Thursday, March 19, 2009

Maryland Blogosphere Takes Off

The mainstream media (MSM) may be struggling but our data shows massive growth in Maryland’s blogosphere. Whether Post columnist Marc Fisher likes it or not, bloggers are running amok across the Free State.

In our previous work on Maryland blogs, we divided them into three categories: liberal blogs, conservative blogs and local blogs that cover specific geographic areas without an emphasis on political ideology. We track 35 blogs that publicly release their visit counts from Sitemeter or Statcounter: 5 liberal, 16 conservative and 14 local. Here are the combined visit counts for all 35 blogs and for each of the 3 categories:

In the four-month period from June through September 2007, the 35 Maryland blogs for which we have data averaged 60,258 visits per month. In the four-month period from November 2008 through February 2009, those same blogs averaged 98,807 visits per month – a 64% increase in traffic. The 16 conservative blogs for which we have data went from a combined 23,438 visits per month to 36,973 visits over the same time period – a 58% increase. The 5 liberal blogs went from an 11,988 combined monthly average to 19,335 (up 61%). The biggest increase was recorded by local blogs. The 14 local blogs for which we have data went from 22,825 combined monthly visits to 42,499 – an 86% gain. None of these counts include blog content access through other means, like Google Reader.

MPW averaged 1,718 monthly visits from June through September 2007. We averaged 11,934 monthly visits from November 2008 through February 2009 - an increase of 595%. Rockville Central went from an average 1,087 visits per month to 5,415 over the same time interval - a growth rate of 398%. Annapolis Capital Punishment went from 1,042 average monthly visits to 4,732 (up 354%). PG Politics climbed from 1,438 to 4,400 (up 206%). Red Maryland was founded in July 2007. They have received at least 10,000 visits in seven of the last eight months.

These are explosive increases in site traffic by any measure.