What is Blog??
Blogs are Pervasive and Part of Our Daily Lives
There have been a number of studies aimed at understanding the size of the Blogosphere, yielding widely disparate estimates of both the number of blogs and blog readership. All studies agree, however, that blogs are a global phenomenon that has hit the mainstream.
The numbers vary but agree that blogs are here to stay
- comScore MediaMetrix (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
- eMarketer (May 2008)
- 94.1 million US blog readers in 2007 (50% of Internet users)
- 22.6 million US bloggers in 2007 (12%)
- Universal McCann (March 2008)
- 184 million WW have started a blog | 26.4 US
- 346 million WW read blogs | 60.3 US
- 77% of active Internet users read ಬ್ಲಾಗ್ಸ್
What is a Blog? The Lines Continue To Blur
Wikipedia defines blogs as:
- A Blog (a contraction of the term “Web log”) is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.
- The Blogosphere is the collective community of all blogs. Since all blogs are on the Internet by definition, they may be seen as interconnected and socially networked. Discussions “in the Blogosphere” have been used by the media as a gauge of public opinion on various issues.
But as the Blogosphere grows in size and influence, the lines between what is a blog and what is a mainstream media site become less clear. Larger blogs are taking on more characteristics of mainstream sites and mainstream sites are incorporating styles and formats from the Blogosphere. In fact, 95% of the top 100 US newspapers have reporter blogs (see The Bivings Group).
What is Technorati Looking At and Why?
With blogging so firmly entrenched in the mainstream, the story now is about the Active Blogosphere. The trends, stories and behaviors here influence not only the rest of the Blogosphere but mainstream media as well.
Technorati defines the Active Blogosphere as: The ecosystem of interconnected communities of bloggers and readers at the convergence of journalism and conversation.
For the 2008 State of the Blogosphere Report, we wanted to go beyond the numbers to deliver insights into bloggers and the state of blogging today. Who are the bloggers, why and how do they do what they do, and what is the impact on their lives and work?
To find out, we conducted a survey from a random sample from more than 1.2 million bloggers who have registered with Technorati. In addition, we have supplemented the survey results with our traditional analysis of Technorati’s index data.
For more information, please see Technorati’s methodology.
Key findings from the report include:
All Blogs Are Not Created Equal
Take a quick journey into the size of the Blogosphere
- A truly global phenomenon: Technorati tracked blogs in 81 languages in June 2008, and bloggers responded to our survey from 66 countries across six continents.
- Here to stay: Bloggers have been at it an average of three years and are collectively creating close to one million posts every day. Blogs have representation in top-10 web site lists across all key categories, and have become integral to the media ecosystem.
- Not a homogenous group: Personal, professional, and corporate bloggers all have differing goals and cover an average of five topics within each blog.
- Savvy and sophisticated: On average, bloggers use five different techniques to drive traffic to their blog. They’re using an average of seven publishing tools on their blog and four distinct metrics for measuring success.
- Intensifying their efforts based on positive feedback: Blogging is having an incredibly positive impact on their lives, with bloggers receiving speaking or publishing opportunities, career advancement, and personal satisfaction.
Blogs are Profitable
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. Note: median investment and revenue (which is listed below) is significantly lower. They are also earning CPMs on par with large publishers.
Bloggers are sophisticated in using self serve tools for search, display, and affiliate advertising, and are increasingly turning to ad and blog networks. Many bloggers without advertising may consider it when their blogs grow – the inability to set up advertising will not be a factor.
Brands Permeate the Blogopshere
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.
