Just to put this week’s “gosh, there are lots of bloggers in the USA!” hype in perspective. The numbers add up to about 8 percent of all U.S. net users claiming to “have a blog” of some sort. Take out the mass (perhaps more than 30 percent) of MySpace / Deviantart / etc pages updating only every few months with a five-word quip about hamsters or other furry friends, and also take out the lapsed bloggers (maybe 50 percent or more) whose hardly-started blogs are essentially dormant — and you probably have around one percent of net users who are doing what most would think of as a proper blog. A reliable mid-2005 academic study found only 500,000 English-language blogs, after it filtered out all the rubbish. One percent is still substantial, but about par for the course with creativity in general. One percent actually creates, while the rest load up on popcorn and lean back to enjoy the show — the report says that close to 40 percent of U.S. net users regularly “read blogs”. Again, that’s a figure that would probably come down if one did a bit of common-sense filtering by type, but even 25 percent of all net users reading proper blogs is fairly good. No wonder some of the more vapid of the newspaper quackerati are suddenly riled up about blogs.