Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
September 22, 2008 7:25 PM

Blogging Is Not Dead

Blogging is not dead and all Blogs are not created equal.

That was the general message you could pull out of the Technorati - State of the Blogosphere 2008 study that was released today.

While the numbers of how many Blogs (and what is a Blog) continue to brew, here's what Technorati is telling us:

- 133 million Blogs indexed since 2002.
- 7.4 million Blogs had posts in the last 120 days.
- 1.5 million Blogs had new posts up in the last 7 days.
- 900,000 Blogs had new posts in the past 24 hours.
- 76,000 Blogs have a Technorati Authority of 50+.

In terms of making money from Blogging comes this information:

"The majority of bloggers we surveyed currently have advertising on their blogs. Among those with advertising, the mean annual investment in their blog is $1,800, but it’s paying off. The mean annual revenue is $6,000 with $75K+ in revenue for those with 100,000 or more unique visitors per month."

So, there are very few people making millions from Blogging.

And what about how brands stack up?

"Whether or not a brand has launched a social media strategy, more likely than not, it’s already present in the Blogosphere. Four in five bloggers post brand or product reviews, with 37% posting them frequently. 90% of bloggers say they post about the brands, music, movies and books that they love (or hate).

Company information or gossip and everyday retail experiences are fodder for the majority of bloggers.

Companies are already reaching out to bloggers. One-third of bloggers have been approached to be brand advocates."

There's an interesting relation there. Brands are being mentioned a lot in Blogs, but Bloggers don't seem to be pulling in enough traffic to justify heavy advertising spends. This becomes more of an issue of brand communication than anything else. Blogs rank heavily in search engines, people pay attention to search results and this has huge implications beyond how easy it is for the Blog property to monetize the space around the content.

It was also interesting to see the top two entertainment sites are Blogs (OMG and TMZ).

Here are some stats from the readership side:

From comScore Media Metrix (August 2008):

- Blogs: 77.7 million unique visitors in the US.
- Facebook: 41.0 million.
- MySpace: 75.1 million.
- Total internet audience: 188.9 million.

From eMarketer (May 2008):

- 94.1 million US blog readers in 2007 (50% of Internet users).
- 22.6 million US bloggers in 2007 (12%).

So, while we're all hot and bothered with micro-blogging platforms like Twitter and staring at newer shiny objects like FriendFeed, it would seem like Blogs are still relevant, powerful and growing.

Side thought: Do Internet users really even know what a Blog is anymore? We've all seen tons of websites built on the WordPress Blog publishing platform and do you think that average online surfer knows that TMZ, Tom Peters or One Degree are Blogs?

Is Blogging dead? What do you think?

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Adam Singer
    Mitch Joel

    Blogging is far from dead, if anything it is just now catching on. Yeah the early adopters are on to the next thing, like Twitter and FriendFeed - but that's what being an early adopter is all about.

    Blogging is hardly a mature platform, I don't see how one can declare it "dead." Just like people declaring SEO "dead" is silly, they just do it for ratings.

    Reply
  • Posted by Kneale Mann
    Mitch Joel

    I began blogging (or in my case - blathering) just this April. Two more posts and it's 100. I've almost reached the top million on Technorati and who the hell knows what I'm yammering on about?

    In a few short months I have met outstanding fascinating people who have somehow found my ramblings. I read others' work and it makes me work harder on my part of the bargain.

    I have you to thank for that.

    Is blogging dead? That's akin to asking if sharing and belonging is dead.

    Studies aside; humans will always find ways to connect. Thankfully we can do so world's apart in an instant.

    Great job at PodCamp, dude. I look forward to the book!

    km

    Reply
  • Posted by Steve Woodruff
    Mitch Joel

    Blogging is doing what all digital communications are supposed to do - it's evolving. On-line presence, personal publishing, virtual connecting - whatever the tool or platform (the term "blogging" can easily go away as a transitional term), the activity is here to stay - and grow.

    Reply
  • Posted by anonymous_coward
    anonymous_coward

    Blogging is just following the same lifecycle as any product or service in the history of consumer economics. Infancy, growth, competitive shakeout, maturity, decline. Textbook stuff; just happens a lot faster with online media. We're seeing less people reading bloggers who write from their basements about their cats, and more collaborative blogs, corporate-owned blogs, and big-brand blogs. The little guy is getting crowded out by the powerbloggers, just as surely as Wal-Mart moving in on local mom and pop businesses. This is an old story evolving in a shiny new media. Sooner or later (probably sooner), blogging will become obsolete, having evolved into something else entirely. Nothing stays the same. After all, when was the last time you took out that 8-track?