Global Snapshot of Bloggers
|18-34 years old||42%||48%||73%|
|Household income >$75,000||51%||34%||9%|
|Average blogging tenure (months)||35||33||30|
|Median Annual Investment||$80||$15||$30|
|Median Annual Revenue||$200||$200||$120|
|% Blogs with advertising||52%||50%||60%|
|Average Monthly Unique Visitors||18,000||24,000||26,000|
Segment Snapshot of Bloggers
| With Advertising
| No Advertising
|18-34 years old||52%||45%||48%||53%||45%|
|Average blogging tenure (months)||35||35||38||35||33|
|Median Annual Investment||$100||$200||$150||$100||0|
|Median Annual Revenue||$120||$250||$300||$200||0|
|% Blogs with Advertising||53%||64%||59%||100%||0%|
|Average Monthly Unique Visitors||12,000||39,000||44,000||46,000||4,000|
Global Bloggers by Gender
|18-24 years old||9%||15%|
|Median Annual Investment||$30||$60|
|Median Annual Revenue||$100||$200|
|% Blogs with advertising||53%||54%|
|Sell Through a Blog ad Network*||16%||7%|
|Have Affiliate ads*||41%||32%|
|Have Contextual ads*||61%||73%|
* Among those with advertising on their blogs
The Blogosphere is Continuing to Evolve
We asked some of the leading minds on the Blogosphere to give us their thoughts on where blogging is headed:
“In 2004 when Technorati started, the typical reaction to the word ‘blog’ was ‘huh – can you repeat yourself?’ 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.”
- Brad Feld
- Managing Director
- Foundry Group
“The idea of blogging will never disappear, but the process by content is created for one blog or a series of blogs will continue to undergo radical upheavals. This past year, we saw the introduction of countless “microblogging” platforms, to the point where they (themselves) have become a commodity —further pushing individual voices to the Blogosphere’s melting pot. Brand will continue to decentralize, and micro-communities will form within any one of the loosely-structured services (like FriendFeed, which values the continuation of conversation as much as it does the initiation portion).”
“Video will also become increasingly important to convey complex messages that are often lost in text – while audio will continue to fall away to this new medium, save those ‘casts with high production values. YouTube will continue to be the place where most people will view their on-demand Internet video. Live video events will soon saturate the landscape, and our attention will become even further fragmented —lending more credibility for the need to archive and index certain video clips and wrap them with text for Google and other search engines to discover.”
- Chris Pirillo
- Internet Content Producer (Since 1992)
“I blog in Spanish and English for different reasons. In English I blog to communicate my ideas and views, in Spanish, where for some unknown reason many more people comment, I write to learn. The collective intelligence of my commentators is greater than mine.”
“Blogs will fill every niche in the ecology of public writing. They’ll be good examples of blogs and a far larger range of sites that are sort-of, kind-of blogs. This is as it should be. It’s also as it already is.”
- David Weinberger
- Fellow, Harvard Berkman Center
“Blogging has gone from a cutting edge, mostly American phenomenon to a global main-stream activity generating an increasing larger share of the world’s ‘user generated content’ and the sharing economy driving up the value of search and advertising worldwide. In addition to increasing in scale, bloggers continue to become increasingly diverse become both a core economic as well as social driver online.”
- Joichi Ito
- CEO, Creative Commons
- Venture Capitalist
“From a journalistic perspective: Blogging and other conversational media are entering a new phase when it comes to community information needs — they’re growing up. Traditional media are using these tools to do better journalism, and are beginning to engage their audiences in the journalism. Entrepreneurial journalists are finding profitable niches. Advertisers are starting to grasp the value of the conversations, and so on. The big issues remain, including the crucial one of trust. Here, too, we’re seeing progress. The best blogs are as trustworthy as any traditional media, if not more. The worst, often offering fact-challenged commentary, are reprehensible and irresponsible. But audiences are learning, perhaps too slowly, that modern media require a more activist approach. We need to be skeptical of everything, but not equally skeptical of everything. We need to use judgement, to get more information — and to go outside our personal comfort zones.”
- Dan Gillmor
- Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship
- Kauffman Professor of Digital Media Entrepreneurship
- Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication, Arizona State University
“The word blog is irrelevant, what’s important is that it is now common, and will soon be expected, that every intelligent person (and quite a few unintelligent ones) will have a media platform where they share what they care about with the world.”
- Seth Godin
“Blogging is getting easier and easier and some day, we’ll all have blogs of one sort or another. Most won’t look like my blog, maybe more like mytumblog or my twitter feed, but even more likely they’ll look like something else.”
