Elise Bauer has posted a comprehensive analysis of Weblog Authoring Tools market share. As with RSS Aggregator market share stats, there are a lot of caveats. But much can be gleaned from Elise's post, which is a continuation of an analysis she did in August 2004. The data is gathered from what Elise calls "Google Share", which is a formula based on Google indexes of weblog authoring tools (focusing on US users).

Some Web 2.0 angles on this

- The top 3 tools are Blogger (35%), LiveJournal (20%), and TypePad (18%, with a comment by Elise that TypePad is underrepresented due to 30% of their users being "password-protected, non-indexed blogs"). The top 3 make up a staggering 73% - or nearly 3/4 - of the weblog authoring tool market! Note also that the top 3 are all browser-based authoring systems.

- What most surprised me is that Movable Type and Wordpress have reduced to 3% and 2% market share respectively. They were 7% and 4% respectively back in August 2004. So they've dropped share from 11% to only 5% of the total. Yet how much buzz and whuffie do those two systems enjoy among geeks? Much more than that.

This indicates that MT and Wordpress do not have a bright future as mainstream consumer tools. However as Elise commented, MT and Wordpress "may find a home in corporate deployments however, as these customers have the means and the need to host their own weblogs, rather than use a third party service."

- There's a really cool graphic called "Growth Share Matrix", which looks much like a planetary system. If so, then Blogger (owned by Google) is the Sun and LJ and TypePad are Jupiter and Saturn. So MT and Wordpress are Earth and Mars? :-)

- Elise comments that "Typepad continues to be an anomaly. Trailing only Blogger in both share and growth, Typepad - a fee-based service - is gaining share in a field of free services."

I attribute this to the customization features that TypePad offers. Both Blogger and LJ have very limited customization functionality, and MT and Wordpress are generally too difficult for average non-technical users to customize. So TypePad offers a unique service (combining customization with ease-of-use) that is obviously well valued in the market.

- Six Apart, which owns LiveJournal, TypePad and MT, has over 40% market share, making it "the number one provider of weblog tools and services". But both Microsoft and Google have potential to grow their share significantly, so SixApart will have their work cut out keeping that lead (assuming they don't get acquired themselves).

- I have to admit to some surprise that Blogger is so dominant in these stats (the conspiracy theorist in me may be inclined to point out that this analysis is based on Google's data, so... but nah!). Elise says that Blogger is "growing much faster than the average of all of the tools, and twice as fast as the Technorati Index", but TypePad isn't far behind in terms of growth.

Why does Blogger's growth and number 1 position surprise me? Because Google hasn't put any effort into developing or promoting Blogger this past year. What happens when they finally do start to "aggressively pursue" (using Elise's phrasing) this market?! Maybe The Sun metaphor I used will turn out to be appropriate in the long run...

Those are some initial thoughts (in two takes). Thanks Elise for posting such a detailed analysis. Interesting times...