Bloatosphere - InformationWeek
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8/8/2006
02:37 PM
Tom Smith
Tom Smith
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Bloatosphere

The number of blogs has increased 100-fold since 2003 to 50 million. In addition, the total has doubled every six months for about two years, according to a new report quantifying the blogosphere by Technorati. In July alone, there were 1.6 million blog postings daily, or 18.6 per second. Two blogs were created each second of each day.

The number of blogs has increased 100-fold since 2003 to 50 million. In addition, the total has doubled every six months for about two years, according to a new report quantifying the blogosphere by Technorati. In July alone, there were 1.6 million blog postings daily, or 18.6 per second. Two blogs were created each second of each day.While the report and its author say the rate of blogging activity and growth can't continue, the data begs many questions about the direction of blogging: Are quality blogs simply getting lost in the noise? Or more precisely, is quality even relevant in the blogging world? How do you find blogs worthy of consistent return visits when the universe of blogs has reached into the tens of millions? If you do have a quality blog, is it even possible to build a sustainable audience and consistently deliver valuable (or entertaining or insightful) information to readers? Where do people--many of them ostensibly holding day jobs--find the time to post blog entries at a rate of 18.6 per second? Will there be any distinction between blogs and the more traditional reporting found on Web sites and magazines in what we have mostly referred to as "mainstream" or "traditional" media outlets?

Don't read too much into the preceding questions. While journalistic reporting organizations like InformationWeek are under well-documented pressure from the rise of the bloggers, I'm a huge proponent of blogs, and our Web site has a big investment in them--mainly because you've voted with your page views and indicated you want us to deliver information through blogs.

To me, the Technorati data suggests a few inevitable outcomes: There has to be a shakeout, maybe not in the near term, but the sheer number of blogs that already exists will dictate that those with small audiences will go by the wayside. The hobbyists will find there's too little--if any--money to be made and that keeping up a blog isn't all that glamorous or appealing. Some consolidation will occur as popular, independent bloggers look to cash out, and larger organizations buy into the blogging trend by acquiring their audiences.

There will remain a market for the strong voices, some of the celebrities, and those who've built up loyal followings over a long period of time. Those blogs that want to have staying power will adopt some of the reporting standards of mainstream media outlets. That's good in one sense because less responsible content won't endure, but it's likely to further muddy the waters between two distinct ways of delivering information. At some point blogs will be less fashionable, and the race to create and disseminate information on the Internet will move to some other format or medium.

What's your view? What are the big blogging trends we should be looking out for in 2007 and beyond?

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