“Earlier this year I wrote on my blog [http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2008/06/my-vision-for-s.html], ‘Honestly I am not envisioning anything other than this; every single human being posting their thoughts and experiences in any number of ways to the Internet.’ That’s where we are headed and blogging is a big part of that.”
- Fred Wilson
- Managing Partner
- Union Square Ventures
“Although today’s form of blogging is a volunatary form of self-expression, in the future our experiences, actions, locations, and preferecnes will be auto-recorded directly to the web.”
“The future of blogging will be an auto-synching of our lives directly to the web —often a quiet recording in the background”
- Jeremiah Owyang
- Senior Analyst, Social Computing
- Forrester Research
“Although new ‘right-now’ web tools like twitter and lifestreaming aggregators like friendfeed have shifted some attention from classic blogging, they’ve actually deepened the conversation and made the blog, as a place to comment, reflect, and analyze, more central than ever. Blogging has become part of the daily discourse within many communities, and more and more essential is a growing number of disciplines outside of the technosphere.”
“Blogs represent the best chance for companies to inform the conversation.”
- Richard Edelman
- President and CEO
“Until recently, ‘the Blogosphere’ referred to a small cluster of geeks circled around a single tool. Now it refers to hundreds of millions of people using a vast warehouse of tools that allow people to behave increasingly online like they do in real life. We have entered the Age of Normalization in the Blogosphere.”
- Shel Israel
- Social Media writer & speaker
- co-author, Naked Conversations
“The Blogosphere has added spice to our democracy, making it more appetizing to more people.”
- Michael Powell
- Senior Advisor
- Providence Equity Partners
- Former FCC Chairman
“The future of blogs will have arrived when you check your favorite blog for sports news in the morning, instead of your local paper.”
- Richard MacManus
- Founder / Editor
“Blogging is all about the sharing mindset and voice being expressed. In the future, it will look different and take many forms, but it will always feel the same.”
“Blogging isn’t defined by a technology or the way words are laid out on a page. Rather, it’s a mindset, and as such, will be around for a long, long time, evolving and improving.”
- Charlene Li
- Thought Leader
- Altimeter Group
“The Blogosphere continues to evolve – with micro-blogging, long blogging, video blogging all taking off this year. Of course, more and more companies and politicians are playing with blogs but most importantly, it’s becoming something that more and more ‘civilians’ do – ordinary folk. And that’s what’s going to change its impact from here on in.”
- Mark Earls
- Author, Herd: How to Change Mass Behaviour by Harnessing Our True Nature
- Former Chair, Global Planning Council, Ogilvy Worldwide
“Blogging continues to splinter into many different categories, providing an incredibly rich ecosystem of self expression tools and compelling content for readers. The prototypical personal blog, where a single writer simply writes their daily thoughts on their life and/or topics that interest them, will always be hugely popular. But multi-author blogs will continue to thrive as well. And a huge percentage of blogs focus on single topics of interest, from tech news to wine to knitting. Whatever it is you are interested in, it’s likely to have a community of people who share that interest.”
“But perhaps the most interesting development is the steady evolution in the definition of a blog itself. Today photo and video blogs are already common. Microblogging platforms like Twitter and Friendfeed are the fast food equivalent of the blogging world, and continue to gain popularity because they let people update multiple times per day with 140 characters or less on what they are doing, how they’re feeling, etc. Not only is microblogging a terrific method of self expression, the value of the raw data that’s created is enormously important. The Twitter messages I read during the two presidential conventions gave me a good idea on how people reacted to the various speeches. It’s not statistically relevant, but pollsters will be watching that data more and more closely over time.”
“Whatever happens next with blogging, it’s here to stay. And I can’t wait to see what comes next.”
- Michael Arrington
“In many ways the proliferation of blogging has transformed the venture business — entrepreneurs expect a level of transparency that simply didn’t exist before venture investors started blogging.”
“I can not imagine staying current in this fast moving, high tech world without using blogs and bloggers as a powerful filter of the overwhelming torrent of information we all face.”
- David Hornik
- August Capital