Saturday, July 24, 2010

Is Blogging Dying?

I recently read an article in The Economist highlighting a report that shows that "the rate of growth of blogs has slowed in many parts of the world. In some countries growth has even stalled".

Yes, perhaps it is true that blogging is growing at a far lesser rate than it was 10 years ago. But I don't think blogging is dying! The trends are changing. Our expectations as bloggers and readers are changing.

Since 2004, many Analysts have written about how social-media is just a fad and how twitter and facebook status messages will eventually take over blogging. If we were to believe reports, then in 2007 Gartner predicted that blogging will peak in 2008 and then it will fizzle out. But I don't think the fizzle is out just yet.

But here are some interesting statistics that provide another view:
Annual State of the Blogosphere 2009 report provided by Technorati states that:
  • More than 133,000,000 blogs have been indexed by Technorati since 2002
  • 86% of the respondents have been blogging for at least a year - 68% have been blogging for two years or more 
  • 57% say that their future plans include blogging even more (including 74% of 18-24 year olds)
  • The most common rate of updating a blog is 2-3 times per week
  • 900,000 is the average number of blog posts in a 24 hour period
There are many more interesting statistics.

Just like everything else in life, we want access to the latest and the most cutting-edge! But that does not indicate that we forget the old or that old is not needed anymore. Just like a traditional classroom never got replaced by elearning, blogs can't be replaced by 140-words of twitter or facebook updates.

What is happening already and is likely to happen at a much faster rate is:
  • People will follow quality blogs that have something meaningful to discuss and stop reading things that don't matter. People are not as interested in posting or reading about minute-by-minute updates about personal lives.
  • There will be significant advances in blogging technology that will give us applications and tools to create dynamic blogs that are more than just text. Syndication and aggregation of all 'content' will happen more seamlessly.
  • Many more industry verticals will take to blogging - it won't be limited to the 'IT folks' or the politicians.
  • Professional blogs and Corporate Blogging will continue to rise in the coming years. Companies will connect with their employees, investors, and customers more transparently through blogs.
  • Blogs will continue to create clouds of meaningful social discussion. An inspired voice will continue to draw crowds of followers.
Blogs are here to stay. Shorter isn't always better.