Axioms of Blogging

Mark Hasty presents his Five Axioms of Blogging, including the Joyner Corollary to the First.

So far, at least, his Fifth Axiom is proving somewhat untrue:

As the number of blogs increases, the number of comments on any particular blog decreases. Furthermore, as the number of comments declines, so does the number of trackbacks, as traffic-hungry bloggers eventually decide to link only to articles at the biggest blogs. The future of blogging, then, will entail millions of bloggers linking solely to whichever happens to be the largest and most prominent blog with trackbacks turned on. Whichever blogger this is will displace Howard Stern as the King (or Queen) of All Media.

Despite the explosion in the number of blogs out there (Sue McDonald says BlogPulse now tracks 10 million of them), overall readership continues to swell at a sufficient rate to more than make up for the dispersion of sites competing for eyeballs. My current traffic levels, which barely put me in the top 50 overall, would have been the envy of all but the top five or six blogs when I started two years ago.

Commenting at some sites remains massive, although it’s true that commenting hasn’t kept up with traffic levels. My comments have probably doubled in the last year while my traffic has more than quintupled. Whether that’s a function of changing reader trends, more search engine referrals, or what I can’t can’t.

FILED UNDER: Uncategorized,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Kind of a myopic observation think that eventually only one blog will be linked to. Glenn Reynolds is admitedly the biggest, but I rarely if ever link to him. I have to admit I do favor blogs that list trackbacks beneath the post (which is why I also offer that on my blog) but I still lik to posts on blogs that don’t offer trackbacks.

  2. bithead says:

    Well, there’s a dynamic on the commenting you’re missing, James… Raw numbers of comments are only half the story. How many are new commenters, and how many are idiots like me who are by no means afraid to hit that comment button?

  3. McGehee says:

    Wow — that guy from Aerosmith is the Sultan of Brunei!? COOL!