Silicon Insider: Moore's Law Hits Blogosphere

The Doubling Curve Hits the Blogosphere

That's why we in the tech industry have become very attuned to the doubling curve. Whenever and wherever it pops up, we pay a lot of attention. And now, here it is, not surprisingly, characterizing the blogosphere. After all, the world of blogs has gotten a lot of early-PC and early attention over the last year, becoming one of those hot terms that everyone is using, and the tech playground towards which all of the usual early adapters have raced. It has also had some big early victories (pulling down Dan Rather, stealing readers from newspapers and television, setting much of the debate in the last presidential election), and it is beginning to show some of the early signs of consolidation (TechCentral Station, Pajama Media), the creation of larger and better-funded enterprises (Dan Gillmor's Bayosphere), industry organizations and conferences, and a growing support infrastructure (from search engines like Technorati, to free blogging services from the likes of AOL and MSN).

Advertisers are finally drifting over from old media. And venture capitalists may actually finally be awakening to the investment opportunities presented by the blogosphere. The first generation of industry superstars (like Glenn Reynolds, Andrew Sullivan and James Lileks) have already emerged. And you can be certain that obsessive blog-surfing will soon be announced as the next great threat to productivity and family life.

Just as importantly, blogging has become an international phenomenon, with many of the new arrivals in the field coming from outside the United States and Europe. The technology is also beginning to morph, becoming more visual and, thanks to new toolkits, easier to join. But perhaps most important, the blogosphere is becoming the defining source of news analysis (and even the news itself) for the world's intellectual classes.

All of this suggests that the blogosphere is, like those other industries and professions under the regime of Moore's Law, ripe for investment, for miracles and for the creation of great fortunes. When? There's the real question. The PC industry ran for a long time under Moore's Law before it finally found its destiny with the Apple II. Until then, a lot of very smart people devoted a lot of their lives and imaginations to personal computing with little in the bank to show for it.

And don't let the pace fool you. The blogosphere may appear to be growing at four times the speed of Moore's Law. But that is probably an illusion -- the Law is to tech kind of like the speed of light is to the Theory of Relativity: the upper boundary. As Technorati also noted in its report, only 13 percent of all blogs are updated more than once per week, and 45 percent of all bloggers bail out within three months -- suggesting that, in reality, the true blogosphere is tracking along at about the predicted Moore pace.

No, the real explosion is just ahead. Mix 14 million new entrepreneurial start-ups with Moore's Law and something magnificent is going to happen. And soon.

I'll even tell you where to look for that miracle: it is never enough to simply say "Moore's Law" -- you have to find the unique variant of its doubling rule for your own industry (i.e., Metcalfe's Law of networks). Find that law and you will hold the key to the future of the blogosphere.

This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

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