    Reply
  • Posted by Corby Fine
    Mitch Joel

    Of course Blogging is not dead. I understand the provocative question and the intent to encourage dialogue, but the reality is that blogging is still for most, a new phenomenon. Individuals will continue to need a way to express themselves. the modern journal, which Blogs act as for many. Companies however are still just getting into the game. Whether giving a voice to the CEO, a channel to a brand or product or access to the minds of product designers and managers, corporate blogs are just beginning.

    Reply
  • Posted by frank
    Mitch Joel


    hey Mitch ...

    obviously blogging is not dead :) ... but i do think thing it's more fuzzy. what i mean by that is 5yrs ago a blog was VERY different from a normal web site, but now days it's becoming much more normal to see the blog be the normal web site - sites with no distinction between the blog section and the normal section.

    I'd imagine this trend will continue until to make the line even more fuzzy.

    --
    http://twitter.com/franswaa

    Reply
  • Posted by Chris
    Mitch Joel

    Well, the fact that you felt you had to write a purposely provocative headline of this post might be an indicator that blogging is dead!

    I doubt if blogging itself is going to go away. Its role is pretty entrenched, though the activities that filled the role of blogging in the 1970's (for example) wasn't as obvious as blogging is now.

    Isn't the question whether people will stop reading blogs, or at least stop reading the same blogs regularly?

    The reading behavior will change, and the readers will change. And some of the blogging will change to adapt to it, while other parts will go away. And we might see a few new roles. The blogosphere has many roles, as in any society, and the nature and mix of roles will shift around.

    I wouldn't worry about it. I do think and hope that the self-puffery of blogging, including these big conferences, will definitely go away because their role disappears as the phenomenon moves toward maturity.

    Reply
  • Posted by allan isfan
    Mitch Joel

    Blogging is going to explode but only when the barrier to entry is dropped significantly on both sides.

    Create: Think about the effort for the common person to sign up to a blog network (blogger, wordpress ...) and to create their blog. We don't need more features, we need a super-ultra simple tool. Example: send email to isfan@blogme.com (totally made up ... don't email this) with blog text and maybe link to media content. Service automatically creates a blog page and publishes the blog. That's it! I get emails with comments and can respond back with a reply email and comment gets posted.

    Read: RSS scares the crap out of most people and I have myself fought with multiple readers ... and I'm a techie. Don't have a good thought on how to make this better but I know it sucks as it is as a big barrier for most people.

    The problem is about an order of magnitude bigger for podcasting.

    Reply
  • Why do people find the Blog title, Blogging Is Not Dead, so provocative?

    Reply
  • Posted by Andy Strote
    Mitch Joel

    Without further comment, here's what ReadWriteWeb had to say about the Technorati report. Hmmm.

    http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/state_of_the_blogosphere_2008.php

    Reply
  • Posted by nichole
    Mitch Joel

    Blogging is still on the first leg of the race, in my opinion.

    Even if you look at it from the viewpoint of one company, there are so many departments that can benefit from a blog but haven't done it as of yet. But they will. You will not only see the CEO blogs but also one from the Board, HR, Marketing, Sales/Business Development, Training and with limited visability, R&D.

    Reply
  • Posted by Digimaven
    Mitch Joel

    I agree with everyone that blogging is just in its first phase of evolution. We've already seen blogs, hosted blogs, moblogs, photoblogs and now microblogs. What's next? Certainly combinations of all the above are done and being added. Podcasts and videoblogs are also arguably a form of blogging.

    Reply
  • Posted by David Brazeal
    Mitch Joel

    The last point you make is the most important one, I think. For all the surveys asking people "Do you read blogs?" the fact is, most people don't know when they're reading a blog and when they're reading a website. And that's even more true as bigger "blogs," like TMZ, go mainstream.

    Blogging won't die until there's an easier way to self-publish content. And even then, the kinds of content we think of as "blogs" will continue to thrive.

    Reply
  • Posted by buzz
    Mitch Joel

    Never mind not being dead, in some research it's not even born yet.

    We write blogs for our radio station website, but a market research firm consulting the site found that people dont know what a blog is.

    So our entries, referred to as blogs in meetings and between staff, are listed under "shows/hosts" on our website.

    Does it make sense? To you and me, no. But remember, people don't know what blogs are despite the fact they probably have one, even if it's just a series of Facebook notes.

    Reply
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