State of the Blogosphere – influence of blogs grows

"More people will be getting their news and entertainment from blogs than from traditional media in the next 5 years."

Technorati - State of the Blogosphere 2010

Technorati - State of the Blogosphere 2010Technorati has released day one of their well-regarded annual State of the Blogosphere report. Based on the responses of 7,200 bloggers, the report is a comprehensive must read for anyone interested or with a stake in new media, blogging and the future of journalism.

The focus for day 1 – “Who the bloggers are” – is on demographics, blogs and new media, influence, brands, among other findings. It’s an impressive compilation.

“The 2010 edition of State of the Blogosphere finds blogs in transition—no longer an upstart community, now with influence on mainstream narratives firmly entrenched, with bloggers still searching for the next steps forward.”

While it doesn’t make sense for me to simply recap the entire report here (it’s well worth taking the time to read through it on Technorati’s site), there are a couple of highlights that I found interesting and worthy of at least an attempt at a pithy comment or observation.

Data is broken across 4 blogger segments: hobbyist, part-timer, corporate, self-employed.

Not surprisingly, the largest is the hobbyist with about two-thirds of respondents lumping themselves into that category.

Blogging is dominated by men (2/3), but women (so-called Mommy bloggers) are jumping in – a notable trend.

This is consistent with what’s been happening over the last two years. Mommy bloggers are highly influential especially when it comes to products for the home. Given their abundance of free time throughout the day (well, maybe not that much “free” time) they’re a perfect candidate for blogging. Also, they are like a voracious pack of wolves. Don’t cross a Mommy Blogger.

“Compared with last year’s findings, slightly fewer of those who are blogging less said that their devotion to microblogging (30%) and social networks (28%) has curtailed their blogging.”

This finding also makes sense. I’m constantly amazed at the amount of time some people dedicate to things like Twitter and Facebook. I think it’s perfectly fine, but the time has to come at the expense of something else — and, often, that is writing or blogging.

“Top 100 bloggers generate almost 500 times the articles as all bloggers.”

Ah yes, quantity vs. quality. In a lot of cases, well-respected blogs can achieve both volume of daily posts plus quality of editorial, opinion and fact finding (Huffington Post, Engadget, Mashable). One of the things I’ve learned since I started blogging in 1997 (ClintWorld!) is that two things are really essential to gaining large, repeat readership: consistency and voice. We’re constantly challenged with that on Stark Insider, especially since we cover a breadth of topics — a differentiator, but also often an Achilles Heel.

“42% of respondents say they blog about brands they love or hate.”

Technorati - State of the Blogosphere
Source: Technorati - State of the Blogosphere

Wine samples. Comp’d tickets. Free trips. Review products. Companies will increasingly do whatever it takes to get their brand into the blogosphere. Why? Because it’s influential. And it has tremendous reach. Recall that shampoo commercial… one friend told another who told another… and before you know it, the screen was filled 10x more than even the Brady Bunch? Well, that’s the crowdsource – or, put another way, I trust my friends. And you do probably as well. The only difference today: replace the TV set with Twitter and Facebook and accelerate by 10,000%. You get the idea.

39% Agree that “More people will be getting their news and entertainment from blogs than from traditional media in the next 5 years.”

Again, it’s not entirely surprising that blogs continue to build credibility. Many employ full editorial staff, often with backgrounds in journalism and traditional print, tv, or radio. With the rise of The Huffington Post, which now is larger — in readership, but not revenue, much to Arianna’s dismay — than the New York Times, the concept of a “blog” is morphing. We may need even new lexicon to describe the larger, multi-topic blogs that continue to grow. Given the cut-backs across traditional media, notably newspapers, you can imagine that the passion, enthusiasm, and gusto is more readily represented in the blogosphere… not the newsrooms where everyone is, unfortunately, getting either salary reductions or pink slips.

More tomorrow when the Day 2 results are released.

Source: Technorati, State of the Blogosphere – Day 1 – “Bloggers, Brands and Consumers”

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