Jim Lanzone at Ask Jeeves posts that, according to Bloglines' data, only 37k feeds "really matter."
The details of the data are interesting. Only 1.3M feeds have even one subscriber. 37k feeds have at least 20 subscribers. 20 subscribers might be a somewhat high bar, but it does separate out feeds that are useful to some people from feeds that are useful to very few or none. The data does not distinguish feeds for weblogs from feeds for news sources like Wired or BBC. The data does not include the few popular weblogs that do not publish a feed.
It's a remarkable contrast to Technorati's claim (on their home page) that there are 19.4M weblogs out there. I and others have argued that the 19.4M weblogs estimate is utterly absurd, inflated by millions of spam and bogus weblogs.
At Findory, our experience has been that 95% or more of weblogs are fake. I suspect the number of real, interesting, and useful weblogs to be well under 100k. The new data from Bloglines support this lower estimate.
Thanks, Jim, for providing this data. Very interesting.
[via Gary Price]
Update: Mark Cuban complains about a massive increase in spam blogs.
Update: Dave Sifry at Technorati repeats his claim that only "2% - 8% of new weblogs are fake or spam weblogs." See also Dave's thoughts in the comments for this post.
Update: Rich Skrenta at Topix.net says, "What we're seeing is that 85-90% of the daily posts hitting ping services such as weblogs.com are spam. Of well-ranked non-spam blogs that we've discovered, we've found about half haven't been updated in the past 60 days."