Technorati tracks "the Live Web"

Today David Sifry, founder and CEO of Technorati, published his quarterly report on the State of the Blogosphere, but expanded it to include a discussion on trends in tagging. Dave calls the combination of blogging and tagging “the Live Web” (taken from Doc Searls), and does his best to paint Technorati’s place right at the center of it.

Technorati is now tracking more than 70 million blogs. The creation of new blogs continues apace at 120,000 a day, although it seems to me from the graph above that the rate of growth flattened out sometime last summer. Who knows how many of the blogs that Technorati tracks ever get updated any more? A useful stat that’s missing from Sifry’s report would be what percentage of these blogs posted new content within the last quarter.

Sifry reports that spam rates have decreased since December. I haven’t seen that, have you? It seems like I get more spam every day, and I’m splogged more regularly, too. But maybe that’s just an indicator that my sites are getting more popular.

In posts tracked by Technorati, the use of tags has grown linearly over the last couple of years. Some of that may be due to the adoption of software that automates tagging — for instance, WordPress automatically generates Technorati tags for the categories used. Personally, I like to get more fine-grained with my tags than is practical with WordPress categories, which is why I use the Jerome’s Keywords tagging plugin. Tagging is like adding search terms to my posts, so I want to add as many as are genuinely applicable.

Regarding tagging and Technorati, Sifry states:

All of this seething, lively activity constitutes the Live Web and Technorati is its hub — thanks in large part to the growing use and ubiquity of tags. Through the social constructs of tags, we help people find unique voices and points of view. We also help social media publishers to find the people formerly known as their audience. And they all converge, as a result, on Technorati.

While Technorati undoubtedly contains the largest repository of tags on the web, I wonder if its role is quite as central as Sifry suggests. Many other providers now offer tagging services, and blog search results from Google and Bloglines often surpass Technorati in relevance. I still put Technorati tags in my posts, but it’s more to get Google’s attention than Technorati’s. Is Technorati becoming the Latin of the blogosphere?

How about you? How do you use Technorati’s services? What do you think about the numbers that Technorati tracks?

Read Sifry’s full report here.