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07.29.2003

Churn Rate

Cameron Marlow strikes a cautionary note in the debate over how many blogs there are on this green earth:

In all user communities, not every individual that signs up for a service will use it indefinitely. When trying to gauge the effect a service is having on society at large, the important number is not those that have tried it, but rather those that use it regularly. The churn rate is the percentage of users that cancel a service, i.e. webloggers that will never post again (despite the fact that their weblog might remain online).
I was curious to see what kind of churn rate I would find in the Blog Census, so I spent some time checking a random sample of sites by hand, to see when the most recent post had been published (as Cameron points out, this is something you really have to do by hand, since pages that contain dynamic content can throw off automated estimates). For my data, at least, it looks like a third of weblogs indexed by the census are abandoned or defunct - that's a 33% churn rate. I posted the detailed results over at the census website, so go pay a visit. We'll even give you a pie chart!

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