Some time early this morning, a single blogging platform – WordPress, the one that powers this site – was downloaded for the 500,000th time.

Bear in mind that to install WordPress, you need more than just the free directory your average ISP provides. You need to be able to run technologies like MySQL (a database) and PHP (a sophisticated scripting language)… which nearly always means that WordPress blogs are being installed on sites that someone is paying actual extra bucks for.

A lot of us are people who outgrew free services like Blogger, and wanted the ability to take a more active part in the conversations going on out there. The explosion in WordPress and other powerful blogging software suggests to me that this is becoming about a lot more than just uploading weekly pictures of your cat.* A large and growing number of people are embracing the potential for blogging to link us in ways we haven’t anticipated yet.

* Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That.