On April 20th, 2007, Discover Magazine made an article about Matthew Hurst latest study on mapping the blogosphere. Hurst, who is Director of Research at Intelliseek and co-creator of BlogPulse, has been previously featured in VC for his work on visualizing different aspects of the blogosphere.
As Discover Magazine puts it: "The blogosphere is the most explosive social network you'll never see. Recent studies suggest that nearly 60 million blogs exist online, and about 175,000 more crop up daily (that's about 2 every second). Even though the vast majority of blogs are either abandoned or isolated, many bloggers like to link to other Web sites. These links allow analysts to track trends in blogs and identify the most popular topics of data exchange".
The visual study featured here by Matthew Hurst reflects a plot of the most active and interconnected parts of the blogosphere from collected link data over a period of six weeks. Green links represent one-way links (that is, blog A links to blog B), and blue links indicate reciprocal links (blog B returns the favor).
1 - On the map, white dots represent individual blogs, sized according to number of links. This one in particular represents DailyKos which is visited by 500,000 people every day.
2 - The popular site Boingboing, a "Directory of Wonderful Things".
3 - LiveJournal users (an isolated, close-knit online community of bloggers).
4 - The blue blob represents a balanced sociopolitical discourse (most links are reciprocal).
5 - An outlying island of blue represents the linked-up world of bloggers who traffic in the latest news and gossip from the world of pornography.
6 - A group of sports enthusiasts in the outskirts, many of whom, unlike the lonely pornographers, have links back to the central hot spot of the blogosphere.