I swear to blog! Bloggers are now mainstream

23 Sep 2008

The activity of blogging is now considered a mainstream activity and is here to stay, said Technorati in its annual State of the Blogosphere report, with some one million posts a day going online.

Technorati said that not only are blogs hitting the mainstream with 184 million blogs worldwide and some 346 million readers, but 95pc of the top 100 newspapers in the US have reporter blogs.

The 2008 report surveyed more than 1.2 million bloggers who have registered with the Technorati index, and found that the lines between what is a blog and what is a mainstream media site are becoming less clear.

Larger blogs are taking on the characteristics of mainstream sites and mainstream websites are incorporating styles and formats from the blogosphere.

In the past week alone, according to Technorati, some 1.5 million blogs have been posted with some 900,000 in 24 hours.

On average, most established bloggers have been at it for the last three years and collectively are generating close to one million posts every day.

A survey of the 1.8 million bloggers in 66 countries found that bloggers are not a homogenous group and cover an average of five topics in their blogs.

Savvy and sophisticated, bloggers are using five different techniques to drive traffic to their blog, seven different publishing tools and four distinct metrics for measuring traffic.

Many are reporting positive developments in their lives since they took up the art, with many receiving speaking or publishing opportunities, career advancement and personal satisfaction.

The majority carry advertising on their blogs and the mean annual investment in their blog is US$1,800, while the mean advertising revenue is US$6,000.

Over 58pc of bloggers are over the age of 35 and 42pc are between the ages of 18 and 34. The overwhelming majority of bloggers are college graduates, some 74pc.

Over 60pc of Asian bloggers have advertising revenue, followed by 52pc of US blogs and 50pc of European bloggers.

In terms of average monthly unique visitors, US bloggers estimate 18,000 visitors, Europeans some 24,000 and Asian bloggers some 26,000 visitors.

Technorati said bloggers are sophisticated in using self-serve tools for search, display and affiliate advertising, and are turning to ad and blog networks.

Four in five bloggers post brand or product reviews, with some 37pc posting them frequently.

Over 90pc of bloggers said they post about the brands, music, movies and books they love (or hate).

Businesses are already reaching out to bloggers. One third have been approached to be brand advocates – raising an interesting question of ethics if bloggers are aiming to be considered mainstream media.

“In 2004, when Technorati started, the typical reaction to the word ‘blog’ was ‘Huh – can you repeat yourself?,’” said Brad Feld, managing director of the Foundry Group.

“Today, blogs are everywhere – even presidential candidates have blogs. The blog has forever changed the way publishing works – now anyone can be a publisher. The issue is no longer distribution; rather, it’s relevance.”

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years