorting the results by "authority." I'm not sure how they determine this (perhaps it's by the number of hits or comments), but I've found that the blogs I get are of a much higher quality when I do this.