Gartner analysts predict that blogging and community contributions on the Web will peak in the first half of 2007.
According to a new report from Gartner, less than 2% of all Internet users are frequent content contributors. Between 10% and 15% contribute occasionally and more than 50% are reading or watching what the communities are discussing, Gartner reported.
The researchers said that 200 million people already have given up blogging and that the total number of bloggers will peak at around 100 million.
The prediction was one of many insights into trends that will change the nature of business and IT, beginning next year. The 2007 predictions are meant to help technology companies and IT professionals take advantage of coming changes, Gartner said.
"Selected from across our research areas as the most compelling and critical predictions, the trends and topics they address this year indicate that priorities, markets, cultures, and technologies are all rapidly changing," said Daryl Plummer, managing VP and a Gartner Fellow. "These changes will require that IT and business change their approach to delivering and quantifying value. IT professionals must examine these predictions for opportunities to increase their support of consumer-driven requirements and their ability to help the business deliver stronger services to those customers."
Gartner's blog predictions seem to coincide with a slowdown noted in Technorati's most recent State of the Blogosphere report.
However, Dave Sifry, the author of that report, said he believed the slowdown detected by Technorati may have been due to a decrease in the number of spam blogs, or splogs. Technorati has been tracking. Either way, the rate at which the number of blogs doubles did slow in the third quarter compared to previous quarters.
In October, Sifry said that Technorati was tracking about 57 million blogs and that about 3 million new blogs were being added every month. According to Sifry's calculations, that is about 100,000 new blogs a day, compared to about 160,000 new blogs a day in June. The blogosphere was doubling every 236 days, he said. From the second quarter of 2004 until the second quarter of 2006, the blogosphere doubled every five to seven months, he said.
"This change is primarily due to Technorati's aggressive splog control measures," Sifry wrote.
Sifry said that he hopes to have a clearer picture when results from the last quarter of 2006 are complete.