WASHINGTON, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- A year-end review of the blogosphere by Intelliseek's BlogPulse.com finds less politics and more variety of almost every other kind in blog content.
According to BlogPulse, politics took a back seat after the national elections of 2004 to discussions about entertainment, technology and natural disasters in 2005. Also, the discussion on the evolution of blogs as a legitimate media channel continued as a key topic within the blogosphere.
"Blogs have emerged as a worldwide phenomenon that touches nearly every aspect of everyday life, commerce, technology, media, entertainment, politics -- even the coverage of natural disasters and news events, such as Hurricane Katrina and the London bombings," said Sundar Kadayam, chief technology officer for Intelliseek, which hosts the BlogPulse.com search engine and analysis tool.
According to BlogPulse there are currently 20,121,008 "identified blogs."
The Cincinnati-based Intelliseek, a marketing intelligence firm, reported in its year-end blog review that Michael Jackson and Britney Spears generated more celebrity buzz than other entertainers; that Boing Boing and Engadget were the two most popular blogs; and "Sin City" was the most popular movie.
Also, bloggers referred to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia for information about "podcasting" and "Hurricane Katrina" more than any other topic or issue.
Which news story did bloggers cite most often -- "That honor fell to an April essay titled 'Unitarian Jihad,' a call for moderation and reasonableness in politics and religion, written by Jon Carroll of the San Francisco Chronicle," according to Intelliseek.
Intelliseek also reported that "blogs also turned serious in 2005, represented by the fifth most-cited blog post (January) from the Committee to Protect Bloggers, which launched a campaign to free two Iranians who were imprisoned for blogging."
Other highlights from the BlogPulse.com 2005 Year in Review, based on citations, links or references in blog posts, included the following:
Top 10 people/personalities (in order): Harry Potter, President George Bush, the late Pope John Paul II, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, the late Terri Schiavo, Brad Pitt and Karl Rove.
Top 10 links to Wikipedia from blogs: Podcasting, Hurricane Katrina, AJAX (a Web programming script), Flying Spaghetti Monster (blogger Bobby Henderson's alternative theory to "intelligent design"), United States, Wiki, Folksonomy, London subway bombings, Web 2.0, RSS, meme (shared online info/activities) and intelligent design.
Top 10 Online News Sources Cited by Blogs: Yahoo! News, BBC, New York Times, CNN, Washington Post, MSNBC, Guardian Unlimited, San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today and Yahoo! Finance. Other tops sources included: Fox News (No. 21), Canada.com (No. 32), NPR (No. 43) and The Onion (No. 70).
Top 10 Blogs: Boing Boing, Engadget, Michelle Malkin, Albino Blacksheep, Instapundit, PowerLine (up from No. 10 in 2004), Gizmodo (up from No. 17 in 2004), Think Progress, Political Animal and Slashdot.
The Huffington Post blog (an Arianna Huffington vehicle), which launched in May, ranked No. 21 among all blogs, just behind Jeff Jarvis' BuzzMachine.com.
Top 10 Movies: "Sin City," "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith," "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," "Serenity," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "Batman Begins," "Sideways," "Napoleon Dynamite," "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" and "War of the Worlds."
BlogPulse provides daily analysis from an index of more than 20 million blogs about top issues, personalities, blogs, blog posts, news stories and key phrases.
According to Blog tracking site Technorati -- in an estimate earlier this year -- new blogs were being created at a rate of 80,000 per day, which is around one per second. The San Francisco-based Technorati currently estimates there are nearly 24 million blogs.
Boulder, Colo.-based Umbria Communications, a consumer intelligence company, has estimated that spam blogs account for between 10 to 20 percent of blogs at any given time currently.